Friday, October 11, 2013

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1) by Simone Elkeles

    Title: Wild Cards
    Series: Wild Cards
    Classification: Young Adult
    Genre: Contemporary Romance
    Format: Hardcover; 352 pages
    Publisher: Walker Childrens; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
    ISBN-10: 0802734375
    ISBN-13: 978-0802734372
Notes: I obtained a signed ARC at BEA

He'd been expelled from his high priced preppy California school for a prank.

She'd been voted the Freemont football team's Captain.

He was too good to be true and so not her type.

She swore like a boy, was bossy and definitely not someone he'd date.

Yet here they were thrown together when his stepmother, who happened to be her sister, decided to move the family into her childhood home. Somehow the two had to make things work. They just hadn't a clue how well they'd end up getting along. Sometimes it's the wild card that can throw you for a loop. 


This was such a fun book. Simone Elkeles once again writes an excellent love story. Derek and Ashtyn absolutely get off on the wrong foot. He finds her exasperating, difficult, and frustrating yet can't help being attracted to the strong determined female. She, however, has a boyfriend whom probably everyone but Ashtyn realizes is totally wrong for her.

Derek tries to stay out of the limelight, but his good looks tend to make that next to impossible where the female half of the population is concerned. He's a nice guy, but not looking to get involved with anyone. He'd rather have an uncomplicated relationship with no strings attached. He's quite and keeps mostly to himself, but can't help acting when he feels someone he knows has been wronged. His actions speak louder than his words and though he won't admit it, not even to himself, he's slowly falling for Ashytn.

Ashtyn is headstrong tom boy, but a curvy blond knockout underneath her team jersey. She's just been named team captain over her boyfriend, Landon and she's trying to figure out how he'll take the totally unexpected news. They'd both thought Landon would be the next team captain. Already taken a little off balance, she's thrown even more so by Derek's arrival into the household. She can't help but be attracted to him and her attraction both confuses and unsettles her. Everyone seems to think he's this great guy, but she's positive there has to be something wrong with him. He constantly tries to ruffle her feathers and maddens her to no end.

Why is the book called Wild Cards? Well, I believe that has to do with a declaration by Derek's grandma where says the following:
"My grandson is a wild card. I can't keep up with him. One day he's moving to Texas, the next he's going back to California."

I just adored this story. Elkeles managed to capture the emotions and craziness of being a teenager falling in love while dealing with family issues and finding oneself. It's a sweet, well paced, and utterly charming read. There are some nice twists and turns along the way and I loved how Simone managed to capture so much emotion and feeling within the pages. I instantly fell for the characters and wished the story hadn't ended which is always a good sign. I'm hoping we'll see more of these two in the upcoming sequels. I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. Definitely a keeper.  

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