By: Simone Elkeles
Expected Publication Date: September 24, 2013 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from Netgalley, received from publisher for review
(Goodreads / Amazon)
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.My Review:
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?
In an effort to start knocking out the growing list of ARC's I've been given this year, I jumped into this book after finishing The Vincent Boys series by Abbi Glines. Anyone who is a fan of Abbi's knows that she is from Alabama and is a huge Alabama Crimson Tide football fan. Her love of football carry's over into her books and often times her MC's will be football players, love football or go to college at an SEC school. It seemed only natural for me to go on and read Wild Cards, which also has a football theme (granted it takes place in the Big Ten conference), though slightly different with the GIRL MC being the one who plays football. How unique, right?! It wasn't until after I started reading this that I realized the girl MC in Wild Cards shares the same name as the girl MC in The Vincent Boys #1 - however the spelling is a tad different. Coincidence? Add to all of this a bad boy hottie and this sounded like a book I HAD to read.
I was not disappointed in any way with this book! Football themed which I really enjoyed, but not overly so, romance too, and a dog named Falkor (which totally reminded me of the dog from The Never Ending Story). The story even had me tear up a few times.
1. Although minor I did have a couple of dislikes. The dialogue seemed to run into each other too much and it was hard sometimes knowing who was speaking when. Perhaps it was a formatting issue since it's an ARC copy.
2. Taking a trip to Texas because Ashtyn has a football camp to attend and Derek has a grandmother there is slightly unbelievable to me. Let me explain. Texas is a HUGE state, and not once is it ever mentioned where in Texas these two events take place. Is the reader just supposed to assume that they coincidentally happen to be near each other? That seemed a little far fetched to me.
3. Did I miss something? Isn't the Elite camp supposed to be in Texas, which is close to where Derek's grandmother lives also in Texas? Then why does it reference at the end of the book about a trip to Arizona on the way to the Elite camp? (loc 3067 of 3130, 98% through)
"When you love something as much as I love football, you just feel it inside."
"That's what football is to me. It's my passion, my life...my escape."
"Did she have to pull out the "bless her heart" phrase again? Those words are like a loaded gun in Texas, where that phrase could either be an insult or a term of endearment depending on the tone or intent."
"Every time I'm near her, I want to push her away and pull her close at the same time."
Final Rating - 4.5 stars
This post is part of a new feature on Words Fueled by Love called ARC Thursday.