Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles

Title: Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publishing Date: October 1st 2013
Length: 342 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, contemporary, romance, football, patchwork family
Source: Netgalley

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?

Summary by Goodreads

Derek and Ashtyn are yet another of Simone Elkeles' impulsive pairings who have to go a long way to finally disclose their feelings for each other. They are both quite hot tempered and very stubborn in their own ways. As always it was a pleasure to witness one of Simone Elkeles' turbulent romances evolve.

Derek might be introduced as the bad boy who breaks every girl's heart, but his true side is much more vulnerable and relaxed than anyone outside of his family would ever see. He and Ashtyn both have moving pasts that are constantly coming back to them and majorly affect their present and future together.  

Their living situation, Ashtyn and Derek in the same house, leads to a delicious attraction and constant electricity between the two of them. Them getting together would be so much more complicated for the whole family. There's also a thrilling and sneaky side to it that makes it so much more of a fun game both of them can't resist to play.
You'll also love the scenes circling around their patchwork family life. There's always something going on at their house that should keep you entertained in between very fulfilling make-out sessions and the rivalry with another football team.

Football's a huge part of Ashytn's life as it's her only hope to finally get away from her hometown and her dad. It's her great passion and Derek isn't a stranger to the sport either. I grew to like the sport very much in Miranda Keneally's CATCHING JORDAN and was happy to see football and especially the reality of female players with serious talent getting some more attention in Simone Elkeles newest YA book, too. 

WILD CARDS had very much the same feel to it like Simone's previous three Fuentes books, without the Spanish cultural background, yet not missing the hot tempered relationships. 
Simone Elkeles supplies us with a male and female perspective on the story. It's one of Simone's best writing traits, considering the need of so many readers to be in both of her characters' heads. And I definitely needed to be in Derek's head at some points during the story or I might not have cared about him as much as I did in the end (very much!).

4,5/5 ****/* WILD CARDS – An absorbing and energizing new YA game.

I expected no less than a very unpredictable love story, a couple with fiery tempers. A road trip, an unforgettable first meeting and an alluring story line should be argument enough to convince not only the football fans to pick up WILD CARDS. Very pleased to see there's already a second book in this series in work.

""You want to join me, Sugar Pie?"
I look down at my football jersey. "I'm not dressed for a party, and you didn't answer my question."
"I answered it. You comin' or not?"
He walks out of the room when I don't join him, leaving me alone with his grandmother. "Well, that was...entertaining, to say the least," she says" ― p. 270

WILD CARDS you might also enjoy CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally and SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger with two strong heroines who are caught in different kinds of football rivalries. Or maybe you like HOOKED by Liz Fichera about a girl on the school's golf team being not very welcome. 


* Haven't you read Simone's PERFECT CHEMISTRY series, yet? Get started now!

* Click here for an excerpt of WILD CARDS.

* Watch the first episode of WILD CARDS on Youtube.

* For more information about Simone and her books visit


1 comment:

  1. Schöne Rezension. Ich hab sie mit großem Interesse gelesen, nachdem ich gesehen habe, dass du 4,5 Sterne vergeben hast. Damit hast du das Buch nämlich völlig anders wahrgenommen als ich.

    Ich fand »Wild Cards« ziemlich fürchterlich um ehrlich zu sein und war sehr enttäuscht. Die Idee war nett, aber ich fande die Umsetzung sehr schwach, die meisten Szenen waren mir zu oberflächlich. Und der Road Trip war meiner Meinung nach total verschwendet, da hätte mal viel mehr rausholen können, als diese paar wenigen Seiten. Und auch von der Chemie der Charakter hab ich überhaupt nichts gespürt. Das wirkte auf mich alles zu konstruiert.

    Keine Ahnung, woran das liegt/lag, vielleicht bin ich schon Contemporary übersättigt, womöglich waren die Erwartungen an Elkeles zu hoch. Jedenfalls bin ich mir noch nicht sicher, ob ich diese Reihe von ihr weiterlesen möchte, oder ob ich aufhöre und Perfect Chemestry gut in Erinnerung behalte! Weil ich hatte leider nicht dasselbe Gefühl wie bei den »Fuentes«-Büchern und auch die Football-Thematik finde ich in »Catching Jorden« besser umgesetzt. :/