Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publication: October 1st, 2013
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Rating: 4 out 5

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Synopsis: 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?


Another great book by Simone Elkeles. Let's break the book down, shall we?

Derek's Story

Derek is the male main character. He's the type of person who doesn't care about anything. His mother died of cancer and he never really got over it. His new stepmother is over 10 years younger and very, very ditzy. She's the valley girl type who says "like" in sentences. That is, like, so total valley girl. Derek gets kicked out of private school for a prank gone wrong, and the step mother ends up shipping him and her toddler son to her fathers place in Chicago. When they move in he meets a girl who's his age - Ashtyn - and finds out she's his step mothers sister. Dun, dun, DUUUUUUN! Let the sexual tension ensue!

Derek is hot, funny, and carefree. Simone likes to point out how ripped he is whenever Ashtyn is around him. To me, this is fine; I love imagining his body! I really feel bad for him when he tells the readers about his past. His mother seemed like a wonderful woman and knowing Derek was watching her die from cancer slowly is horrible. I couldn't imagine going through something like that.

He goes through women like tissues and explains in the book - multiple times - that he doesn't like commitment and stays away from it. This is where Ashtyn comes in.

Ashtyn's Story

Ashtyn is the female main character and the complete opposite as Derek. She's quick to judge, moody, aggressive, and eats candy for breakfast. On the other hand she's compassionate, hopeless romantic, and loyal to her teammates and family. Ashtyn plays football for her school and gets voted caption of the team. Her boyfriend is resentful and ends up switching schools because he wanted to be the team leader and doesn't believe she deserves it. All Ashtyn wants is to be included with the guys and have a serious relationship. Her teammates have her back and give support when people try to knock her down because she's a girl. She's strong-willed and fights for what she loves: Football. Her mother left the family without a backward glance, her older sister left when she was 18 without a backward glance, and her father checked out emotionally without a backward glance. She's feels the need to be secure and find someone that won't leave like everyone else in her life.

Now, I'm a little iffy on how I feel about Ashtyn. I respect her courage, strong personality, smarts, and how she fights for what she loves. Derek says - over and over again - that he's only good for a one night stand and will probably leave in the future. Through the whole book she keeps thinking he'll change, but he always ends up saying "guuuuuuuuurl please." (or something like that) and she's always ends up heart broken. On one hand I understand where she's coming from with the abandonment issues, but on the other hand Derek isn't into playing games and tells her straight what's going to happen and she doesn't listen. She's a character I like that can be annoying.

The Writing

Simone is very witty with writing banter. The scene when Derek and Ashtyn first meet was hilarious! The characters connect really well, and I enjoy not only the banter but the emotional aspect. They grow through out the book and you root for the changes that are being made. I take away one star because it ended very abruptly. I felt like Simone wanted the book to end at a certain point so she tied everything up as fast as possible. The book could have definitely been a tad longer and nothing would be drawn out too long. The ARC is only 290 pages, and Perfect Chemistry was 357. I would love to see some more growth before everything ends.

I received a copy of this book for an exchange of an honest review. That in no way has influenced my review.


Awesome review! I am so excited to read this book! I love Simone's books! Perfect Chemistry, Leaving Paradise, and How to Ruin series are all so good. <3

I haven't heard much about this book, but I have heard a ton about the author. Knowing that the female MC plays football is enough for me to want to check out this story. Love that!

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What is Twilight?


  1. The soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon, caused by the reflection of the sun's rays from the atmosphere.
  2. The period of the evening during which this takes place, between daylight and darkness.
dusk - gloaming - nightfall

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