Wednesday, September 4, 2013

ARC Review: WILD CARDS by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards
By: Simone Elkeles
Published by:  Walker Children’s Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Source: Digital ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review.

Love, life, and sports will never be the same. A steamy new series with a Friday Night Lights flavor, from best-selling author, Simone Elkeles.

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 tend to fall hard for all of Simone’s books, and Wild Cards is no different. I love that she always takes on more difficult topics or issues. Gangs, hit and runs, and now emotional unavailability. Although, I guess you could apply that last one to most of her books.

Wild Cards had a little bit of a different feel than some of her previous books as well. The difficulty here is more with role reversal and feeling neglect and guilt. I absolutely loved Ashtyn. She’s fierce and determined and she goes after what she wants. The girl plays football! And she plays it well! You have to admire her determination and ability to tough it out even when things aren’t easy. And being a girl playing football isn’t easy.

Derek is an interesting character. His past has really shaped who he is or pretends to be. You can’t help but love him and his determination to not care, which only shows how much he really does care. He’s one of those damaged boys that really has a good heart but doesn’t want to show it.

This book really mixed things up and grabbed my attention. There’s some mature material that’s not really suitable for younger readers, but it’s not as heavy handed as a New Adult title. If you’ve enjoyed Simone’s Perfect Chemistry series I think you’ll totally fall for Wild Cards.

Pre-Order Wild Cards today!

About the Author
SIMONE ELKELES is the author of Perfect ChemistryRules of Attraction, Chain Reaction (all Quick Pick Top Tens) and Leaving Paradise, a Book Sense Pick. Simone was named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English.


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