Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: October 1st 2013
Publisher: Walker Books
Age and Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
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?
Simone Elkeles' PERFECT CHEMISTRY and LEAVING PARADISE series are one of my all time YA favourite series ever and even though this start of this new series may not be as amazing as I'd hoped or as addicting as the love stories in Perfect Chemistry, it was still very exciting and sexy. Still worth a read and would recommend to fans of Simone's. :)
I think my biggest problem with why I only rated this three stars was because of Ashtyn. I just really couldn't relate to her and really didn't like her that much. Is it because I don't play any sports or knows a thing about football? Or is it because of her over-the-top personality which I found very annoying and unlikable. One minute, she's very girly and flirty and the next, she's such a total tomboy. Not saying girls can't be like that, but for her character it just didn't sit well with me.
Derek, on the other hand, OMG I LOVED. He was seriously the star of this book and probably the only reason why I kept reading. He's so funny and cheeky that you just can't help but love him. Right from the very beginning, when he and his friends did a prank on their boarding school, I knew Derek would be stand-out character. He was also very three-dimensional and very developed, unlike Ashtyn who was a bit of a cardboard character to be honest. Ouch. But anyways Derek has my love and that's what matters, right?
Despite my hate for one of the main characters, I did like the romance and how it played out. It really wasn't love-at-first-sight but more like hate. They really did hate and annoy each other for most of the book, but when they did start having geniune feelings for each other, it was very sweet and sexy. Gotta say though, there was one thing I didn't like and for those who've read it already. One word = SHED.
This is one of those really mature and upper YA, and true Simone Elkeles style. You just can't help but read her books in one sitting. The rest of the characters was likable enough and interesting.This start of a series is perfect for old and new fans for Simone and also fans of Miranda Keneally (Catching Jordan). It has the same sport and character vibe to it. I would definitely read the next book of the series (which I heard focuses on a different character on the football team) and I can't wait to read more about them.