Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
"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. So when her older sister comes home after abandoning her ten years earlier, with her hot new stepson in tow, Ashtyn wants nothing to do with either of them. Then she comes up with a plan that would finally give her the chance to leave, 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 get the future she wants?"- summary from Amazon
I've been hearing wonderful things about Elkeles' books for years now and I finally got around to reading one. Unfortunately, I didn't really like it. I hope that this is a rare stumble for her and that her other books are better, but this book was just okay. While I appreciated the dual narrative and it allowed the reader to get to know both Ashtyn and Derek a little more, it really felt like a lot of telling rather than showing. I just didn't feel a connection to either of them; the story was compelling enough and Elkeles' writing made for a quick read so I finished the book, but I wasn't really hooked by the characters. I don't really know what else to say about it.
Overall, just an okay, middle-of-the-road YA romance. Has anyone else read Elkeles? Are her other books better than this one? It just felt very basic and by-the-numbers to me.
FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.