caren reads.

Wild Cards

WILD CARDS - Simone Elkeles Having enjoyed another of Simone's books, I decided to give this one a look. Especially after reading the blurb about this being similar to Friday Night Lights. I'm a pretty big football fan, and I was a pretty big FNL fan, too...so yeah, this book was definitely for me.Going in, I immediately liked Derek, a high-school kid turned prankster who's just been expelled from school for setting pigs loose at graduation. Which puts a definite a kink in his summer plans because he soon realizes he has no choice but to move across the country with his new step mom, Brandi, and her son, Julian. Which is where we meet Ashtyn. Who just happens to be Brandi's little sister, and the girl who's just been voted captain of her high school football team.Ashtyn and Derek have an almost immediate spark. I mean, she stabs him with a freakin' pitchfork and locks him in a shed after mistaking him for a thug. It was pretty funny. And Derek, being the calm, cool and collected southern boy, takes it all in stride. Throughout the a lot of the book, this is how their interactions go. She bitches; he laughs at her. In a cute way. I liked it. And I thought they bantered pretty well together. All in all, I liked this book. It was a quick, easy read that didn't require much to keep up with and ended well (even without an epilogue).I did, however, have a few complaints. First, I felt like there was a little too much tell and not nearly enough show here. I like to make my own assumptions based on characters' actions, not have things told to me over and over so I'll believe it. In this case, it was Derek being a bad-boy. He wasn't a bad-boy at all. I saw him as a sweet guy with a snarky attitude and about five million pounds of guilt on his shoulders, but that's about it. And Ashtyn...she kept insisting she was the chick who didn't whine, complain or cause drama, yet she caused a lot of it. And after she realized she liked Derek, she whined a lot. Which annoyed me a lot.The second thing was definitely the whole we've-only-seen-each-other-for-five-seconds-but-I-think-I-LOOOOOVE-you vibe. I mean, I realize they're teenagers. But when I was seventeen it so wasn't like that. Maybe at fourteen, yeah. Not seventeen. But hey, this is fiction, and it is a romance. So I dealt with it because I was invested in the story. I do wish there'd been more football and less dramalama, but Simone still pulled me into these characters' lives and like I said before, I enjoyed it. I adored Derek, and Julian and of course, Grandmother. Even though I was afraid she would be an uber-bitch, she turned out to be a total teddy bear, which I think was absolutely perfect.So yeah, if you're looking for something easy with some cute moments and a little bit of football, you'll probably enjoy this one.

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