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?
I was all game for this book. No pun intended. I wanted more Simone Elkeles, having recently left Texas, I was ready for some southern ‘tudes and the love of football. And I was very concerned when I started hearing mixed reviews from friends.
It started off strong. I was laughing (out loud), I was giggling at the awkwardness and just enjoying it. Good for summer fun. It was even believable as far as characters went, which is always nice. Sadly, this did not last. Somewhere around the last third or last fourth of the book, it started going downhill.
Ashtyn, who had been the girl who had given no cares towards anything turned into this ‘OMG, I’D DO ANYTHING FOR THE BOY’ character, which was just kind of weird. Derek wasn’t much better in his *small spoiler alert, I guess* ‘suddenly change his whole life’ twist. Sadly, it felt more forced than natural. Which is saying a lot because when it comes to Elkeles’ books I let a lot of things go just to have fun with it. The ending was especially insane with that this time around. Like, wow. I think I died from diabetes on that one. It was nice, very much, too nice.
In the end, I don’t regret reading it at all, even with my hitches. It was fun, it was fast and there was a nice Southern taste to it.
Similar recommendations: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally.