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's book summaries are always so great! They hit all the high points without giving away too much. I'll let this one do the summarizing for me so that I can go ahead and tell you to put this one on your To Be Read list.
Ashtyn is a sweet girl. Having lost everyone in her life either physically or emotionally is bound to take a toll. I was surprised to find that she was a delicate balance of strength & frailty. I really liked how she was struggling to define herself. She was good at something unconventional for a female & could walk that hard road, but she still wanted to be a good girlfriend and "normal" girl. We see her visible struggle with these two sides of herself while still trying to remain honest.
Derek is a a good boy acting out to get attention. Also an abandoned teen, instead of going out of his way to try to fit in, he has done the opposite. By rebelling against everything even remotely structured & filling his time with angst and pranks, he's really exposed his vulnerabilities. By going on the offensive, he believes he is protecting himself when really he's doing more damage.
These two came together under extremely unique circumstances and blew each other's worlds apart. The background and setting played a minor role in getting things hopping; it was really the culmination of past events that pushed the story forward. I think adding sports into the mixture of Simone's normally delinquent-filled books added a little something extra. It gave the characters' bond more depth than I had anticipated.
While there were a few dropped sub-plotlines& minor holes in stroy arc execution, it wasn't anything to get me worked up. I'm sure most people might not even notice them. :) I can't wait to see what she brings out in the next book. While I don't think it'll star the same characters, I do think it'll be just a bit a hit.