Wildcards by Simone Elkeles

Nook e-Book, 288 pages
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Published by: Walker Books for Young Readers
Wildcards, #1
Source: Own
For fans of: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Sports, YA

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


     After reading her Perfect Chemistry series, I was smitten with Elkeles' work. I've had her on my auto buy list for as long as I could remember, so when I heard about another contemporary romance coming out by her I knew I HAD to have it. I have been waiting on pins and needles for this book and I'm happy I finally got my hands on it. 
"Just because you can deal with bullshit on your own, doesn't mean you should."
pg. 51
     As long as I waited for this, this book actually had the perfect release date. A book about football released during football season. It helped to make it feel a little more realistic for me. Plus, it helped to make the boyfriend happy lol I "watched" football for a little research while reading it and he was so happy that a tv outside the man cave could stay on ESPN. 
"She brings her 'A' game every fucking time. She motivates us, that's for sure."
pg. 55 
     As for the story, I LOVE that it featured a girl who played and was also voted captain. It was empowering to have a character like Ashtyn in a male dominated sport. I know so many females who love the game of football and people act like they can't don't know what they're watching. It really annoys me. 
"One sided love sucks."
pg. 186
     As for the characters, I really loved Derrick. In the synopsis, it makes him sound like a total bad boy who gets in trouble all the time, but once the story starts its obvious to see he's reforming himself. He and Ashytn argued the entire time but it was obvious it was one of those "I'm only messing with you because I like you" kind of things.As for Ashtyn, I felt so bad for her. She kept losing everyone that she loved. I felt her pain just from reading it, so I can only image actually going through it. I also loved that the book was dual POV's because it was so much easier for me to see where the other stands. Because throughout the entire book they were arguing and it just seemed as if they hated each other. 
"Because I'm trying to push you away when all I want to do is hold you. I know you say yon don't want a hero, but damn I'd like to be that guy who'll save you from spiders and whatever else that hurts you."
pg. 190 
     But once their romance got started, it was very hot indeed. Each time they were alone and reacting towards each other, it released all the feels. Derrick is a very swoon worthy boy and Ashtyn was very deserving for all his swoons. I was very happy that they found each other in the end. They both needed each other and I'm happy they got the chance to be together.  
"She's a Texan, born and raised. Football is in our blood."
pg. 219 
     Overall, this book wasn't as great as Elkeles' very famous previous series, but at the same time, it was very intriguing. The romance kept me hanging on and I can't wait to see what else will happen in the rest of this series. 
Overall, I give this

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