Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by 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. 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?
Publishes in US: October 1st 2013 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemp
Source: Bloomsbury via Netgalley
Series? Yes. Wild Cards
Author stalk away: ~site
This was a fun and tense contemporary romance. I connected with both characters, and the dual narration gave me access to their thoughts, reasoning, and emotions.
Ashtyn is amazingly tough in the physical sense since she is a female football player. She has faced so many challenges to do what she began to get her father's attention but ended up falling in love with. She's proved herself to her teammates and they trust her and protect her, accept her as one of theirs. I love the easy but deep friendship she has with the guys, especially Vic, who never failed to make me smile.
Derek is a hot cowboy type, who has a lot of pain underneath the surface. He is harboring a lot of guilt in regards to his mom and football, so he quit. After that he couldn't seem to stop getting in trouble, which leaves him following his stepmom from California to a new town--Chicago. It is hard watching him try to fit in, and still keep who he is.
The tension and chemistry between Ashtyn and Derek is palable, and I love every minute of it. They are both holding each other at arm's length though which sometimes I just wanted to smack them and tell them to get on with it.
I really appreciated the family aspect of this one. While neither side was perfect, there were members that I liked. I appreciated that Derek's dad was a navy man, and even though his absence was hard, he is doing it for a good cause, and even though Derek has issues you can tell that his dad did his part when he was home. I love little Julian, he is such a sincere and well done
The ending did feel a little rushed, but I am eagerly awaiting more from these characters.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think girls should be allowed to play football with guys?