Sunday, November 10, 2013

Novel Review: Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1) by Simone Elkeles

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publish Date: October 1st, 2013
Spoilers?: No.
Buy it here: Amazon. Barnes and Noble. Book Depository. Powells.
Teaser Tuesday. Wishlist Thursday.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?

Something Specific:
  • "Everyone has a purpose in life, he once told me. Finding out yours is crucial to knowing who you are and who you want to be. (Hardback, pg. 50)
  • "‘I guess havin’ hope is better than givin’ up and thinking life will suck forever.’” (Pg. 215)

The Cover:

I don't mind this cover, but I don't really think it fits. The images work, but the grainy, old-photograph look doesn't, in my opinion. It makes it look like an old-American tale of a sports hero, which it isn't, or like it's about some old tragedy, possibly a happily-ever-after romance story, which it also isn't. It's a very lighthearted, modern story. There isn't even a huge time skip at the end where the happy-ever-after couple is old and married with kids. Aside from that, the couple and football image work.


It’s been a while since I’ve read an Elkeles book. I’ve read all but her first series (which I have, and should get around to… at some point), and enjoyed all of them. And I guess I had missed her stories a bit. They’re dramatic, and romantic, and sweet, and cute, and funny. They’re lighthearted, cute stories, sometimes steamy, always good.
Her last series, the Perfect Chemistry one (and the Paradise one, I suppose), had a darker edge to it, so I was expecting that from this one. But instead, this one was pretty much solely cute and sweet, with a very little bit of angst worked in. It was a nice reprieve. It was a good story, very fast to read. Very good.
There’s Ashtyn, who’s on the football team, dating the quarterback, with a no-good father. Then her sister comes back to stay with them, and she brings back a young son and step-son Ashtyn’s age whose father is in some submarine in the ocean somewhere. Derek got kicked out of his last private school, and is not looking forward to staying with his step-mom, who he doesn’t like. But then he starts getting close to Ashtyn. And then his pushy, distant grandmother tries getting in contact with him.
I liked both Ashtyn and Derek, and the two together. It was obvious from the beginning that her boyfriend sucked, but her other teammates didn’t. I would have liked to have gotten to know them better, but I suspect that I will in the next books. It says Derek is a bad boy in the synopsis, but he’s really not. He’s running away from some things, and he plays a lot of pranks, but he’s smart, he’s a handyman around the house, and he’s very sweet to Ashtyn, right from the beginning, even if he does fool around with some girls while she has a boyfriend. Also, he has a southern accent, and that’s fantastic.
And then Derek’s grandmother comes in, and she’s great. Which leads him to doing something very big and sweet to win Ashtyn over at the end, and that was adorable and heartwarming. I also hadn’t seen or read anything with such a big move in a long while, so that was nice. I think that, plus Derek’s general good guy-ness, made this a very good read to me. Something that I was very in the mood for as well, apparently. 
This was really good. Really sweet and cute and adorable. And I’m really looking forward to the next books in the series, whenever they get released. Elkeles is on my automatic buy list (has been for a while), and now I might actually get around to reading her first series soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment