Wild Cards

Wild Cards

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?

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Book #1 in Series

Also known as “Better Than Perfect”

So, Elkeles is back and so is my enjoinment for her books.
I had this fear for a second, that I was becoming a bit too old for her stories, but on a second thought: how can one be too old to have fun, right? That’s impossible! Or so I hope.

I assume that many of you are familiar with Simone’s style – I can’t say that her books are emotionally intense or that one might learn something from them.. It is really not the case. In fact, her books can be a hit or a miss, because they are meant for one’s amusement and entertainment, but we don’t have all the same sense of humour and we don’t like the same kind of books.

On the other hand, from time to time I do enjoy a no-brainer that can sweep me off my feet. a cute story, a sweet story, one that can make me curl up in bed and giggle between sheets like silly. And this pretty one did just that and even more..


..is so beautiful *sigh*
I really can’t wait for this book to come out to have it on my shelf. I fell in love with it the very first time I saw it and I still feel the same. Also I like how it reflects the story-line and for once (while reading) I could imagine the characters looking just like that.


  • ashAsh

Even though I never though of her as a ‘football player’ (not to mention that the first image I got was of ‘soccer’) and even though I didn’t connect much with her fear of being left behind, I did enjoy her company. Her stubbornness made for a few funny moments and her trying to play it cool just as much, and I liked that she tried to stand her ground even when things got messy in her life. It must be tough to be a girl playing for a boy team, it must be hard to keep trying to prove yourself, but her teammates and friends were there for her always, they appreciated her and liked her and they had her back.

“That’s what football is to me. It’s my passion, my life… my escape. When I play, I forget everything that sucks in my life. And when we win…” She looks down like she’s embarrassed to admit what she’s about to reveal. “I know this is going to sound stupid, but when we win I think miracles can happen.”

  • Derek

He was a spoiled brat sometimes, he never took things too seriously (because ‘seriously‘ hurts like hell if you let it), but his jokes were funny (most of the time) and he was a good match for Ash. The author tried to give him this ‘bad boy’ vibe that I didn’t buy and he tried to hide his soft side as hard as he could, still somehow I liked the result. Not in the very beginning really, but I am always on for comedy and his interactions with Ash cracked me up. I loved that he tried to help her & protect her, and I also liked that they were teasing each-other and fighting the cutest fights.

  • Derek’s step-brother

I love kids for their sincerity and cuteness, and I love them even more in books. Elkeles has the most wonderful kids in her stories, and I always find myself laughing like crazy and I want to hug them to sleep.

[Derek:] “It looks worse than it is,” I tell him. “I promise.”
[Julian:] “Did you get into a fight?”
[Derek:] “Yep.”
[Julian:] “I think you lost.”

derekWhen it comes to Simone’s books there is always some sort of insta-atraction. Still, things grow slowly through the book, as the situation is a bit complicated (I am not even sure how things might work in real life as Derek is sort of Ash’s grown up nephew). The characters have also to fix some of their own problems in order to be together


4 full stars – I am not sure it’s well deserved as I did have a bit of troubles with the beginning and the ending, but the cuteness of this story won me over. I kept laughing and overall having a great time reading this story and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the series.

Happy midnight reading!

Early review: ARC received for review. Thank you very much!

Wild Cards Episodes

Wild Cards Episode Nr. 1

Wild Cards Episode Nr. 2

Wild Cards Episode Nr. 3

Wild Cards Episode Nr. 4

Also known as “Better than Perfect”

(paperback edition)


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9 responses to “Wild Cards”

  1. Perfect Chemistry is by my favorite YA book and one of my favorite all time reads EVER but I’ve never loved another Elkeles book with the same capacity. Maybe because I read PC before I was a serious reader and my tastes have changed since I started blogging and read more from her but it’s something I don’t like to think about too hard because I don’t want the answer to disappoint me. However, I’m definitely picking this up because in end, who doesn’t like a feel-good story?

    • Ari says:

      That was one of my first YA stories too, and you are right, maybe that’s why it holds a special spot in my heart. I feel the same about her other books – I can’t like them quite as much as I liked Perfect Chemistry. *sigh * This one falls somewhere between Rules of Attraction and Chain Reaction (for me closer to the first one) and I hope that you will enjoy it too 😉

  2. Anna says:

    I simply can’t wait for this book! I love ELkeles!!

  3. Lissa says:

    Finally a new book from Simone. 2 more days of waiting, I can’t wait for it. I wish I could switch places with you just for a few hours, LOL!

  4. Maria says:

    Hey just wondering how your blog became so popular , how did you advertise it? I’m just starting out. Any tips ?


    • Ari says:

      I don’t quite advertise it. There are people that come and go for the reviews and there are book-friends that come back once in a while to check what’s new.
      If you think about it, it’s not that popular either, but it’s my happy place where I lay down all my thoughts about the books I like.
      Have fun with your blog!

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