Wild Crush (Wild Cards #2)
Wild Crush failed to achieve the standard I’ve created based on other Simone Elkeles stories I’ve read. In comparison to the perfection that is Perfect Chemistry, Wild Crush was flat and sub par.
My first problem is that Monika claimed to like Victor before she liked Trey and yet she dated Trey for three years without incident. She never mentions not being satisfied with her relationship Trey and wanting to be with Vic, other than that one time, until Trey becomes emotionally distance. When Monika realizes that she is no longer emotionally satisfied by her relationship with Trey and that another male, Vic, is being nice to her, she begins to think that Vic would be a partner and begins to notice him more. I didn’t like how Monika developed a crush on Vic not because he was a great guy or wooed her but because she wasn’t happy with her boyfriend and Vic was the next available candidate. Sure Trey wasn’t being faithful so they would have broken up anyway. But it’s one thing to notice a guy after a relationship or to realize she always preferred one guy over the other and it’s another to want to be with a guy because he could potentially provide her with something her current boyfriend isn’t giving her.
I think what threw me off about Wild Crush was the lack of grit and fight. The Perfect Chemistry series was dark because of the gang violence and interesting because the Fuentes brothers fought to be better and fought for the women they wanted. Wild Cards was interesting because Derek fought for Ashtyn. But there’s no fight in Wild Crush. Monika and Vic both claim to want to be in a relationship with the other but do nothing about it. When Monika finally decided to do something, she makes one feeble attempt and when that doesn’t work, she gives up. In return, when Victor decides to go after Monika, his “love declaration” is immediately accepted and the story is over. They don’t fight for each other and they don’t prove that they belong together. At the end, they claim they’ll be together forever but they don’t provide any evidence that they are compatible other than not feeling alone when they are around each other. If that’s the basis of a healthy, long-term relationship, then I guess I can go to any library, bookstore, or cafe and if I don’t feel lonely sitting next to some guy, then he’s my next boyfriend.
I’m not sure what this story was trying to be. It wasn’t two people fighting to be together and it wasn’t an enemies-to-lovers trope. I guess it can be considered a friends-to-lovers relationship but it was executed poorly. In a nutshell, the story went: I’ve loved her since I met her three years ago. I think I might like like him. Fluff. I want this to work. No. I want this to work. Yes. And they lived happily ever after.