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Format: Format Kindle
Wild Cards was very... meh.
I started the book on good terms. Derek seemed like a troublemaker, but a decent enough guy, and Ashtyn was a cool, tough, tomboy-ish girl. She was apparently really good at football, laid back, and kind of one of the guys. But then this happened:
* Derek wasn't a bad boy at all. He constantly thought he was, but there was no evidence to support that whatsoever.
* Ashtyn became clingy, needy, annoying, and a little pathetic.
* The football plot was very lacking.
There was so much telling when it came to all of the characters. We're told that Derek is a bad boy, Ashtyn decides that he only likes one night stands, and Derek tells us that he's not good enough for Ashtyn. But... All Derek does throughout the entire book is be courteous to Ashtyn (except for one occasion), mow the lawn, and completely rebuild Ashtyn's broken down shed (without her even asking him to). That's really.... nice of him.
Then we're told that Ashtyn is a great football player, that she gets along well with the guys, and that she's really laid back. She isn't the clingy, needy girlfriend type. But, we never actually see her play football well. All she does is run a few drills. Even at the end when she had a chance to kick butt, she didn't.. at all. It was a HUGE letdown. And her crush on Derek was honestly a little pathetic. Ashtyn became everything she said she wasn't (clingy, needy, and annoying). She constantly gave Derek a hard time whenever a girl flirted with him (as if she owned him), she wasn't even dating Derek and yet she burned with jealousy when her friend flirted with him a little, and she couldn't be away from him for even a few days.
But what drove me the craziest and gave me whiplash, was their constant fighting and bickering. It was exhausting. Derek and Ashtyn fight the ENTIRE book. All they do is insult each other and bicker over such stupid things. But the worst part about that, was the dual point of view. We'd read Ashtyn's chapter and it would go like this:
"OMG I HATE DEREK! ...But actually, he's so hot... I'm so attracted to him. I totally love him. But OMG wait, I can't tell Derek that. I can't possibly ever tell him, because he'd never feel the same way. He only likes one night stands. But gosh.. I love him so much."
Then we'd read Derek's chapter:
"Ugh, that Sweetie Pie Ashtyn gives me hell all the time. Her lips are so damn kissable though. Why can't I stop thinking about her? I have to get these thoughts out of my head because I'm not good enough for her. I can't be the man she wants me to be. She'd never like me anyway, she hates me. But wow, she's amazing. She's so gorgeous. I want to pummel that guy just for checking her out."
** Note: These quotes are paraphrased, they're not actual quotes. **
And it was like that OVER and OVER again. It was so frustrating to read how they were both crazy about each other, but both assumed the other one wasn't so they refused to say anything about it. For the ENTIRE book. But since I was privy to both their thoughts, it was just frustrating for me! I wanted to tell them to shut up and get together already.
And the fact that they spent the whole book fighting and bickering means there was insta-love. Ashtyn and Derek don't date. Ever. They don't talk; they only fight. They never sit down and have a real genuine conversation. They do actually go out together once, but it's not a real date because it was to settle a bet. And yet, at one point, Ashtyn goes on about how she's in love with Derek. IN LOVE?? Seriously? She's never even had a real conversation with the guy! They just fight all the freaking time because when they first met Ashtyn decided that Derek was a jerk(even though he's really not...).
The end of the book just got even worse. I wasn't hating the book until the end, when things went downhill. So many weird things happened that I thought were unrealistic. In general, the ending just felt kind of lame and cheesy, but also unsatisfying.
The only reason I'm giving Wild Cards 2 stars instead of 1 is because I didn't hate the beginning and there were a few lines that made me laugh.
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- Publié sur Amazon.com
***Review posted on The Eater of Books!***
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
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?
What I Liked:
First, let me say that I have never read a book by Elkeles, so I don't know if I would like her books, or if it's just this one, or if I would probably dislike all of her books. Before (and after) I read this book, I've heard Elkeles fans say that this book wasn't her best. So, it's not just me. I still might look up some of her older books, and even read some of her upcoming ones if I get the chance.
Derek's father re-married a really young, bimbo-type woman, who is actually only a bit older than Derek himself. Derek's father is in the Navy, and so he is always away. Derek's stepmother decides to move back to Chicago, and Derek is forced to go with her. In Chicago, the stepmother's sister, Ashtyn, is the only girl who plays on the football team. She's a tomboy, rude, non-girly, and doesn't want anything to do with the yummy Derek, who actually was a football legend himself, years ago.
I loved Derek in this book. He isn't a "bad boy", though you can tell that was the angle Elkeles was trying to get. He is thoughtful and contemplative, and he fixes sheds and mows the lawn without being told to do so. Also, he does all of that shirtless. YAY for shirtless!
But seriously. He's a good guy. He's the only reason why I gave this book two stars, and not one. Well, him, and his grandmother. That lady is HILARIOUS.
Okay, but that's it.
What I Did Not Like:
This book really made me want to rip some hair out, or launch it to the next country. Of course, there would be no hair-ripping-out, because I LOVE my hair, and I can't launch the book anywhere, because that would involve launching my Kindle, and I NEED my Kindle.
Let's start with Ashtyn. Gosh, I hated her SO MUCH. This book is written in alternating first person - between her and Derek. So... we get her inner monologue A LOT. I enjoyed Derek's (for the most part), but not hers. She is selfish, self-absorbed, self-important, all the "self" adjectives I can think of. It is BRUTAL, reading her train of thought. Everything is about her, and her football, and her football camp, and her boyfriend, and her wanting to be with Derek BUT WAIT. She hates him. Right?
And by the way, what is UP with the football thing?! Okay, to all you feminists, I get it. Women should be able to football with me, blah blah blah. To that, I say WHATEVER. I've always watched football with MEN, and I enjoy the game with MEN. I didn't like the football aspect of the book, because Ashtyn is such a b**** off and on the field, and she makes the sport so pansy in the book.
Again, feminists. I get it. I'm a female too. But I like football... with men. Ashtyn on the men's football team? Weird.
And the football plot was dumb. Ashtyn got picked as team captain. Ashtyn was all mopey because she couldn't go to football camp, but then she could, because it just happened to be in Texas, where Derek is from, and Derek just happened to be summoned to Texas by his grandmother. Ashtyn was bullied and ignored at football camp. You think I feel sorry for her? No, I don't. I still think football - at least on a collegiate/school/professional level - should be played by men. And the football plot was silly. And trivial.
Ashtyn was also annoying because every five seconds she's like, I don't like Derek one bit. But then, she's like, I think I love him and I want him to stop flirting with my friends and other girls, and I want him to love me and care about me and stay. I want him to build his entire life around me and my football. I'm totally allowed to get mad at Derek because he didn't tell me about him being a football prodigy. IT'S TOTALLY OKAY THAT I'M SO SELFISH!
Yup, that's Ashtyn. Queen of denial and complaining and selfishness.
Derek was bad too - in terms of his inner monologue about Ashtyn. Everything was about Ashtyn, and her bossy attitude, and her hot body, and her life problems that made her so strong. WHAT PROBLEMS DOES SHE HAVE?! It's not like she was uprooted from one state to the other! She has zero "grown-up", "tough" issues to deal with AT ALL.
So... I hated the romance, but really because of Ashtyn. She's so controlling and selfish and bossy and she strings Derek along wherever she goes. She blames him when he doesn't tell her things. She gets mad at him ALL THE TIME. Seriously - the bickering NEVER STOPS. It's not even the cute, or chemistry-filled banter. It's like the I-HATE-YOU banter, but you know they are in lust (or love, I guess).
And the ending is so hunky-dory. Derek decides to stay and follow Ashtyn, as always. He starts doing something that he gave up a long time ago FOR ASHTYN. He drags his grandmother with him, FOR ASHTYN. Everything thing is for f****** Ashtyn and her "perfect" self.
Excuse me while I barf. I'm finished.
Would I Recommend It:
No. Not even to Elkeles fans. Don't do it. This book is ridiculous. The romance is ridiculous. It isn't even steamy! Ugh!
1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars. Because I liked Derek. He's a good guy.