Review: Wild Cards

Wild Cards
Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Five reasons to read:
1. Romance. Young adult romance. Purchased for Senior Fiction shelves.
2. Sort of a gender twist with the girl being the football player. Stereotypes supposedly make for easy reading – ‘bad boy’ and ‘star footballer’ but the first person narration reveals early on that the ‘bad boy’ is not bad, merely thoughtful and tortured. The star footballer is driven but suffers from ‘poor choice of boyfriend’ issues which take the first half of the novel, along with the ‘denying attraction’ obstacle.
3. M rated sexy fiction – loads of chest admiration, mentions of private parts, teen banter. There are characters who make choices not to go ‘too far’ and those that ‘talk it up’. It is mainly suggestive banter.
4. Dual perspective narrative – main characters alternate narration. A plus as it mixes it up if teenage first-person narrators usually annoy you. These narrators tend to ‘tell’ rather than ‘show’ but don’t whine.
5. The main characters model positive traits – determination, sincerity, protectiveness, responsibility.
Avoid if:
you like characters to have real flaws as opposed to being perfect physically but clueless, making dumb choices
you hate stereotypes
you hate romance. apparently this is ‘slow-building’ and ‘satisfying’. it ticks the genre boxes.
you want to read about football. these characters train heaps but don’t actually play a game.
you hate teen first person narration – there are two in this novel. At least they don’t whinge about what’s wrong with their lives.

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