This book started off slowly for me. Cremer has a talent for complex twists and turns in her plot, but Calla’s emotional vertigo made it hard to follo...moreThis book started off slowly for me. Cremer has a talent for complex twists and turns in her plot, but Calla’s emotional vertigo made it hard to follow at first. Calla faces an oppressive cult like society of Guardians (wolves) who serve their masters, the Keepers, without questions. She distrusts the boy she’s grown up with, choosing to assume his actions, rather than seeing the boy she hurts that the reader sees.
Calla views her every interaction with new, human Shay as a mistake, perhaps because the boy draws her out of the brainwashed obedience she tries to cling to, as Shay fights for her to believe she’s allowed to think for herself. While she nurses feelings for both her fiance and the human who teaches her about self respect, they delve into the history of why the Guardians were created, if the Keepers are as altruistic as they claim, though we never get answers about who the villainous Seekers are.
Calla’s personality seemed incongruous to me. I had issues believing a girl who would yell or punch anyone who dared disagreed with her, would turn around, and allow two boys fight over her, while she hesitantly protested.
The society of the Bane and Nightshade packs did intrigue me, and I wanted to know how the Keepers commanded wolves, wraiths and other creatures, and I was disappointed the villains’ motivation was never explained. The book ended on a cliffhanger, so I hope these questions will be answered in the future book. For those of you who read this, I hope the opposite boy is the one who comes back for her.(less)
This book blew me away. I’ve been waiting for Black’s new series since Ironside came out two years ago. Let me start with this: Holly Black does not d...moreThis book blew me away. I’ve been waiting for Black’s new series since Ironside came out two years ago. Let me start with this: Holly Black does not disappoint.
I always read critically when a female author writes a male character. Cassel is not the troubled boy who needs a girl to save him. Instead, he’s a troubled boy because he didn’t save a girl. The guilt and tension over his murder shades the book beautifully. The motivation to not lose control shapes his decisions as he slowly unravels the night he killed his girlfriend.
Another strength was Cassel not doing what he is told. Instead of going off alone, he takes his friends Sam and Daneca with him on his missions, using their strengths instead of trying to be a hero. This strikes me as another example of Black’s amazing characterization skills. When faced with a mafia that can curse you, I wouldn’t want to fight them alone. I also liked the way their strengths and weaknesses are addressed.
I can’t guarantee that mystery fans will love this book, but once I finished, I went out and bought some Raymond Chandler. If you like magical mysteries like The Dresden Files, pick up White Cat.(less)
I grew up with the Dear America books. They went out of print a few years ago, and it's been hard to get the few titles I didn't already own. Scholast...moreI grew up with the Dear America books. They went out of print a few years ago, and it's been hard to get the few titles I didn't already own. Scholastic has done me a favor, and brought the series back! They've already reprinted a handful of titles, and plan to do more. They also are brining in new stories. One story I haven't read before is The Diary of Piper Davis: The Fences Between Us. Seattle, Washington 1941.
Piper's story is one I strongly relate to. It's based on the story of Reverend Emery Andrews, who moved whis family to Idaho, when his Japanese Baptist Church congregation was moved to an internment camp in Minidoka, Idaho. Kirby Larson gives us a teenage girl's reaction to the move, and how her friends respond to her family supporting the Japanese community following Pearl Harbor.
There are some parallels today to how people related to the Arab community in the US following 9/11. Piper upsets her friends by supporting her Japanese churchmates, and yet remains silent when she watches her Japanese friends get harassed at school.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the book growing up, or anyone looking for a gift for a child starting chapter books.(less)