Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)

First Lines: Getting caught wasn’t part of the plan.  Pulling off a prank so epic that it’d  be talked about for decades was.

I first read Simone Elkeles when I was in high school and I just loved the stories.  There was something about them that felt so real.  I added this to my to-read list the moment I saw it.

Derek never planned on getting kicked out of his ritzy boarding school.  If he’d known that getting kicked out would mean moving to Chicago with his ditzy stepmother while his dad was away on military business, he wouldn’t have pulled that prank.  Now, he’s just counting the days until he can move out on his own.  Ashtyn is used to people leaving her without a backward glance.  She hopes that a football scholarship is her ticket away from those who don’t care about her.  She pours everything into the game…until her boyfriend and their star QB betrays them.  Ashtyn’s new game plan involves trusting Derek, someone she knows was born to break the rules.  Is Derek everything Ashtyn’s been looking for?

When I found out this was about football, and a girl playing football at that, I was all over this in a hot second.  I love football, but I’d never have the guts to play it myself.  I was living vicariously through Ashtyn, and I willingly admit it.  What else are books for?

So when I actually got to the romance part (and you know that this is a love story just looking at the cover), it didn’t feel quite right.  I don’t exactly want to say why, though.  Just suffice it to say that I felt from the get-go that the romance was a little weird, made weirder by the fact that no one acknowledged it was weird.  It was really all I could think about the whole time.

And the ending.  That was a cheeseball with an extra coating of cheese.  It felt like it was going for the happy ending rather than being true to the characters.  I wasn’t really a fan of that.  I read it three times to make sure I was reading it right, and I was.  It was kind of ridiculous.

But even through it all, I admit that I was sucked into the story.  There are some very interesting elements to it.  I loved all the football talk and practices.  I loved Derek’s pranks.  Ashtyn was a cool character, as was Derek.  Individually, they were great characters.  I just didn’t really feel like they should have been together.  Not a good thing to feel in a romance novel.

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