Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
by Simone Elkeles
Publishing date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
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?
Simone Elkeles has this gift when writing books, she makes you read the book in one breath. You just skim through the pages wanting and needing to know what will happen in the next 5 seconds, and than those 5 seconds turn into few hours and you are wondering, where did the time go, is this really the last page?
When Derek gets kicked out from his school, he is forced to move in with his step-mom who decides to move in her childhood home with her family, while his dad is away in military. What he doesn't expect is a hot young step-aunt. Enter Ashtyn. She is a tomboy and a football player. They take a dislike toward each other immediately, but as the book goes on, they come to like each other and finaly develop a relationship.
Derek is no Fuentes brother, but in his own way, he's just as much swoon worthy. I don't think he was a bad boy like the book description wants us to believe. He did have some snarky comments and he did do a few pranks in his old school, but that doesn't make him a bad boy. He was a sweet boy really, caring and always thinking of others. I loved the way he interacted with his little step-brother, Julian. Ashtyn on the other hand was really tough. Alone the fact that she played football and was voted captain in a boy team is admiring. Their relationship was intense and I loved their constant arguing, but I have a feeling that it turned into romance too quickly.
Another thing I really enjoyed is that the focus was on characters and not that much on the story and football aspect in this book. It may leave some of you disappointed, but not me. I don't really like football elements in the books and I usually just skip them because I have no clue when it comes to american football.
All in all, I really enjoyed Wild Cards. It was sweet and fast pacing, and if you're into YA contemporary novels, I'm sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.