Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Book One in the Wild Cards Series
Published By: Walker Children's (October 1, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 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?
My Thoughts and Review:
Is it wrong to say I liked Derek from the very beginning? He isn't a good boy, in fact he can be down right sarcastic, mean, and unbelievably witty, but I loved him for it. Why you ask? Because I saw the goodness deep down inside too. The boy who stands up for his friends, the guy who hasn't had it easy and the man who really has a heart of gold but still likes having a good time and hellooo sexy Texans drawl!
If there is one thing Elkeles can do well it is write a bad boy that is almost impossible not to fall in love with, she made that pretty clear with her Chemistry series. And if her bad boys weren't enough for you then her heroines will cinch the deal. She writes them strong and feisty and every bit as loveable as her male counterparts and Ashtyn is no exception.
I loved her right away. How could you not love a girl tough and strong enough to be on the boys football team but still be girly enough to care about those around her? To have her heart broken by her family and yet she still loves them and wants to put them all back together again. A girl that isn't afraid to show who she is and fight for what she wants.
The secondary characters were every bit as great as the main. Julian, Falkor, Jet, Vic, Grandma (she was my favorite, I loved how feisty she is!), Brandi, really all of them.
This not only lived up to my expectations of what I expect from Elkeles but it surpassed it. I don't think there was a single thing I didn't love about this story. I love that she stuck with the dual point of views, I love that she writes swoon worthy characters that melt my heart and make me smile. I love that her stories feel real. The characters feel real. I love most of all that I know I will get a story with a happily ever after when it is all said and done. And can I tell you how excited I am that this isn't a stand alone? That there will be more books in the series. I can't wait to find out who the next one will be about and I can guarantee it will be on my automatic buy now list.
*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*