Sep 1, 2013
Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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?
Wild Cards was a bit of a surprise, because I didn’t realize that it would be quite so football oriented. This was one of the things I loved about the book, because I’m a huge football fan. However, it did seem at times that it was too singularly focused on that one aspect.
I thought Ashtyn was a strong character, and I liked that. She wasn’t afraid to tell Derek that he was being ridiculous, or that holding onto something he had no control over is foolish. I thought that she was a smart girl, and the arguments between them weren’t just witty, there was an underlying sense of truth. Ashtyn definitely needed to be able to voice her thoughts more to her family. Ashtyn’s father was a terrible father, and I really felt her pain that he wasn’t around more.
Derek was interesting because he had baggage that he wasn’t going to share with anyone. It was difficult to see him struggle, and I liked that we got his perspective. I would’ve felt like Derek was a complete jerk if I didn’t see what was going on in his head. He also had difficulties communicating with people, and I think it’s what took so long for the two of them to get together.
I did think the point of view switching between Derek and Ashtyn was done well, I didn’t feel like I was rushed to get to the next point of view, and I would congratulate Simone Elkeles on a job well done. I did feel like there was too much emphasis on the football, and not enough on the characters themselves. It felt like the relationship took a backseat to football, and I would’ve liked to see them interact more outside of that.
I did feel like there was something missing from Wild Cards that Simone Elkeles’ other series Perfect Chemistry had. I think in part it was because there were some characters that were mentioned that we never met. Like Derek’s dad, Ashtyns mom, and Nick. These were seemingly important characters that never showed up. Specificially Derek’s dad, everyone talks about him being gone a lot, but I would’ve liked to see him come home at the end.
I would give this book a 3.5 star rating because I do feel like it was a good book. It was easy to get lost in, and it was a fun read. Simone Elkeles did a great job of switching the viewpoints, and I will definitely keep my eyes open for the next in the series. Wild Cards is definitely a book worth reading!
3.5/5- Worth Reading
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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Happy Reading Everyone!!