Saturday, 31 August 2013

Review & Giveaway: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 4 stars 

 



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?

My Thoughts:
I’ve been a huge fan of Simone Elkeles since reading Perfect Chemistry, so I was excited (and a little nervous) when I heard she would be coming out with a book!  Turns out I didn't need to be nervous, because Wild Cards ended up being a sweet romance filled with simmering attraction. 

Ashtyn is a girl with a plan and the motivation to carry it out. She’s all about football and she’s good enough to be captain of her high school team.  A guys team (mostly), mind you.  She hopes to be good enough to catch the attention of college recruiters and get a scholarship.  It’s admirable that she’s so driven because she basically has no parental guidance with her mother abandoning them and her father heartbroken and checked out. 

Derek is exactly the opposite. With no parental supervision, he’s free to do what he wants.  Like most teenage boys left to their own devices, he gets into trouble by pulling a school prank that gets him expelled.  With nowhere else to go, he’s forced to pick up and move to Chicago into the childhood home of his stepmom, Brandi.  Brandi is also the older sister of Ashtyn so this is where these two meet and collide!

Ashtyn takes one look at Derek, gorgeous with his cocky attitude and an abundant ego, and wants nothing to do with him.  Derek knows Ashtyn’s type, too.  He’s only looking for a good time and she’s a “forever” type of girl.  Yet, they can’t help the attraction and chemistry that overrides their minds. Derek and Ashtyn exchange snarky, fun, and flirtatious banter that expose hints of their true feelings.  

“Thanks, Ashtyn.”
“I’m not done. Take your shirt off and I’ll check your ribs.”
“If I get undressed, you’re gonna want to do more than check my ribs.” ……
“Want me to take my pants off, too?” he jokes as he wags his brows suggestively. “I might have some swelling down there.”*

Lol!

I loved every time Derek called Ashtyn “Sugar Pie” and could clearly hear his southern drawl in my head (so sexy!).  I love Simone’s slow-build romances and that’s exactly what we get in Wild Cards.  The relationship between Ashtyn and Derek begins antagonistically (one of my favorite types of romances!) but turns into something more. 

I did really like both characters, Ashtyn for her drive and sincerity, and Derek for his big heart and protective tendencies, but I did have some issues with both of them.  Ashtyn drove me a little nuts for the first half of the book for being so clueless over her crap boyfriend, and by constantly pushing Derek away, denying her feelings for him.  The roles reversed by the second half of the book, and then Derek was ticking me off for pushing Ashtyn away when he clearly had strong feelings for her.

With all that said, I think Wild Cards will appeal to any Simone Elkeles fan, really any contemporary romance fan.  Her tone and brand of writing is evident and addictive.

A copy was provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

*Quote taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy. 










I’m giving my ARC of Wild Cards away to one lucky reader!  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.  Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  Good luck, and thanks for visiting The Readers Den!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

50 comments:

  1. Well, I've never read any of Simone Elkeles before. But all of my book friends said it's awesome. :)

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  2. Love, love this book! Bethzaida was generous enough to lend me her copy.

    Generous giveaway!

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  3. I'm going to be reading this soon, so I did skim your review. This will be my first Elkeles read, and I'm so excited. Great review!

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  4. Thank goodness this one turned out to be a good read for you! I haven't read anything by Simone yet so this will be my first. I actually secretly like antagonistic relationships, too! I'm excited to see this one play out, especially because it's also slow-building. Derek sounds so swoon-worthy! Lovely review, Rachel. :)

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  5. Oh this is like music to my ears. I was so worried that this one would disappoint me as I really loved Perfect Chemistry books. I'm so glad to hear that romance is still sweet and characters lovable. Sadly I got rejected at NG *sobs* but I hope I'll get to read this one soon. Great review :)

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  6. I love the sound of this book- Thanks for the giveaway!
    I STILL haven't read of her books yet but I actually own Perfect Chemistry and the Paradise series, and hear lots of great things about them.

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel. I actually expected a bit more and ended up not liking it as much as I wanted to.
    I had issues with the characters but the main problem was wanting more of the sports element in the story. I sort of wanted to see Ashtyn more on the field. Actually, I wanted a story a bit similar to Catching Jordan.
    Lovely review though, Rachel! :)

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  8. I haven't read any of Simone Elkeles's books yet, but I really need to! I've heard so much about the Perfect Chemistry series, and Wild Cards too. This one sounds amazing! Awesome review, and thanks for the giveaway :)

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  9. Perfect Chemistry Series :D Thanks for the chance to win the awesome giveaway.

    -dannielle

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  10. I have never read a book by Simone Elkeles before, but this book sounds good.

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  11. My favorite is Perfect Chemistry. I loved this book. And it has a beutiful cover (as all of Simone´s books) :)

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  12. I have this one comin in a few months time. I didn't have the best luck with Perfect Chemistry so I hope this goes well like it did for you.

    Fabulous review, Rachel! <33

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  13. The 1st book I've read of hers, Perfect Chemistry. It was amazing. Can't wait for this one! I'm glad you liked it and thank you for the giveaway :)

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  14. I've never read anything of hers so I have no clue

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  15. I've only read Perfect Chemistry so far, but I liked it.

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  16. I haven't read any other books, but this one seems really interesting:)
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. I read Perfect Chemistry last year and enjoyed it, though I wasn't impressed enough to continue with this author's work. Since then, though, I've been considering giving her another try and this one sounds adorable and just like something I need right now. Great review, dear!

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  18. I haven't had a chance to read anything by Simone yet, so I guess I don't have one (yet).

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  19. I've loved them all but I think my very favorite is Leaving Paradise. I'm so glad that you loved Wild Cards! Thanks for the great review...and the giveaway. :)

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  20. This sounds really fun and sweet!! Your quote brings a huge smile on my face - thanks for sharing :)

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  21. I haven't read any of her books yet but I'm so looking forward to this one.

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  22. I haven't read a Simone Elkeles book but had Perfect Chemistry on my wish list FOREVER! Wild Card sounds flipping awesome too, love a bit of banter between the main characters :) thanks for the giveaway and great review!

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  23. Unfortunately I haven't read any books from Simone Elkeles, but I would love to. Wild Cards would be the perfect first book to read from her though :]

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  24. haven't read any of Simone's book :( So I'm hoping this will be as awesome as everyone says!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  25. I haven't read any of Simone's other books yet, but I definitely plan to read this one (whether I win it or not). Thanks for the chance to win!

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  26. I think it's Perfect Chemistry. It was one of my first YA books, maybe that's why it still holds a place in my heart ;)

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  27. Rules of Attraction is my favorite of hers!
    Lacey T

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  28. I don't have a favorite book by Simone Elkeles yet.

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  29. I've read about 3 or 4 books from Simone Elkeles and I have to say the story of Alex & Brittany from Perfect Chemistry was my fave :)

    Thank you for this giveaway opportunity, guys!

    -Tirta

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  30. YAY! I'm so relieved and glad that you loved this one, Rachel! The mixed reviews were really making me nervous and I kept pushing this book back, but now I can't wait to dig in. Awesome review!! :)

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  31. I haven't read a book by Simone yet, but I'm glad to hear this is another winner from her (at least for you). I like the idea of a girl playing football...that's a nice touch!!

    -Lauren

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  32. This cover is starting to grow on me. I'm glad you loved the book :D Sounds pretty awesome. Have not read any books by this author, but she sounds amazing :) Thank you for sharing your honest review. <3 And for the giveaway :) You are awesome.

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  33. I've heard so many good things about this series! I can't wait to read it! I think I would love Ashtyn's character, she sounds really badass! Haha. And I think Derek would become one of my favorite book boyfriends too. :))

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  34. I absolutely loved Perfect Chemistry!!! I haven't read her Paradise series though :) Thanks for the giveaway

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  35. I'm a big fan of Simone Elkeles too and have to say that the mixed reviews are making me a little nervous to read my copy! I'm really glad you enjoyed this one Rachel and you've totally sold me on Derek! I love me a man with a southern drawl!

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  36. I still have not read of her books yet =( Thanks for the review now I know whats missing in me life. Must buy Simone Elkeles' book asap.Thanks for the giveaway.

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  37. I actually have not read any books by Simone Elkeles yet. Hoping this will be my chance! ;)

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  38. Perfect Chemistry- the first book in the series.
    Alex and Britney are one of my best couples ever. I reread that book quite often too.

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  39. Rules of Attraction!!!! Simon Elkeles is the queen of writing bad boys so I'm definitely looking forward to Wild Cards. <3

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  40. I've yet to read any of Simone Elkeles' work. Hopefully that'll change soon!

    Thanks for the giveaway.

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  41. I love the 'Perfect Chemistry' series but I have to say that book one of that series is STILL my favorite!

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  42. Perfect Chemistry is my favorite! Read it twice in a row I loved it so much! Thanks!

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  43. My favorite is the Rules of attraction. I love Carlos <3

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  44. Perfect Chemistry! It's my first YA that I really enjoy (tbh, YA is not my favorite) and it's bring tears to my eyes. I really love Alex!

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  45. I've never read any Simone's book. But, i have friend said that he was one of Simone's fans, because all of her books is his favorite.

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