Wednesday, April 2

Simone Elkeles - Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1)

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?

This book blew me away it was captivating from the first page to the last. I absolutely adore the books of Simone Elkeles, she’s one of my favorite authors, her books are all alike but in some things they’re different. I've read all her books starting with Perfect Chemistry which is one of my favorite trilogy ever since. You can imagine how much I was fangirling when I heard about this book still it took time for me to actually start reading it but I'm glad I started it after all.

In Wild Cards we got to know Derek who feels completely alone, his mother died years ago in cancer, his father is under sea so they can’t even communicate with each other, and he isn’t a fan of his stepmother who is more than ten years younger than his dad. He’s dreaming about a summer full of partying, staying at his fancy boarding school, but his plans quickly have to change when he gets kicked out for a prank. He has to go and live with his stepmother’s family which consists of a negligent father and his football player daughter. Derek doesn’t want to deal with anyone else’s business so he tries to keep his distance from Ashtyn and from football.

I loved how the relationship of Ashtyn and Derek developed, first they were so damn cool to each other (on the outside at least) but slowly they started to get one another and they fell in love. The one thing I missed was a better closure, I know the ending closed down things, it was happy and it was sweet but it was such a little happiness considered to all the suffering these two went through.

The Characters:

Derek: He was funny, talented and smokin’ hot so all in all just perfection, but under the surface he has a lot of problems. It never was mentioned but for me it was sad how he didn’t keep in touch with anyone from school, I mean he was there for a long time but it seemed like he didn’t get any real friends. It was a little bit annoying how he rejected Ashtyn, but I loved his pranks and I wish in the next book we’ll see more pranks from him, like the one with the rival football team. It was so sad how his father couldn’t even contacted him for long time periods like this, so I was absolutely happy that he found a second family.

I don’t think that he was a “bad boy” like the description says. He charmed Ashtyn slowly, wanted to protect her even if she didn’t need protection, was an amazing step brother of Julian and even started to make something out of a long forgotten garden unasked.
“Because I'm tryin' to push you away when all I want to do is hold you. I know you say you don't want a hero, but damn I'd like to be that guy who'll save you from spiders and whatever and whoever else hurts you.” 
Sounds like a bad boy? Nope.

Ashtyn: She was so closed and cool on the outside but inside she had deep feelings she just chose not to show them much.
I loved her courage and that she was different from other heroines I’ve read about, she loved football and was one of the guys. I didn’t like her blindness for what Logan did, she should have seen what an asshole is that guy, I mean it was completely obvious and I never got why didn’t she realized it, she wasn’t in love with him that’s for sure than why the hell was she so blind? I hated seeing her suffering from her father’s rejection, I didn’t really like that man he was so damn weak, never standing up for either one of his daughters, yeah his wife left him but that doesn’t mean that he too had to “left” his daughters alone.
“I never believed in love at first sight, until I met Derek. It's all-consuming and delicious and wonderful and exciting. At the same time, it makes me nervous and self-conscious and emotional. Love exists. I know it does, because I'm madly, deeply, hopelessly in love.”
Derek’s grandmother: First I thought I will hate her but then slowly we could see her reasons and besides being a snob she was amazing, she supported Derek too. I thought when she saw that Ashtyn isn’t rich she would try to push Derek into another girl’s arms but no. She was amazing and really tried to make up for the lost time.I so wish for a grandma like her and not for her money.

Logan: JERK I hated him, such an arrogant asshole… he didn’t get voted for captain so he betrayed everyone… wow that’s how a totally self-centered bastard works I see. I so wanted him to fuck up something in the end so he wouldn’t get the offer from the college. What he did and made others do with Ashtyn in camp was the move of the weakest man alive, so I couldn't feel anything for him just sorry. 

Brandi: I had the impression that she isn’t very bright but slowly I started to realize she has more to herself than it first seemed like. She was kind and wanted to help others and was an amazing mother. I just couldn’t get the whole taking photos or videos of her stomach while she was pregnant to show it to her husband… wouldn’t one in every month was enough?

All considered this was quite an enjoyable book, lot of people says the chemistry wasn’t strong but I think it was enough for a young adult book, maybe they developed feelings too soon, but damn this happens in every Simone Elkeles book, she writes like that, I guess she must believe in love at first sight.

My only problem was with the other characters, they weren’t mentioned many times so we never get to know them, they were just names threw at us like we should care about them for example Monika.

Favorite characters: Derek, Ashtyn, Victor, Julian
Least favorite: Logan

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 4/5
All in all: 4/5

I’d recommend it for people who like light reads and romances. Nothing surprising but a good story and well-made characters are waiting for anyone who wants to start this book. :)

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