By Simone Elkeles
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Source: NetgalleySummary: 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?
After pulling an epic prank at his boarding school's graduation, Derek finds himself expelled and forced to live with his 25-year-old stepmom in Chicago. Not only does he have to live with this woman he barely knows while his dad is deployed, but her entire family as well, including her stubborn younger sister who just so happens to be his age. Ashtyn, however, is so not interested in having someone like Derek coming into her life. As kicker for her school's football team, Ashtyn is driven to live a life of football and she definitely doesn't need someone as annoying and, as much as she hates to admit, attractive as Derek distracting her. But as the two play more and more games with each other, things become more real for Ashtyn. Are they real for Derek too? Or is she just another prize for him to win?
Gahhhhhh I really don't know how the heck Simone Elkeles does it, but I fell completely in love with this book. Seriously, I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. I absolutely loved Ashtyn's character. Sometimes girls who play football in books can be a bit annoying, but Ashtyn was just perfect. She was driven and dedicated, stubborn and independent, but still had all the insecurities normal girls have when it comes to guys. It was refreshing to have such a real character who could handle herself around tough football players, but still was totally insecure and scared when it came to matters of the heart.
But let's get to the real reason this book was awesome. Derek Fitzpatrick. Can you say yummy? Seriously, from the very first page I fell for Derek and was way too addicted to reading about him. How can a guy be so annoying yet so enticing at the same time? He was such a jerk at times, but you totally forgive him because you know how messed up his past is. Then, when he acts super sweet, you just fall even more in love with him. And talk about chemistry! I could not get enough of his relationship with Ashtyn and how much it grew throughout the story. The development of their relationship was absolutely perfect and watching them fall for each other was just too darn cute.
Needless to say, I loved this book. Simone Elkeles has written yet another YA romance that hooks you from page one and refuses to let you go until the very end. The characters are charming and witty, and the moments Simone creates between Derek and Ashtyn are so perfect and precious. How the heck does she come up with those moments that are just so perfect that you can't help but reading them over and over and over again? Okay, I'll stop gushing. But seriously, when this book comes out in September, you have to pick up a copy. Like RIGHT AWAY. And until then, pick up her Perfect Chemistry and Paradise series. Because those are awesome too. After reading this one, I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me not to love every single thing Simone Elkeles has ever written. And I'm perfectly happy with that :)