Author: Simone Elkeles
Release date: ebook 6th June 2014
Genre: Contemporary Teen Romance
Target audience: YA
Better Than Perfect is the first novel in the Wild Cards series. It’s a love story and a coming-of-age story. Set in Fremont, Chicago. The story is told from alternating viewpoints: Ashtyn and Derek.
Ashtyn is a girl in a guys’ world. She plays American Football and at the beginning of the novel the team vote her in as captain. For her it’s an honour and a complete surprise. But her boyfriend, also on the team, is not impressed. She doesn’t understand why he starts to freeze her out and gets phone calls from his ex. Ashtyn’s life takes another unexpected turn when she finds a teenage boy in her garden shed.
That boy –nearly-a-man is Derek. His story begins at school where he is promptly expelled for a prank. His life is turned upside down when his step-mother declares they are moving to Chicago to be near her family. Derek’s dad is not around as he’s in the Armed Forces. Luckily, it’s the beginning of the summer and he has it all before him to work out what to do. Ashtyn and Derek don’t have the best of introductions but soon they are falling for each other.
This is another great read from Simone Elkeles. But it’s different from Perfect Chemistry and the Paradise duo. This is not so much about a culture clash. It’s more about impressions and expectations. Ashtyn is a great heroine. It is kind of amazing that women and men don’t play sport together in the twenty-first century. We haven’t come as far as we would like to think. At my own school, we have one girl who plays football (soccer) on the boys’ team and she is incredibly talented. But goodness, it took a lot of persuasion to get her to do it.
Derek is a funny guy. I loved the humour in this book. It was light, sweet and entertaining. Derek loves a good prank but he’s on a journey of his own. He’s carrying some guilt around his shoulders and he needs to forgive himself for something in his past. What they expect of each other is not what they get and there is a really enjoyable romance in this novel.
Better Than Perfect is a charming, funny teen romance. I recommend it!
Source: Bought and read on my Kobo