|Release Date: October 1, 2013|
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Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review
"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?"
This is the kind of book that once you start it is very hard to stop. It has an addictive quality no matter how much goes wrong or how much the characters make you crazy. Wild Cards is a great contemporary read that has all the elements you want but still has its own distinct flair.
Ashtyn was a tough character for me. She made me crazy. I appreciated her ability to stand on her own and be a leader on her football team, but sometimes she made me insane. She was the kind of heroine that had to constantly prove how tough she was and constantly said “I don’t need you to take care of me”. Like I said, I appreciated her ability to take care of herself, but I hated that she constantly felt the need to throw it in people’s faces. She was very mean to Derek and he didn’t always deserve it.
Speaking of Derek, I actually really liked him. He was a smartass and arrogant but still charming and endearing. He is not perfect and he does make some very dumb decisions, but a lot of the time it’s because he doesn’t think before he acts. I also developed a soft spot for him because every time he tried to help Ashtyn, she just didn’t appreciate it. Again, I liked that she could take care of herself, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t say thank you.
The synopsis for this one is kind of misleading. Personally I think it gave too much away. I wish I didn’t know Landon was going to betray them, because it takes a significant time to happen. I wish it would have happened quicker or not known it was coming. Also, I expected football to be a bigger part of the story. Most of the football plot took place in the background. You would hear about it and it drove certain plot lines, but you don’t get to read about much of it. The story is much more about Derek and Ashtyn’s growth and less about convincing Derek to play football. I guess I’m saying I didn’t really get what I was expecting from Wild Cards. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the story, I really and truly did but it just threw me for a loop.
Wild Cards is a great contemporary read and Simone Elkeles fans are sure to eat this one up. Even with my frustrating and difficulties with Ashtyn, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to more of this series.