Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wild Cards by @SimoneElkeles

Author: Simone Elkeles
Narrators:  Amy Rubinate & Kirby Heyborne 
Title: Wild Cards
Series: Wild Cards #1
Publication: October 1, 2013
Length: 8 hrs, 53 mins
Format: Audio CD & Print
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Library
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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?

I started listening to this in the car but ended up reading it. Why? I needed more immediate gratification. The audio is great; Rubinate's and Heyborne's portrayal of the characters translation is wonderful. The audio production is clear without any distracting noises and I think this book actually works well as an audio.

 Ashtyn's an unusual girl; she plays football and has proven that she's a worthy teammate. Her determination to not give in to the pressure and keep pushing motivates her team whether she realizes it or not...they have come to respect her. She joins the team as a way to connect to a father that is physically there but emotionally absent. Then one day, her sister comes home with a nice surprise, her son-in-law, Derek. He has the southern charm that could melt socks off a bear but not Ashtyn. She just can't figure him out and he'd much like to keep his past to himself. What begins as an agreement to stay out of each other’s way becomes a sweet romance that I think anyone will enjoy. This is actually the first book that I've read by Elkeles and I'm glad it was this one. I enjoyed her writing style and the way the story flows. The author treats the characters situations and their emotional angst in a way that is both realistic and believable. Overall, I liked the book and look forward to reading the next one. 

Couldn't put it down!

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