By Simone Elkeles
Series: Wild Cards, Book 1
My Rating: 2 Stars
Wild Cards is the first book in Simone Elkeles new Wild Cards series. Known best for her Perfect Chemistry series, Elkeles delves into the lives of high school football players who are on the outskirts of normal. The second book in this series, Total Possession, is due out sometime in 2015.
When bad boy, Derek Fitzpatrick, is expelled from private school he has no choice but to go live with his step mother while his father is deployed. He figures he can bide his time there until he turns 18 and can move out. But she surprises him by moving them back to the home she grew up in on the outskirts of Chicago. Derek is convinced his life is about to implode. In walks Ashtyn, the younger sister of Derek’s stepmother. Ashtyn isn’t the prim and proper girl that is typical at her school. Instead she plays football and hangs with the guys. But when she makes Captain of the team, her life changes and not for the better. When Derek walks into her life there is no end to the amount of annoyance between the two. But in order to get their lives together Derek and Ashtyn will have to learn to coexist and perhaps even like each other in order to get what they want.
I haven’t read any books by Simone Elkeles before and I thought this would be a good place to start. Unfortunately this book didn’t do it for me. Not because it was badly written or that it was a terrible story, I just couldn’t connect with the characters. I liked Derek well enough. He was charming, handsome, quirky and funny. Overall he was fairly complex and well developed. Unfortunately, something about Ashtyn didn’t fit for me. I’m not certain if it she was a poorly developed character or I just couldn’t connect with her in any real way. Was she too different from what I know? Perhaps. I’m still not certain. I’ve pondered it over and over and still can’t pinpoint what it was about her that I didn’t like. At times, she felt like a very strong character but there were times when she was anything but and while that’s not a bad thing, I think it contributed to my dislike for her as a character. I thought I was really going to like this book since I loved the beginning and I thoroughly enjoyed the first interaction between Derek and Ashtyn but after that I just sort of stumbled through the book. I kept hoping I was going to connect more to the characters and the story but sadly, that never happened. I don’t like giving books low ratings but I had to give this book 2 stars. This won’t deter me from reading other books by Elkeles, in fact, I have two of her other series on my to read list. Perhaps my reaction to this book was a fluke. Perhaps I read it at the wrong time. Perhaps the subject wasn’t a right fit for me as a reader. For whatever reason, I’m still eager to read her other books and I hope you will too.