[ARC Review] Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Hey guys!! I’m back 😉 My midterm exams are over now but I still have a few assignments I need to do by the end of the week (and some tests on Wednesday and Thursday) so probably I won’t be too active these days. Well, at least I’m not on a hiatus anymore! Next week is my midterm break so I’m really excited to tackle my TBR pile! For now, here’s a review of Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles:


Wild Cards
(Wild Cards #1)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker BFYR
Publication Date: October 1st, 2013
Pages: 342 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Contemporary, Romance

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?
Thank you Netgalley and Bloomsbury UK & ANZ for the review copy! This doesn’t affect my opinions or review in any ways.


Despite highly enjoying Wild Cards, I can’t overlook the fact that there were some cliches in the book that probably wouldn’t appeal to some readers out there. But on the bright side, Wild Cards has hilarious banters that had me chuckling and giggling!

“This is not happening. I hope I’m living in some kind of realistic nightmare and I’ll wake up any minute.”

Derek Fitzpatrick gets expelled from school after pulling off a prank and caught by the principal. He ends up moving to Chicago with his step-aunt and step-brother and spends his summer there. Little does he know that his step-mom has a sister who happens to be a tomboy and bossy football player. Our Derek over here is just like other bad boys out there: sarcastic and good-looking with tragic past. And EVERYONE/EVERY GIRL just falls in love with him. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of originality here. His character did gradually grow on me a bit throughout the book, but I admit that I wanted to pull my hair out a few times due to his stupid actions.

But fortunately, the one that makes this book a bit different from other cliched tales out there is the “good girl” who is actually a tough football player! Yeah, that’s Ashtyn Parker! She may be a tough football player and is used to hanging out with boys but deep inside, she’s STILL a girl. She isn’t those kinds of girls who constantly want to be saved when facing difficulty. Despite the tough image she always tries to display, her innocence just irked me at times. And I was like ughhh girl, just get over it! To make matters worse, both characters seem to be magnet for their opposite gender. I mean, every boy seems to be hitting on Ashtyn cause she happens to have a nice body while the girls are all over Derek touching him whenever they can and both of them are also jealous whenever they see the other one being flirted with.

“I don’t have much, and I don’t ask for much. You’re my last hope.”

The plot was honestly a bit predictable but OMG… The romance… <3 Now, if you’re wondering why I am swooning over the romance which could be classified as “bad boy meets good tough girl” and the insta-attraction (well, not insta-love please put this in mind!) might not appeal to some readers but oh well, the chemistry CHEMISTRY PEOPLE. Simone Elkeles definitely knows how to write a sizzling romance! I didn’t like the relationship at first since I found it too awkward (duhh… Derek is Ashtyn’s step-nephew) but eventually, I was like awww they’re so good together!

Wild Cards was hilarious and highly enjoyable, I ended up rooting for the main characters to get together already! Some negative points just can’t be overlooked, so in the end, I think Wild Cards can either be a hit or miss. But it was definitely a perfect entertainment for me.

Note: Quotes are taken from eARC edition so no guarantee that they won’t be altered or removed from the finished copy.

8 thoughts on “[ARC Review] Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles”

  1. Oh no – I saw the word “cliche,” and I knew I wouldn’t want to read this book. It’s horrible of me to think that way, I know, but after having seen some pretty negative reviews for this, and after knowing that the cliches in it will probably annoy me to no end, I really have no intention of putting myself through that torture. But I’m still glad you were able to enjoy the book overall, Kezia!

    Our Derek over here is just like other bad boys out there: sarcastic and good-looking with tragic past. And EVERYONE/EVERY GIRL just falls in love with him.” – I can’t imagine anyone not sighing with disappointment about this! I’ve never understood what was so great about bad boys, particularly those with troubled pasts. It’s not only their jerk attitudes that get to me. I just dislike them in general because they think they’re THE shiz. *eyeroll*

    Oh, lol. The typical guy and girl magnets. A really convenient way to add in more drama! I’m glad that despite all this, the romance was still outstanding, and thank GOD there isn’t any insta-love! Or else it would’ve ruined everything. I haven’t read any of Simone’s books, but at least now I know that she really does know how to write sexy romance! But ew, Derek is Ahstyn’s step-NEPHEW? Isn’t he supposed to be younger, then? O_O

    I don’t think I’ll be reading this, but your review was entertaining enough! I’ll definitely keep the rest of Simone’s books in mind if I’m ever looking for something swoony. Lovely review, Kezia!

    1. Yes! The highlight of the book is definitely the swoony romance! Some cliches annoyed me but thank God I managed to enjoy this.

      Derek IS Ashtyn’s step-nephew but they’re in the same age so I guess it’s not THAT disgusting! But if I haven’t read the book and heard that he’s Ashtyn’s step-nephew…well that’s AWKWARD ><

  2. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll read this because the characters sounds similar to almost all of the young adult books I’ve read. It DOES sound cliché which I don’t like in books. The female protagonist reminds me of the female protagonist in Miranda Kenneally’s novel called Stealing Parker where she plays football so that doesn’t really wow me.

    I do like the sound of the romance though, and that it’s a funny book.

  3. Eh I don’t know if I would like this. I really loved the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles but this ones just sounds bad. I hate the cliche part and where you said they both attract the opposite sex a lot. I’m more for a cutie kinda romance I guess? Good review Kezia and I’m so happy you’re back 😀

  4. I did find this book really typical but I still enjoyed it like you did because, well, it was fun and kept my grinning like a fool!

    Lovely review, Kezia! <33

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