Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Card by Simone Elkeles
Release Date - October 1, 2013
Publisher Website - Walker Books For Young Readers
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages - 288 pages
My Rating - 3/5
**obtained for review from publisher via BEA**

Here is the 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?
An even sexier Friday Night Lights was my immediate thought upon reading this synopsis. I could not contain my excitement at getting to read this as I had just recently discovered the appeal of sport themed novels. Sadly, this one left me feeling lukewarm towards the book, and the characters, despite some promising elements.

The tone of the novel is very much sexy and sensual. The sparks that fly between Derek and Ashtyn are scorching hot. It crackles off the page, and left me blushing. Their banter was fun; at first. However, the focus is almost entirely on this. More character development woven in between the sexy scenes would have given the story a little depth that I felt was missing.

Ashtyn is guarded, and immediately recognizes Derek for what he is. Derek is not relationship material. She’s told that time and time again by Derek himself. Astyn, on the other hand, wants someone who is going to be there the next morning. Frustration quickly grew as they circled each other, and Ashtyn kept doing the same thing, but expecting a different result. They seemed mismatched and I didn’t see anything, other than their physical attraction, that kept pulling them together.

The novel is a quick read, due to it's short page count, and the quick plot. This quick plot made me feel like more time should have, and could have been spent on the characters. I can not really say if I liked them or not, because I don't feel I got a full sense of them. I know little bits about them, and saw some vulnerabilities in them that seemed promising, but it just wasn't enough. This read like a book where the characters are already established, and you already cared about them.

Football seemed to actually take a backseat in this novel. Other than some practicing, there were no actual games played. I am curious to see if this changes in subsequent installments of the series. There is a lot made of what a fantastic player Ashtyn is, and I hope to see that play out in future books. I want her skills to be evident by ‘seeing’ her in action.

The ending will cause many to swoon. It is super sweet, and totally something out of a romantic comedy. It's also a proper ending. I believe this is to be a series, but this book could be a stand alone. A series where the books are self contained is rare, and it seems to be the case with this one.

A novel that, despite it's moments, let me wanting more. A story and characters that I felt could have been expanded upon to create something fun, flirty and sexy but that also packs an emotional punch. I hope for more from the sequel as I did see some promise, and have no doubt that others will rabidly devour this offering from Simone.


  1. Oh so much more sexier than I imagined. Need to read this book. I love the author. great review.

  2. I just finished this last night! It was my first Elkeles novel. I did enjoy it, despite the main characters driving me crazy at some points. I was hoping to see a bit more football as well. This book is the beginning of the series, so maybe we will see more in the next book. I hope!

  3. I'm not too into this one from what I hear. I really liked Perfect Chemistry, but the storyline seems to be repeating itself a little in Elkeles' work just from my pov. I've always had fun with her books, so this one is going to be a "maybe".

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex


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