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jenryland

jenryland

WILD CARDS - Simone Elkeles Full review will be on my blog, YA Romantics,on September 26. Plus, I'll give away my ARC on September 27!If you've read any books by Simone Elkeles, you know that she's great at writing steamy, forbidden YA relationships -- drawing out the tension and amping up the emotion. She also offers up diverse and authentic-seeming teen characters. Wild Cards has all of these trademark elements. The emotional aspect of this book really worked for me. Derek's anguish over the loss of his mother was particularly moving. Plus, Simone Elkeles is a master of writing sexual tension. Derek's attracted to Ashtyn, she has a boyfriend, and the two of them are living in close quarters. I also liked the dual narration and I think that Simone Elkeles also writes guy narration particularly well. I'm not a football fan, so I'll leave the discussion of this book's football elements to those who are. But I was surprised that a book about a female football player actually had very little football games as part of the story. Ashtyn is a kicker, so maybe she's not a huge part of the game? I don't know. However, here was a part of the book where Ashtyn was the only girl at football camp, and I thought the portrayal of the special accommodations the camp had to make for her -- and the hostility and outright sabotage she suffers -- both interesting and heartbreaking.At times I felt that Derek and Ashtyn's plot lines worked against one another. There's a reveal about Derek near the end that, for me, ended up limiting Ashtyn's opportunity to have the triumphant moment that I'd been waiting for. I felt that the reveal that Derek was not just a football player himself, but one of the best quarterbacks around, really limited Ashtyn's ability to shine as a female athlete. I was really wishing that after Landon left the team, she would have the chance to rally the guys (who, after all, voted her captain) and help them play to the best of their ability as a team. I was a little disappointed that the ending handed her a boyfriend to rescue her instead of letting her shine on her own.