Published October 1st 2013
by Walker Books for Young Readers
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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?
I really enjoyed this book. The only thing I didn't like about it was your typical YA/NA rundown. Girls meets boy, girl falls for boy, girl hates boy, girl fights attraction for boy, then girl gives in and loves boy. But even though this rundown was predictable, I enjoyed her writing. Simone writes very well, so that I can let go of whatever predication I already made. And because her writing is so good, she made it easy to picture each scene in my head.
I really liked Ashtyn and Derek. I loved Derek's personality. He was very much a joker a prankster. And Ashtyn was a very strong character. Strong enough that she was named Captain of the football team in her school. But I enjoyed Derek's and Ashtyn's page time and their scenes together. I especially enjoyed it more when their guards were down. Sparks flew when they let themselves enjoy each other's company. At one point I put the book down because their scene was so intimate that it actually made me miss my own babe. LOL. I know I'm crazy. But that's how good she writes.
Ashtyn went through a lot in her life and I was happy to see how things turned around for her. Derek also had lots of loss in his life. He lost his mom and hasn't really gotten over her death. I really liked all the characters in the story. Even Ashtyn's sister grew on me. I especially liked Derek's grandmother. I thought she was going to your typical rich snob. But she wasn't. She knew she messed up with Derek and her daughter (his mom) but she stepped up. She definitely redeemed herself for all the wrong she did before. Thankfully Simone stepped out the box when it came to her.
Overall this book was very enjoyable. The next Wild Cards in sequel will be about a player named Victor. He seemed a bit secretive. But very much devoted to Ashtyn. So I can't wait to see what she has in store for us. I give Wild Cards a 4.5 stars and it's definitely a Good Choice for Reading.