Better Than Perfect

Better Than Perfect

by Simone Elkeles


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A fresh and fun repackage of Wild Cards, Better Than Perfect launches a romantic new series from New York Times bestselling author Simone Elkeles.

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802737250
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 08/05/2014
Series: Wild Cards Novel Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 144,205
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

SIMONE ELKELES is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Perfect Chemistry series, Leaving Paradise series, How to Ruin series, and Crossing the Line. 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.


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Better Than Perfect 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Dazzlamb More than 1 year ago
Derek and Ashtyn are yet another of Simone Elkeles' impulsive pairings who have to go a long way to finally disclose their feelings for each other. They are both quite hot tempered and very stubborn in their own ways. As always it was a pleasure to witness one of Simone Elkeles' turbulent romances evolve. Derek might be introduced as the bad boy who breaks every girl's heart, but his true side is much more vulnerable and relaxed than anyone outside of his family would ever see. He and Ashtyn both have moving pasts that are constantly coming back to them and majorly affect their present and future together. Their living situation, Ashtyn and Derek in the same house, leads to a delicious attraction and constant electricity between the two of them. Them getting together would be so much more complicated for the whole family. There's also a thrilling and sneaky side to it that makes it so much more of a fun game both of them can't resist to play. You'll also love the scenes circling around their patchwork family life. There's always something going on at their house that should keep you entertained in between very fulfilling make-out sessions and the rivalry with another football team. Football's a huge part of Ashytn's life as it's her only hope to finally get away from her hometown and her dad. It's her great passion and Derek isn't a stranger to the sport either. I grew to like the sport very much in Miranda Keneally's CATCHING JORDAN and was happy to see football and especially the reality of female players with serious talent getting some more attention in Simone Elkeles newest YA book, too. WILD CARDS had very much the same feel to it like Simone's previous three Fuentes books, without the Spanish cultural background, yet not missing the hot tempered relationships. Simone Elkeles supplies us with a male and female perspective on the story. It's one of Simone's best writing traits, considering the need of so many readers to be in both of her characters' heads. And I definitely needed to be in Derek's head at some points during the story or I might not have cared about him as much as I did in the end (very much!). 4,5/5 ****/* WILD CARDS – An absorbing and energizing new YA game. I expected no less than a very unpredictable love story, a couple with fiery tempers. A road trip, an unforgettable first meeting and an alluring story line should be argument enough to convince not only the football fans to pick up WILD CARDS. Very pleased to see there's already a second book in this series in work.
smeadows More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As to be expected! Amazing Simone! I could not put this one down either!
MyHeartHeartsBooks More than 1 year ago
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.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***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.
bookloverLM More than 1 year ago
Better than perfect in my eyes is better than perfect. I love this book I just got it yesterday and I have read it 2 times already.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!!
Book_Bite_Reviews More than 1 year ago
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!!
SueUT More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was well written and fast moving. Simone is an excellent writter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Laylawniey 7 months ago
I could read the book over and over again. Which I have. I love the transition between the characters POV in every chapter. The story in itself is sweet and grasping. I love the tension between them, and the little things that show the growth between them two. The story is so intriguing I feel myself angry or happy with the characters. I really wish there would be a sequel to this book. 10/10 recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book by Simone! I've been re-reading all of her books and love them all just as much the 2nd time as I did the first.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! Everything was very well written, and Derek was so freaking dreamy
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