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Wild Cards

( 69 )

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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. So when her older sister comes home after abandoning her ten years earlier, with her hot new stepson in tow, Ashtyn wants nothing to do with either of them. Then she comes up with a plan that would finally give her the chance to leave, 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 get the future she wants?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/26/2013
Elkeles (the Perfect Chemistry books) is in familiar territory with this football-themed romance between Ashtyn Parker, captain of her high school’s team, and Derek Fitzpatrick, a bad boy with a heart of gold. When Derek’s stepmother Brandi, her young son, and Derek move into Ashtyn’s suburban Chicago home (Brandi is Ashtyn’s older sister), the two teenagers clash and sparks fly. There’s never any question that Ashtyn and Derek will end up together (her current quarterback boyfriend is a jerk), and their constant claims that they can’t stand each other get old and make them both come across as oblivious. The novel alternates between the two teens’ first-person narratives, but the already weak story is further let down by clichéd, hard-to-swallow dialogue and internal monologues (“Shit, this isn’t the way it’s supposed to go. I’m supposed to keep my emotions in check and only hook up with girls who want a good time”). Elkeles does little with Ashtyn’s supposed passion for football, and the romantic chemistry isn’t enough to rescue this uninspiring, by-the-numbers romance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
An Amazon Best Book of the Month

"Fans will be clamoring for this promising start to a new series." —Booklist for Wild Cards

"Elkeles’ ability to write deliciously steamy love scenes...will keep her fans coming back for more." —Kirkus Reviews for Wild Cards

"Witty banter, unconventional characters, a heart-melting romance and a charming ending make Wild Cards a winner." —Romantic Times for Wild Cards

"Smoldering doesn't quite do justice to the romantic banter." —School Library Journal for Perfect Chemistry

"Teens with a taste for romance will eat this up like ice cream on a hot day." —BCCB for Perfect Chemistry

"Elkeles pens plenty of tasteful, hot scenes...that keep the pages turning." —Kirkus Reviews for Perfect Chemistry

"Elkeles once again delivers a steamy page-turner bound to make teens swoon." —School Library Journal for Rules of Attraction

"Engaging characters, two of whom share a love that cannot be denied, along with more than a few humorous moments." —VOYA for Rules of Attraction

"Fans of the series and other females will gobble up this exciting, suspenseful novel." —VOYA for Chain Reaction

"Elkeles has a talent of writing steamy but real romance like no other author in the YA genre." —Pure Imagination blog for Chain Reaction

Kirkus Reviews
Romance Lite in a new series from the author of Perfect Chemistry (2009). When Derek gets kicked out of prep school in California for playing a prank, he has no choice but to move to suburban Chicago with his young stepmother, Brandi. There, he meets Brandi's sister, Ashtyn, who's just been voted captain of the football team, to the chagrin of the star quarterback, her boyfriend, Landon. Ashtyn takes an immediate dislike to Derek, although she's charmed by his Southern drawl. Derek, a former quarterback himself, is impressed by Ashtyn's unlikely combination of hot femininity and prowess on the gridiron. A thin plot, weak characterizations and poorly realized setting are beside the point in this fast-moving story. There's plenty of sexually charged tension between Derek and Ashtyn as they go from beach parties and breakups to road trips and football camp. Alternating first-person chapters reveal the personal struggles of each as they fight the inevitability of falling in love. Unfortunately, the feminism implicit in Ashtyn's being a football player is undermined by her apparently unironic conclusion that real power comes from squeezing into a cocktail dress and stilettos and imagining herself a princess. Still, Elkeles' ability to write deliciously steamy love scenes for those in the early stages of their own sexual journeys will keep her fans coming back for more. (Fiction. 14­ & up)
School Library Journal
11/01/2013
Gr 10 Up—Being a prankster got Derek kicked out of school and, without a choice, he relocates with his young stepmother to her hometown outside Chicago. There, he bunks with Ashtyn, who is his stepmother's sister, the only girl on the high school football team, and quite possibly, the girl of his dreams. Ashtyn is the newly appointed team captain, and in a jealous rage, her longtime boyfriend, who had assumed he would be captain, betrays her and their teammates and transfers to the rival high school. To make matters worse, Ashtyn now has to come up with a plan to fix her broken heart and pull her team together. Deserted by her mother and the offspring of a disconnected father, she's been deceived by those closest to her countless times, and letting it happen again is not an option. Ashtyn has her vision set on football, but she becomes distracted by the game Derek plays as he sets his beguiling ways on her. The twists and turns of lust and love between her and Derek grow when she's forced to prove herself on the football field and in the field of love. Elkeles's reverse role of characters brings this steamy love story to life.—Keisha Miller, South Orange Public Library, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802734372
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Series: Simone Elkeles' Wild Cards Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 84,352
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Simone Elkeles

SIMONE ELKELES is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series, and How to Ruin series. All three books in the Perfect Chemistry series have been YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers, and the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Simone 2008 Author of the Year. Simone's funny way of looking at the world shines through in novels that are bursting with sarcastic wit, edgy characters, and exhilarating drama. You can find her at www.simoneelkeles.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(34)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Not what I expected

    I read the book in one night and I honestly had to push myself to finish it. I skipped a couple pages because I was so tired of the story line. The story it self wasn't horrible but it dragged on sooo long and could have easily been half as long as she chose to make it. I feel that at the end she just tried to throw Derek's grandmother in the story just to add another character because of the lack of character depth in the story. Derek's mom died and his dad is deployed but the grandmother was actually kind of irrelevant and could have been left out. Also she kept mentioning Ashton's dad and how bad he treated everyone, you would think that he would have a big revelation and try to fix what was broken but nope.. it barely even touched on that. Then once I finally make it through the whole story I don't even get the football game that cleary is supposed to happen between the rival schools. I mean come on, are you seriously gonna drag this story out and not even let them play the game? I really hope she's not trying to make a sequel because seriously it would be a waste of time. I love her stories and I have read all of them. I waited forever for her to finally come out with a new book but this wasn't what I expected

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    Great Read!

    Derek was awesome! He definitely seemed like an awesome guy. He was a little cowardly in going after what he really wanted, but there were many reasons why. That's why it was just meant for him to meet Ashtyn. That girl was freaking tough. This is definitely one to read.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Must read

    As to be expected! Amazing Simone! I could not put this one down either!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Left wanting

    So it was an okay read. It was kind of sweet but also pretty typical.of these types of books.

    I was left wanting more. I felt like instead of 3/4 of the book being about how badly they annoy each other and 1/4 about.their love for.each other it would have turned out better. I like a clean read. I want to know what happens. This book left me with a lot of questions. Makes me wonder if there will be a second book.

    Not as bad as most of the reviews make it out to be. It is cute...not memorable.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Amazing

    Wow thus is such a great book. I couldnt stop reading it! I love the other and everything she writes! This is such a great book and i recommend thos book if you read the Perfect Chemistry series or not. Overall this was and still is an outstanding book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Loved it!!!!

    Simone Elkeles is one of my favorite authors and I was NOT disappointed with this! I could not put down my nook after purchasing this book and am so irritated that I put off reading for so long! I definitely reccomend to everyone who is a fan of Perfect Chemistry

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    I'll admit that I have never read Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemis

    I'll admit that I have never read Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry series, but I have read her lesser known, How To Ruin series, and for me that was enough of a recommendation to read Wild Cards. However, going into Wild Cards, I didn't have any grand delusions, I thought I knew what kind of contemporary story I was getting. I was so underwhelmingly right.




    Wild Cards is almost formulaic. It's everything that I thought it would be and I'm disappointed that it was so. If you're looking for another predictable read, than Wild Cards is your story. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad story, but it's a story that Simone Elkeles has told many times before. 




    Ashtyn and Derek are opposites. At first they hate each other. Then they don't, but they are so different and the obstacles between them seem insurmountable but they're not. The end. 




    I didn't hate it, I just wish there was a little more. Not that I wouldn't the next installment in the series, because I would. Let's face it, I'll eventually read every book that Simone Elkeles has written. Still, I think Wild Cards is worth the read. 




    ARC provided by Publisher at BEA.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    By far a masterpeice

    I was a huge fan of perfect chemistry and the following books but she exceed my expectations with Wild Cards by far her best work! HIGHLY RECOMMENED!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    Really good

    I'll admit it, there were quite a few plot holes and this will never be my favorite book of all time, but I liked it a lot. It was a sweet story with lovable characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Its a must!

    Totally gets you hooked in. Its a love story that nobody would ever imagine.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Anonymous

    This book was better than the other reviews made it out to be. I will admit that the timing upwet me a little. It takes place in the summer and they never end up going to school, i didnt like that. If all of this had taken place in august then into the school year this book would have gotten five stars. Overall a great read i do reccomend it to anyone who is into romance but needs something other that the "tortured soul is mended by innocent girl and they fall in love" type novel. 4.5 STARS!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This book was great!¿the tension between Ashtyn and Derek is def

    This book was great!…the tension between Ashtyn and Derek is defiantly there…I got a little annoyed with Ashtyn through out the book but overall I found the book to be great. Simone Elkeles alway writes great books! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2013

    Loved this book and enjoyed the feisty attitude of Ashtyn. She

    Loved this book and enjoyed the feisty attitude of Ashtyn. She is not totally likeable, but the ;personality was real and her devotion to the sport was admirable. Looking forward to the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! Simone Elkeles has a new fan-girl to

    AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! Simone Elkeles has a new fan-girl to please and that is me! This was my first Elkeles novel and I absolutely adored it! The characters were amazing and completely added to the story overall. I absolutely loved that it was told in both Derek and Ashtyn's POV's because it completely made the story genuine and heartfelt. The romance was completely on key and I couldn't get enough of it. This was a piece of perfection! I will definitely be reading the rest to come in this series and will reading all the other books she has written!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    I loved this book. It was well written and fast moving. Simone i

    I loved this book. It was well written and fast moving. Simone is an excellent writter

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Recommend.

    I loved this book! The humor was great, loved Derek! The story kept me interested, hard to put down. I liked the girl football kicker angle, I liked Ashtyn, she was dedicated yet, a vulunerable teenage girl. The dialogue is great, as was the storyline. I'll read anything Simone Elkeles writes, she is one of my top favorite authors. I recommend this book.
    S.A.K.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books!*** Wild Cards by Sim

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books!***




    Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
    Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
    Publication Date: October 1, 2013
    Rating: 2 stars
    Source: eARC from NetGalley




    Summary (from 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?




    What I Liked:




    First, let me say that I have never read a book by Elkeles, so I don't know if I would like her books, or if it's just this one, or if I would probably dislike all of her books. Before (and after) I read this book, I've heard Elkeles fans say that this book wasn't her best. So, it's not just me. I still might look up some of her older books, and even read some of her upcoming ones if I get the chance.




    Derek's father re-married a really young, bimbo-type woman, who is actually only a bit older than Derek himself. Derek's father is in the Navy, and so he is always away. Derek's stepmother decides to move back to Chicago, and Derek is forced to go with her. In Chicago, the stepmother's sister, Ashtyn, is the only girl who plays on the football team. She's a tomboy, rude, non-girly, and doesn't want anything to do with the yummy Derek, who actually was a football legend himself, years ago.




    I loved Derek in this book. He isn't a "bad boy", though you can tell that was the angle Elkeles was trying to get. He is thoughtful and contemplative, and he fixes sheds and mows the lawn without being told to do so. Also, he does all of that shirtless. YAY for shirtless!




    But seriously. He's a good guy. He's the only reason why I gave this book two stars, and not one. Well, him, and his grandmother. That lady is HILARIOUS.




    Okay, but that's it.




    What I Did Not Like:




    This book really made me want to rip some hair out, or launch it to the next country. Of course, there would be no hair-ripping-out, because I LOVE my hair, and I can't launch the book anywhere, because that would involve launching my Kindle, and I NEED my Kindle.




    Let's start with Ashtyn. Gosh, I hated her SO MUCH. This book is written in alternating first person - between her and Derek. So... we get her inner monologue A LOT. I enjoyed Derek's (for the most part), but not hers. She is selfish, self-absorbed, self-important, all the "self" adjectives I can think of. It is BRUTAL, reading her train of thought. Everything is about her, and her football, and her football camp, and her boyfriend, and her wanting to be with Derek BUT WAIT. She hates him. Right?




    And by the way, what is UP with the football thing?! Okay, to all you feminists, I get it. Women should be able to football with me, blah blah blah. To that, I say WHATEVER. I've always watched football with MEN, and I enjoy the game with MEN. I didn't like the football aspect of the book, because Ashtyn is such a b**** off and on the field, and she makes the sport so pansy in the book.




    Again, feminists. I get it. I'm a female too. But I like football... with men. Ashtyn on the men's football team? Weird. 




    And the football plot was dumb. Ashtyn got picked as team captain. Ashtyn was all mopey because she couldn't go to football camp, but then she could, because it just happened to be in Texas, where Derek is from, and Derek just happened to be summoned to Texas by his grandmother. Ashtyn was bullied and ignored at football camp. You think I feel sorry for her? No, I don't. I still think football - at least on a collegiate/school/professional level - should be played by men. And the football plot was silly. And trivial.




    Ashtyn was also annoying because every five seconds she's like, I don't like Derek one bit. But then, she's like, I think I love him and I want him to stop flirting with my friends and other girls, and I want him to love me and care about me and stay. I want him to build his entire life around me and my football. I'm totally allowed to get mad at Derek because he didn't tell me about him being a football prodigy. IT'S TOTALLY OKAY THAT I'M SO SELFISH!




    Yup, that's Ashtyn. Queen of denial and complaining and selfishness. 




    Derek was bad too - in terms of his inner monologue about Ashtyn. Everything was about Ashtyn, and her bossy attitude, and her hot body, and her life problems that made her so strong. WHAT PROBLEMS DOES SHE HAVE?! It's not like she was uprooted from one state to the other! She has zero "grown-up", "tough" issues to deal with AT ALL. 




    So... I hated the romance, but really because of Ashtyn. She's so controlling and selfish and bossy and she strings Derek along wherever she goes. She blames him when he doesn't tell her things. She gets mad at him ALL THE TIME. Seriously - the bickering NEVER STOPS. It's not even the cute, or chemistry-filled banter. It's like the I-HATE-YOU banter, but you know they are in lust (or love, I guess).




    Ew.




    And the ending is so hunky-dory. Derek decides to stay and follow Ashtyn, as always. He starts doing something that he gave up a long time ago FOR ASHTYN. He drags his grandmother with him, FOR ASHTYN. Everything thing is for f****** Ashtyn and her "perfect" self.




    Excuse me while I barf. I'm finished.




    Would I Recommend It:




    No. Not even to Elkeles fans. Don't do it. This book is ridiculous. The romance is ridiculous. It isn't even steamy! Ugh!




    Rating:




    1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars. Because I liked Derek. He's a good guy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Loved this book! 

    Loved this book! 

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    PERFECT

    I love this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    It is definitely one of my favorite romance novels of all time.

    It is definitely one of my favorite romance novels of all time. I couldn't stop reading it. I love how Simone described the intense, yet passionate and heartfelt love between Derek and Ashtyn. But here are some things that I wish Simone would have included: (1) Improvement in communication between Ashtyn and her father. (2). Derek's father returns home. (3) The rivalry between Fairfield and Fremont on the football field. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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