Thursday, September 5, 2013

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

Wild Cards

by 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?- Goodreads
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Page Count: 288
Buy Link: Amazon
Would Appeal To: Girls who like football, fans of Miranda Kenneally (Stealing Parker, Catching Jordan)
Favorite Quotes: *I don't record quotes for ARC's since there is a note in the beginning of the book that says not to, but thank you to NetGalley for a copy of Wild Cards in exchange for an honest review. 

Simone Elkeles. Here is my experience with the Perfect Chemistry series. I read all three in less than three days. 
I clutch the book tightly. Nothing and no one will stand in the way of me and this story. Breaks are limited to bathroom and snack, not even a complete meal.

There's a majorly action packed scene right near the end where everything seems to go impossibly crazy. Usually it involves drugs and/or guns, and I freak out because I have no idea what the characters can do to rid themselves of impending doom.

I cry at some gushy love scene that's really well written and because her dialogue is spot on and the stuff of poetry. Following the end of the novel is a catatonic state where I want to cling to the memory but move on to the next book at the same time. This shocked awe doubles in intensity when the series comes to an end. Repeat crying. What, you mean these characters aren't real? I can't be a part of their world any longer? BUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? I think somewhere in this process I've developed some unhealthy habits...
When I snap out of my disappointment that there is no more to the story, I rejoice because I have read something so addicting, so entertaining, so purely phenomenal that I must immediately run out and recommend it to everyone I know, including the mailman, even if he looks at me strange when I say "young adult."

So onto my thoughts on Wild Cards:
  • Jake. Hottie with an athletic body. He's got the bad boy thing going on, which means he has no lack of female attention. I've seen this character done many a time, but I've never known one who is a military brat that's lived in so many places but held a Southern accent. Sometimes I questioned his clothing choices, but they also made him unique. However, I recall several of the characters saying "What're you..?" as in "What are you doing?" "What are you thinking." I've never heard anyone use that combination, and I've lived in TX and OK. After twice, it was a little overused. So...the cowboy voice for me wasn't working. A "ya'll" here or there would have worked and been enough. To his credit though, he's a great step-brother to cute little Julian.
  • Yay for the comedy that ensues upon the meeting of Ashtyn and Jake! 
  • A couple of the romantic scenes repeated the description of someone's something or other being on fire (usually skin). This bothered me a little. I usually go gaga over this author's romance scenes.
  • Ashtyn, or Parker as she's called since she's the football team's kicker, is awesome! I love a girl who can defy sexual stereotypes. Her role model is a female kicker in college, which is nice because Ashtyn's dad has zero interest in coming to her games or supporting her athletic endeavors. I appreciate that even though she's on the football team, she has several girly attributes. She can hang with the guys, but she's also dating a guy on the team, Landon, (who consequently is a humongous jerk!). He doesn't handle her popularity well, which makes for some awkward situations.
  • Loved the secondary characters, especially the guys on the team like Victor, because they had Parker's back throughout the story. They were pretty dimensional. I wouldn't want to get on Vic's dad's bad side, and we hardly find out anything about him.
  • Brandi, Jake's stepmom, who's super close to him in age. Bless the poor girl, she tries to think, but alas, not everyone was made with a brain that works. I could never guess what she would say next. Kudos to Jake for not writing her off as "that young bimbo my dad married." At least not the whole time. 
  • Camping trip with Ashtyn and Jake. 'Nuff said.
  • Ohmigosh the ending! AMAZING! Everything comes together absolutely perfectly. I had this giant smile on my face. This for me, secured the book's rating.
  • If I'm looking at this compared to Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry novels (I know, it's not fair to compare books by the one author, BUT...), I would say it wasn't in the same category as far as the overall story being astonishing. I like that she switches from male to female POV in both series. I also appreciate that she wrote about girls and sports here, which is definitely not the same as boys in gangs. On one hand, there were parts I where I was waiting for this book to get better. On the other, Elkeles threw in some twists.
  • Excited about the second book in this series. I hope, hope, hope that we get to see more of Victor's story!


1 comment:

Bookworm1858 said...

This was my introduction to Elkeles writing and I really enjoyed it-I was intrigued by the sports angle so that's why I picked this one up. I did not realize it was a series but I love the idea of spending more time with these characters-it would be great to get to know Victor better!