Want to get lost for a day on a good YA romance? Do you feel the need to have happy thoughts and a real big smile when you close the cover (or power off the e-reader)? Have I got a book and an author for you…
Simone Elkeles was the first author I read when I got roped into reading a YA contemporary romance. Specifically, it was Perfect Chemistry. Man, that book rocked my socks off….
Ms. Elkeles is back with her signature writing style, a leading couple that has what seems like conflicting personalities / goals, and a story with supporting characters that you just KNOW will show up eventually in a book of their own. Sounds stale and boring? Not at all when you know what kind of book you want – a book you just want to relax to, kick back and fall in love with love. And that’s what Ms. Elkeles is awesome at writing!
Story / Tempo
In Wild Cards, Ms. Elkeles writes in dual POV and as I’ve said a million times, I LOVE dual POV!!! We’re first introduced to Derek where he’s in the process of getting kicked out his private school (oops). Then we’re introduced to Ashtyn in her world on the football field during an early summer practice. Back and forth we’re taken between Derek and Ashtyn as they grudgingly weave their lives together.
I was kind of surprised that this story took place during the entire summer BEFORE school starts in the fall. So if you’re looking for a showdown between our Fremont Rebels and the “bad guys”, Fairfield, you’ll be disappointed. From the synopsis, I kind of expected the story to end with the big game. But it wasn’t that at all. But I enjoyed the story to get to where Derek and Ashtyn ended all the much more because there WAS so much more to their story than just a simple “Derek plays in the big game” – trust me, that’s not a spoiler :D
I liked Ashtyn, she was all fight and sass with a vulnerability of a girl who’s never really been in love before. She’s had very little love in her life to this point and she’s like a stray dog, starving for affection. But she fights that vulnerability with her spit fire tomboy side. Since she’s had very little of anything in her life, she knows that when she gets the attention, affection, and love she deserves, she doesn’t want it to be a one night stand. She wants it to be mean something and be for keeps.
Derek is the complete opposite, or likes to cling to the hope that he is and forever will be the opposite. He’s a typical boy and has been around the girls a time or two. He wants nothing more from girls that to just have fun, no strings attached. And although he’s “sold” in the synopsis as the bad boy, I don’t think he really is as bad as he could be (think Alex or Carlos Fuentes in the Perfect Chemistry series, if you’ve read it).
Obviously these kids will never get together because they are so different and headed in different directions. But it’s patent Simone Elkeles to illustrate for us that in truth, these two lovebirds could be more alike than we originally thought.
Ms. Elkeles always has the best supporting characters in her books and Wild Cards is no exception. Look for fellow teammates of Ashtyn’s to steal the show, as well as a member of Derek’s immediate family.
I spent an entire Sunday getting lost in the suburbs of Chicago with Derek and Ashtyn and I had the most relaxing Sunday! I even smiled when I closed the book. I will be continuing with this series and I hope word about the second book gets out soon!
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