From Back Cover: High school senior Shannon Card needs money. And lots of it. She's been admitted to Wellesley College, 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. Cole's assurance that Shannon has natural talent - along with his amazing kissing ability - makes Shannon believe that a life of riches, ease, and constant making out is right around the corner. But could it really be this easy? And with Wellesley in her sights, does Shannon have the guts to call Cole's bluff?
My Rating: 3 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: If you’re looking for a book that’s a light read, Aces Up by Lauren Barnholdt would be right up your alley. The premise of Aces Up is pretty much unbelievable but the novel does a pretty good job showing how easily addictive gambling can be. However, I think to enjoy the novel even more, it would help if you actually know a little bit about poker because although Barnholdt does explain the rules, it’s still confusing.
Shannon is a spunky protagonist determined to do whatever it takes to make money for college, and what made Aces Up enjoyable was her voice and thoughts. Though a lot of the choices Shannon made were pretty dumb, she does have a few surprises up her sleeve for readers at the end.
Aces Up was released by Delacorte Books for Young Readers in August 2010.
Comments About the Cover: The cover is just perfect for the novel and completely represents it. I love how the guy and girl are looking at each other and smiling behind their cards, which makes it look like they’re up to no good and the design has the words “Be careful what you bet on.”