Latest Read: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Here are the basics ...
Wild Cards (#1) by Simone Elkeles
Publication date: Oct. 1, 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC at BEA (Thanks!)

Summary: After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother in her childhood home in Illinois while his military dad is deployed. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama. Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all? (Adapted
My thoughts…
The good: I can't tell you how many times I've looked at Perfect Chemistry and debated whether or not I should read it. I always ended up passing but when I got an ARC of Wild Cards I thought -- no more excuses, I am finally going to read a Simone Elkeles book. She's a bit of a YA staple, don't you think? I'm glad I gave Wild Cards chance though because it was exactly what I expected it to be: light, sexy and entertaining. It wasn't the best contemporary romance I've read but I flew through the book in a few hours and had fun with the characters and the story. Sometimes, if you're in the right mood, that's all you need.

Wild Cards alternates between Ashtyn Parker, the only female football player in her high school and Derek Fitzpatrick, a seemingly typical bad-boy type with a bigger heart than he lets on. If you can't tell already, I liked Derek immediately. I liked Ashtyn too but she could be very antagonistic for no reason at all (I get she's fighting her attraction to Derek but still!) and it took me more time to warm up to her. But I liked how she wasn't a quitter and wanted to earn the respect of those around her for being a football player. They both have issues to work through but nothing over-the-top. The focus was definitely on them fighting their attraction to each other, their banter and sexy moments. All of which I enjoyed. Even though I pretty much wanted them to give into their feelings by the third chapter (I'm impatient and their chemistry was obvious!).

(Some) reservations: I think what prevents me from really liking the book is that there's so much potential here for a well-rounded contemporary romance but the author doesn't take it that extra step. For example, Ashtyn doesn't have a good relationship with her father or her sister and later Derek's family comes into play but we only get a glimpse of the dynamics there. And I enjoyed those glimpses! Then the football aspect of story, while it has been done before (Catching Jordan anyone?), I still think it's interesting and sadly, it got skimmed over. Towards the end, it just felt like we were rushing to the happily-ever-after when I wanted so much more.

Do I recommend?: I think if you want something light and steamy and that you can breeze through in an afternoon, I'd recommend this.

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. I'm kind of like you: I keep teetering back and forth between wanting to read Simone Elkes' books. This one, however, I haven't seen very many good things about. Which is sad because you see so many good things about the Perfect Chemistry series! Oh well... I guess they can't all be winners! Glad you enjoyed it though.


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