Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Goodreads Summary:

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. 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?

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

This is the first Simone Elkeles book I’ve read and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I loved Ashtyn and Derek and although they faced a lot of hurdles in their relationship, I was really hoping they both would get their crap together and realize how right they were for one another.

I loved that Ashtyn was a kick butt football player. She’s not afraid to be tough and doesn’t allow herself to be intimidated despite being the only girl on the team. But she also has a very soft, feminine side and it was sweet when Derek was able to bring out her vulnerability. Ashtyn is afraid of being left abandoned while Derek is constantly running from place to place and it causes a lot of discord between the two.

Derek was a great male lead as well. I loved his swagger, but underneath his cockiness he really cared about Ashtyn. He had a lot of pain in his past and it was touching to see how Ashtyn helped him work though it. The secondary characters were well done with my favorites being Derek’s grandmother, Brandi and Julian.

The plot moved very quickly and I liked how the book never hit a lull. There are some interesting sub-plots too and I sympathized with the sexism Ashtyn had to deal with while attending football camp. Her ex-boyfriend was also reprehensible and I couldn’t wait for him to get his *ss kicked.

The ending felt a little rushed and there was a couple of unbelievable plot reveals. There’s a sequel in the works and I hope it features some of Ashtyn’s teammates and also find out how the football rivalry was resolved. I would definitely recommend this book to YA contemporary fans who enjoy sports-themed romances.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!


  1. I don't like rushed endings. Like the author decided it was time to wrap things up and they leave out things you wanted to know. :( GREAT review, Heather. Thanks for sharing! WRITE ON!

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