Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards
(Wild Cards, #1)
by Simone Elkeles
Author Website | Twitter | Facebook

Publication Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780802734372
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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? (Goodreads)
Wild Cards is the first book in the ‘Wild Card’ series by the ever popular Simone Elkeles. The series revolves around a high school football team.  Being a football girl, I knew that this was a series that I would HAVE to read.  It’s also the first book I’ve read by Elkeles. The series is off to a good start, I’m looking forward to reading more.

The main characters in the story were really interesting, but Derek is the character that really made the book for me. I loved his snarky and sarcastic attitude.  He has that bad boy image going on the outside, but on the inside, he’s a really sweet and caring guy. I enjoyed seeing that side of him come out more than the bad boy part.  I have mixed feelings for Ashtyn. I felt really bad for her situation and all the things that she had been through, but it seems like she was beyond desperate for Derek to love her, even when she knew that he was a player.  The mixed signals between the two throughout the book were really frustrating at times. There were some parts of the story where things between them were super sweet. Those are the moments I enjoyed the most.

The secondary characters in the story were hit or miss for me.  Ashtyn’s family was super dysfunctional. Ashtyn’s dad didn’t seem to ever care about her, and the even towards the end, it seemed like Elkeles tried to mend the relationship between the two just for the story to wrap up nicely. I had a hard time buying it. Ashtyn’s sisters story didn’t really tie up at all, so I’m wondering if maybe we get more info on her in the next book. I didn’t really care for Derek’s grandma when we first met her, but by the end, she had me rolling and I LOVED her! The football players in the story were great; very loyal and dedicated. I can’t wait to meet them again.

As I mentioned above, I am a big football fan. That’s one thing that initially attracted me to this book.  We don’t actually get to see a lot of football scenes in this story, but I am hoping we will see more as the series moves on.  With all of the characters that were in the first book, this is definitely a series that I can see lasting for a while.  The end of the book was super sweet, even if it felt a little rushed. I did enjoy it, however.

This book does have some mature situations in it. Some were very steamy, which is something to keep in mind when suggesting this to the younger YA crowd.

Overall; I enjoyed this book more than I expected to, despite the frustrations I had with some of the characters. While this is the first book by Elkeles that I’ve read, it definitely won’t be the last. I’m happy to see that this is going to be a series; I’m looking forward to meeting all of these characters again.

Happy Reading!

Also, check out this 4-part Reality series on Youtube, made by Simone Elkeles!

Here are the first three episodes for your viewing pleasure.


  1. Looking forward to this one! As a big football fan, that's one of the things that initially drew me to the story, too. I haven't read it yet but I'm sure I'll enjoy it!

  2. I love snarky and sarcastic characters, so Derek sounds fantastic! That's too bad that there were not more football scenes, though.

    Great review! :)

  3. I love football too and snarky characters are always a plus for me. This seems like a good book. I don't know where I have been that this book has missed my radar, but its going on my TBR pile now.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  4. I had such similar opinions to you-this was also my first Elkeles but it definitely won't be my last as I certainly want to continue with this series!


Thanks for stopping by! :)