Publication Date: August 10th, 2010
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Received it as a gift
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old high school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley, but her dad just lost his job, and somehow she has to come up with a year of tuition herself. But Shannon's dream of making big bucks waitressing at the local casino, the Collosio, disappears faster than a gambler's lucky streak. Her boss is a tyrant, her coworker is nuts, and her chances of balancing a tray full of drinks while wearing high-heeled shoes are slim to none. Worse, time is running out, and Shannon hasn't made even half the money she'd hoped.
When Shannon receives a mysterious invitation to join Aces Up, a secret network of highly talented college poker players, at first she thinks No way. She has enough to worry about: keeping her job, winning the coveted math scholarship at school, and tutoring her secret crush, Max. But when Shannon musters up the nerve to kiss Max and he doesn't react at all, the allure of Aces Up and its sexy eighteen-year-old leader, Cole, is suddenly too powerful to ignore.
Soon Shannon's caught up in a web of lies and deceit that makes worrying about tuition money or a high school crush seem like kid stuff. Still, when the money's this good, is the fear of getting caught reason enough to fold?
This fun, sexy, recession-proof story is a bubbly summer read with surprising depth—great for fans of Sarah Mlynowski.
I have to say that I had a couple of issues with this book. The first one was that I was expecting something more action packed and a whole lot more poker! Sadly, it didn't happen. There is more time spent on Shannon obsessing over Matt, than on Aces Up and the poker games. In fact, you don't learn a lot about the group and the little I got was more based on assumptions.
In terms of characters, my favourite ones were Shannon's sister and Mackenzie, her work colleague/friend. I didn't care about Cole and Matt was a bit of a jerk (even though he was supposed to be the good guy?). As for Shannon's parents, they bothered me...a lot! I guess that if I was a mother I would probably see things differently but I think they were plain irresponsible and should not have treated Shannon the way they did when they found out that she was working on the casino and playing poker. I mean, if you have enough money to buy a BMW and a boat (and you work with stocks) you should have enough money to put aside for your daughters' college...
I thought that Shannon was maybe a bit naive and needed some focus and guidance. Everytime she saw Matt (and sometimes Cole) her imagination would go crazy! I never read about someone thinking about another person shirtless so much as I did in this book!
Like I said, I really liked Robyn (sister) and Mackenzie. Robyn and Shannon had a very nice relationship and Mackenzie was a great character: funny, a little crazy but genuinely good!
Even though the pacing was a bit slow it is a very quick read. I am usually a slow reader and I finished this really fast.
I know that I have been a bit M.I.A the last few days and I will try to use my time better (and not going out so much! I'm being way too social lately!)