Monday, January 13, 2014

YA Book Pick: Wild Cards

Once a month, we choose an outstanding YA book to review. We want to spotlight books of interest to aspiring writers, as well as highlight some of our favorite books and authors!

This month's Book Pick is WILD CARDS, by Simone Elkeles.

Synopsis (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?

First Line:. "Getting caught wasn’t part of the plan." Intriguing, but not wholly original proving that a very first line doesn't necessarily have to be overwrought with too many fresh images, or deep truth. Sometimes it's nice to start with a bit of simple intrigue and build to the rest. The book begins from Derek's viewpoint, and it makes sense chronologically as the inciting incident (getting kicked out of boarding school and forced to move to Ashtyn's) occurs on Derek's end.

Highlights: A strong female protagonist who is taking on football culture in Texas in a way that doesn't feel forced or single-note. It's a fun and sexy read that moves deftly between vivid detail, authentic dialogue, and truthful interiority while pushing forward a plot that shows teen girls how to get what they want by putting their nose to the grindstone and working hard for it.
A Good Read For: This is definitely an older YA bridging into NA. The protagonists are high school upperclassmen and it's a sexy read. I'd recommend it for readers who are comfortable with sexuality in YA and like the idea of a Friday Night Lights romance where both the guy and girl falling in love play football.

On a side note...One of our loyal readers has a new MG (we don't cover) out on Yay Karen Clayton. Here's a link to check out her fun story about a team of brothers on an amazing race through National Parks to save the world...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out. I thought my novel might appeal to your readers even if it was MG.

    Also, thanks for the research on Wild Cards. Marrying into a family of football fans, I have started to develop an interest in the sport and even know a few girl players. This book sounds like one I'd like.