Series: Wild Cards #1
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Published: Oct. 1, 2013
Source: NetGalley and Publisher for 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?
I had heard so much about Simone Elkeles's other series that I knew I had to read this author. I had a chance to read Wild Cards so I couldn't wait to pick it up. I was thrilled with Ashtyn's character since she is a girl who plays football. She had a terrible home life and no support there. She still is able to find a way to move forward and find her own support in the form of her teammates. She was a character I wish you could find more in YA.
Derek was also a fun character but it was more obvious that he was sabotaging himself in his life and education. The truth of why this happens actually is revealed in the last part of the book. Despite the late reveal, you still find that you like the guy and have sympathy for him. Despite his annoying ways, you can tell there was a heart of gold underneath.
I have to say that the plot was predictable and some of the same ol' tropes were used within the book. I didn't feel like the romance read real nor was their progression toward each other. I'm sure you are now thinking I disliked the book. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. Despite those problems it was a feel good book. Even through the frustrating parts you knew that it was going to give you that HEA you crave. Plus, when I end with a smile on my face after reading the last paragraph, I can't help but like it. So, if you want something totally original, you may not like this one. However, if you just enjoy a fun story that gives you a good HEA at the end, then pick this one up. I think you'll have fun with it. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.
bloggy PS... why do publishers keep moving those publishing dates? Stop messing up my schedule! LOL