Fans of the Twilight saga will find plenty of “loves” in this new addition to the paranormal romance genre. Entice is the third book in Carrie Jones’s...moreFans of the Twilight saga will find plenty of “loves” in this new addition to the paranormal romance genre. Entice is the third book in Carrie Jones’s series. In this book, Zara, the daring heroine, is out to rescue the love-of-her-life werewolf boyfriend, Nick, from Valhalla. (Yes, the same Valhalla from Norse mythology!) During the second book in the series, Captivate, Zara decides to allow the young and gorgeous pixie king Ansley to turn her into a pixie so that she could start her journey to rescue Nick. Ansley seems to be very considerate and understanding of Zara’s need to rescue Nick. He even vows to help her rescue “her wolf.” Zara’s previous experience with pixies has been far from kittens-and-roses innocence, but she willingly allies herself with the young pixie king. Then people close to her start dying. Suddenly, Zara and Ansley find themselves the target of treachery from the pixie world. Unfortunately, neither of them are able to figure out exactly who is responsible for trying to kill them. Ultimately, Zara makes it to Valhalla and has to battle the evil pixie king, Frank, who was responsible for sending Nick to the hall of fallen warriors in the second book. While battling Frank is difficult for the pacifist Zara, it is not her only problem. Zara has to constantly struggle with balancing her friends, family, and her new pixie king.
Jones includes plot twists and danger at every page turn in her third novel. Her writing style is simple and insightful, at least where the main characters are concerned. Capturing the zeal and intensity of teenage romances seems to be one of Jones’s writing strengths. The passion between Nick and Zara is sizzling, and would make Edward and Bella envious. But Nick and Zara aren’t the only characters with sparks. Readers can feel the embers between Zara and Ansley start to ignite, but Jones keeps us waiting to see what will happen between these two characters.
The ending of Entice leaves Zara with many decisions to make, and a secret that could expose Ansley for the type of pixie he really is—friend or foe. The door is wide open for a fourth novel.
With his father as the school’s janitor, no one is willing to talk to Andy, unless they are making fun of him. His days are filled with constant torme...moreWith his father as the school’s janitor, no one is willing to talk to Andy, unless they are making fun of him. His days are filled with constant torment and desire for unobtainable things. Andy accepts his place in the high school food chain… until the rumors begin.
Andy finds himself in the path of the social outcast, Noah, by accident. But then the two become friends. Noah and Andy have a bond. A secret that no one else knows. Then the poison of doubt starts to creep in to Andy’s mind. What if? As the days inch closer to the mysteriously blacked out date on Noah’s calendar, Andy finds himself asking “what if” a lot. What if his dad had died in the war like Noah’s? What if his only friend was planning a school massacre? What if he was wrong? Andy has big choices to make, and his decision will haunt him for a life time.
Ryan Van Cleave’s novel, Unlocked, is an untarnished insight into the minds of young adolescents as they enter high school. Written in prose, the story instantly catapults you into Andy’s lonely life as a high school freshman. The plot moves quickly in the novel. As you read, you can’t keep your mind from drifting to scenes from the nightly news, depicting the violence associated with the numerous school shootings we have experienced.
There are several “layers” that could be applied to the characters in the novel. On the surface it’s a simple story of “doing the right thing.” As you dig deeper, however, you start to notice other subtle elements. The story then becomes one of dealing with grief caused by the loss of a family member in war. Or, the story of a lonely son seeking his father’s approval. Ryan Van Cleave did a splendid job of giving the reader insight into a lonely teenage boy’s mind, and showing us the struggle between choosing to do what is right or keeping your only friend. (less)
It’s been over twenty years since readers first learned of Tortall in Tamora Pierce’s first novel Alanna. In the fifteen books that followed, readers...moreIt’s been over twenty years since readers first learned of Tortall in Tamora Pierce’s first novel Alanna. In the fifteen books that followed, readers have met numerous characters and magical creatures from the land of Tortall. In the book, Tortall and Other Lands, several of Tamora Pierce’s short stories are collected and published for the first time in print.
Several of the stories have new characters that we have not met before. In the story “Nawat,” readers are reacquainted with Nawat and Aly from Wolf Speaker and the darkings from Trickster’s Queen. If you have ever wondered what happens after Trickster’s Queen ends, then you will be pleased to find out in the story “Nawat.” The story “The Dragon’s Tale” brings back Daine and Numair as minor characters in a story that is told from the dragon Kit’s point of view.
The majority of the stories in this collection are set in Tortall, but there are a few stories that are in new lands. One story, “Huntress,” is even set in present day New York City. Although the majority of the stories are appropriate for preteen readers, “Huntress” has language and content that is on a more mature level. All of the stories are beautifully written in the style that Tamora Pierce fans have come to love and enjoy from her previous works. The dialogue between the characters is believable, and at times quiet humorous. There is even a non-fantasy story, based on events from Tamora Pierce’s life, that will have readers captivated.
Before now, there has never been a collection of Tamora Pierce’s short stories. This collection of tales is the first of its kind, but I hope it won’t be the last.
Lost Voices is the first novel in a new series that is hauntingly reminiscent of Lord of the Flies and The Chocolate War. In this book, young girls fi...moreLost Voices is the first novel in a new series that is hauntingly reminiscent of Lord of the Flies and The Chocolate War. In this book, young girls find themselves transforming into mermaids during the most devastating and desolate times of their young lives. When overwhelmed with the horrors of humanity, these young girls from every walk of life release themselves to the power of the sea. Guided by the timahk—laws that govern mermaids—every mermaid joins a tribe and finds the love and family that they might have missed during their human days.
For Luce, one of the newest members of Catarina’s tribe, joining the mermaids was the greatest thing that had happened to her in a long time. Luce was thrilled with her new life and the feelings of acceptance that she found in the other girls. But then Luce learns what it means to really be a mermaid. Sure, her voice is worthy of an angelic choir and her beauty surpasses anything on earth, but are these things really worth living with the guilt associated with being a siren? Luce is haunted by her eagerness to help the other mermaids sink ships and drown innocent humans. Then, Luce discovers a new power in her voice. She quickly learns that she can control the magic in her song, and change her death song into something more positive. Luce is overjoyed by her new knowledge, and wants to share her discovery with the other mermaids. This seems like a great idea, until Anais joins the tribe.
Anais is pure evil in the form of the most radiant mermaid Luce has ever seen. The other mermaids are quickly drawn to her and desire to please her malevolent whims. Despite her power over the other mermaids, Anais doesn’t fool Luce. Luce can see the wickedness at the heart of the captivating mermaid and she wants to stop it. The timahk has always governed the behaviors of the mermaids, but not everyone is willing to follow the rules. Luce quickly learns that some rules have to be broken, and that she might have to stand alone. By the end of the novel, Luce is faced with a decision that will change the way mermaids conduct themselves forever. She is the key to restoring humanity to a race of beings that have been consumed with revenge for a long time.
Lost Voices is captivating from the first page! Sarah Porter’s beautiful, descriptive language paints vivid pictures of beauty and pain. The sensuous descriptions of each character’s emotion force the reader to bond with the girls in the book. As you read, you can feel Luce’s pain in her memories, and the lust and greed of Anaise. The plot is fast paced, but perfectly developed; the tension that is building among the characters is felt on every page. As you read, you can’t help but notice the struggles of humanity that are felt in some of the modern classics of our times (i.e. Lord of the Flies, The Chocolate War). This series will certainly be worthy of shelf space next to Mr. Cormier and Mr. Golding. (less)
There are several things in life that I find hard to resist: shoes, free books, and retellings of fairy tales. A True Princess (Diane Zahler) was a qu...moreThere are several things in life that I find hard to resist: shoes, free books, and retellings of fairy tales. A True Princess (Diane Zahler) was a quaint retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.” Unlike the well-known fairy tale version, however, this retelling is packed full of adventure and “girl power."
The story begins when Lilia, the adventurous protagonist of the story, finds herself in a very difficult situation. She has to decide whether or not to run away from the only home and family she has ever known. If she stays, her stepmother will sell her to the local Miller. If she runs away, however, she will be on her own in a strange land without any protection. The decision may seem daunting to some, but Lilia does not falter from her choice: she will run away.
While on her way out of town, Lilia is met by her adopted brother and sister, Karina and Kai. The two siblings tracked Lilia easily using the family’s dog as their guide. Together, the three companions set out to find Lilia’s true parents. Unfortunately, their trip would not go as smoothly as they had planned. A close call with a group of robbers in Bitra Forest leaves the group lost in the Elf-King’s territory. Knowing the horrible danger they are in, they become even more distraught when Kai falls under the Elf-King’s daughter’s evil spell. Luckily, Lilia is a fast thinker. She makes a deal with the Elf-King, but he gives her only two weeks to carry out the bargain. Thus, Lilia and Karina find themselves posing as servants in the local castle while they desperately try to devise a plan to save Kai.
Keeping with the genre of fairy tale retellings, the remainder of the plot holds true to the story of “The Princess and the Pea.” However, there are a few twists in the new version. As the title hints, “a true princess” will be found; she’s just not what everyone expected. This retelling shows that a princess can come in any form. It’s very pleasing to find a strong female character for young readers. Lilia is confident, courageous, and loyal. All of her honorable traits become evident throughout the book, and develop to make her an enjoyable character. Also, the development of the characters is fantastic, and makes the reader imagine they are a third party in the conversations between Karina, Kai, and Lilia. Fans of fantasy and fairy tales will enjoy this novel.
Synopsis from back of book: Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix loves her ordinary life in suburban Indiana. When her single mother passes away, she’s shocked...moreSynopsis from back of book: Sixteen-year-old Molly Dix loves her ordinary life in suburban Indiana. When her single mother passes away, she’s shocked to discover that her biological father is Brick Berlin, world-famous movie star and red-carpet regular. Equally intrigued and terrified by her Hollywood lineage, Molly moves to Southern California and plunges headfirst into the deep end of Beverly Hills celebrity life. Just as Molly thinks her new life and family couldn’t get any stranger, she meets Brooke Berlin, her gorgeous, spoiled half sister, who welcomes Molly to la-la land with a healthy dose of passive-aggressive “sisterly love.”
Review: “People stopped talking and stared, brows furrowed, like they were at the zoo and Molly was an exotic animal they’d never heard of before. Behold, Los Angelenos, the world’s only Skittish Hoosier in captivity.” After her mother’s death, Molly finds herself the main exhibit for Los Angeles’ prying eyes. Her new school mates gape and make fun of her, and her new “sister” is the next in line for the throne of the far-away island of Royal Pain in the Arse. Brooke Berlin is self-centered, vindictive, and the complete opposite of the humanitarian image painted by her Wikipedia article entry. In fact, Brooke goes out of her way to make Molly’s life in Los Angeles unpleasant. But that doesn’t stop Molly, who is head-strong and determined to honor her mother’s dying wish: get to know your father. Molly knew that moving to L.A. would not be an easy move, but she did not count on inheriting an arch-nemesis along with an uber rich celebrity family. If she thought her dad, Brick Berlin, would be of any help easing the transition from Indiana to California, she was mistaken. His busy acting career had him in a million places, none of which were at home. Left alone—and forced to share a room—Molly and Brooke have to survive junior year of high school… together. When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure what to think. My original biased pegged it as a celebrity parody without much of a plot. Because of that, I must admit it took me a while to “get into” the book. Oh, but into it I did go. When the plot began to form, I quickly became engrossed in the story. The conflict between Brooke and Molly was dynamic and worthy of prime time reality television. The authors did a fantastic job of mimicking California slang and the stereotypes of celebrities and their children. Of course, it helps that the authors are both professional fashion writers/bloggers and know their subject very well. The humorous “insights” and character nuances actually had me laughing out loud at various times during the novel. The epilogue is especially enjoyable because it paints a hilarious image of father-daughter bonding gone awry. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to enjoy a good “beach read.” It has a good, believable plot, well developed characters, and plenty of sarcastic humor to keep you turning the pages. (less)
I was all into this book on my e-reader on our way to Epcot, and then my e-reader died. I was a little ticked off (understatement) that I couldn't fin...moreI was all into this book on my e-reader on our way to Epcot, and then my e-reader died. I was a little ticked off (understatement) that I couldn't finish the final 30 pages. Oh well. I feel like I read enough to be able to write a short review.
Since I can't comment on the complete plot, I can just give my opinions about a few things. First of all, this is not what I would consider YA. It is more of a middle grades read. With that being said, I must say that I thought it was charming. It's a clean story with an arrogant dragon (which I thought was funny). Any character that shows a huge amount of pride and gets humbled by a young child wins brownie points with me. The plot is quick and a little predictable at times. I don't think it's a flaw; after all, I'm an adult reading this book that is best suited for the 11-13 year old group. I would hope I could stay one step ahead of the plot.
Like I said, this review is short and sweet. I couldn't finish the book because my ereader content was wiped out. (Did I mention my computer crashed AGAIN and I can't even back up the files?)
I liked the book. It was simple and clean. I think young girls (tween age) that enjoy fairytale type books would enjoy this book. (less)
I must say that it has been a long time since I’ve read a paranormal romance novel that I actually enjoyed as much as the Twilight series. Even if you...moreI must say that it has been a long time since I’ve read a paranormal romance novel that I actually enjoyed as much as the Twilight series. Even if you’re not a fan of the Twilight books, you would still like this book. It’s very fresh and original. The concept of guardian angels falling in love with humans seems to be a little over played at the moment, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment any. The chemistry between Vincent and Kate was so believable that their story sucked me in. I was completely captivated.
Te characters in this book are awesome! I loved, loved, loved the fact that Kate was intelligent and strong. Even though she was devastated by her parents’ death, she held on to life. Of course, for a while there wasn’t much to her life, but she overcame that. Kate loves to read (already a plus in my book for lovable characters) and she loves fine art. She is described as an “old soul,” which I find to be the perfect description for her. It seems like the majority of the heroines in romance-type novels seem a little weak or too dependent on a male for security and strength. This was certainly not the case with Kate! She was a fantastic strong, female protagonist.
I also adored Vincent. His description just makes him seem delicious. Dark hair, blue eyes… sigh. His attraction to Kate was simply steamy, yet it managed to stay clean. I do love a boy with virtues in YA novels. The other characters were also enjoyable. Georgia, Kate’s sister, came off as flippant and irritating most of the time. I’m pretty sure that’s how a typical self-absorbed teenage usually acts, so it worked. Jules and Ambrose were nice sidekick types. Both were standoffish in the beginning, but they ended up having a nice supporting role by the end of the book. But my favorite minor characters have to be Kate’s grandparents. They just seemed charming. I loved how “progressive” the grandmother tried to be, but at the same time they were old fashioned. They seemed eloquent, sophisticated and completely in love with one another. I loved their relationship. It gave me tingly feelings like a Hallmark commercial.
Every good book would not be complete without a character or two that you loathe. There were several that I could pick, but I have to express my frustration over Charles. I wanted to punch the little brat. It’s a good day when a book can evoke that much emotion from me to make me envision choking and punching a character. That is certainly how I felt with Charles. Such.a.punk.
Overall, I highly recommend this book to the paranormal romance lovers out there. It’s clean—no X rated material. The characters are well written and well developed. The plot is fast paced enough to keep you reading. (I managed to finish this book in one reading.) The concept was somewhat original, but I am getting tired of angels and demons, vampires, and werewolves. I guess it can’t be escaped in the genre. If you liked Twilight, you should love this book. The connection between Kate and Vincent is every bit as strong as Bella and Edward’s pull on one another. Plus, Kate doesn’t come across as a whiny, irritating, self-pitying baby like Bella did in New Moon. (Her constant pining away for Edward almost drove me away from the series.) This book will be a series, so I am anxious to see what happens with Vincent and Kate. I’m pretty sure the troubles they will face together are just beginning. (less)
Kate Winters has spent the last four years of her life taking care of her sick mother. Now, her mother has decided she wants to return to her home of...moreKate Winters has spent the last four years of her life taking care of her sick mother. Now, her mother has decided she wants to return to her home of Eden, Michigan for one last time before she dies. Kate isn’t thrilled with the idea of moving from New York City to a small town in the middle of rural Michigan, but she would do anything to make her mother happy. As soon as they arrive, however, things get complicated. Kate has to start her senior year over as a new student, to make matters worse, she clumsily bumps into the super jock boyfriend of Ava—the school’s most popular girl and cheerleading captain. Needless to say, it is not an instant friendship. Ava is not thrilled with Kate’s presence (and the attention she seems to be drawing from their school mates), but she shouldn’t worry. Kate is not interested in anything or anyone, except taking care of her mother. When Ava invites Kate to a bonfire in the woods, she reluctantly agrees to join her. Once they arrive at the party, however, Kate realizes that it was a set up. Ava brought her to the woods—alone—to torment her. When Ava dives headfirst into the river, Kate is left standing on the bank fuming with anger. She is stranded in the woods at night with no way home. Pulled from the middle of her thoughts, Kate realizes Ava has been knocked unconscious… or so she thinks. Faced with the choice to face her terrifying fear of water in order to save Ava or to let her drown, Kate finds herself rushing into the freezing water and pulling Ava to safety. Only, Ava isn’t unconscious. She is dead. Desperate to save Ava, Kate hastily makes a deal with the mysterious (and gorgeous) Henry. In return for saving Ava, he requires Kate to live with him during the winter. At first she refuses, but she eventually finds herself living at the elaborate Eden Manor. Thinking that Henry is a complete lunatic (he claims to be the god of the dead, after all), she plays along with her role in the deal. While living at the Manor, Kate has to face several tests that will determine if she is worthy of becoming the queen of the dead and an immortal. If she fails, she returns to her previous life with no memory of her stay at the Manor, and Henry dies. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this book is a modern retelling of the story of Persephone. I just adore Greek mythology (ok, all mythology) and this book did not disappoint me. Too often I find retellings strained and disappointingly unoriginal. However, this book was great. The plot had plenty of similarities to the myth that we all know, which satisfied me. But it also added several original elements that I think enhanced the storyline. I loved that Kate was a strong-willed, kick butt female type. I also thought showing Henry as a compassionate and caring form of Hades was a nice touch. The characters were so well developed that I found myself tearing up a few times during the touchy mother-daughter scenes between Kate and her mother. At the same time, I found myself so completely irritated with some of the characters that I felt like I could strangle them with my bare hands if they magically manifested in my presence. It takes a very talented writer to take a reader through such a broad spectrum of emotions in one novel. As far as the plot is concerned, it is certainly a quick, easy read. I found it hard to put down. There were several twists in the story that I didn’t expect. I had my suspicions at times, but the story kept me guessing until the end. I did figure out the role of James long before Henry confirmed it, but that’s ok. There was a pretty heavy hint that made it pretty hard to ignore. I mean, Henry said, “You’ll see.” You had to know something was coming. I’m disappointed that this book doesn’t hit the shelves until April of this year. That means I have to wait until 2012 to read the next book! I love how the story ends at the perfect place for a continuation. The dynamics between the characters is so well thought out that there seems to be an endless possibility for what might happen. I am anxious to see how Kate and Henry fare during the following winter, and to see if the friendship between James and Kate recovers. I would certainly recommend reading this book if you like mythology retellings. I read an e-galley from NetGalley, but I’ve already pre-ordered my paper copy for the bookshelf. This book is worth having in paper form. (less)
I love this series. I really do. Even if Kate got on my last nerve in this book. I really wanted to travel to the Underworld and slap her Jersey Shore...more I love this series. I really do. Even if Kate got on my last nerve in this book. I really wanted to travel to the Underworld and slap her Jersey Shores style a few times. I absolutely hate whiny, needy, clingy females—whether they are real or fictional. Kate was ridiculous in this book. The only missing from her pity party was a daisy and a little “He loves me, he loves me not.” She spent the entire book convincing herself that Henry didn’t love her (despite everyone telling her differently). It was very Bella in New Moon—and we all know how irritating Bella was in that book.
To sum up my feelings on this book as a whole, I’m going to use one of my insightful food analogies. If this series were a double layer cake, The Goddess Interrupted would be the icing in the middle of the layers. By itself, it leaves you a little queasy, but together with the other pieces, it’s the binding element. I don’t think I would say “sophomore slump” for Goddess Interrupted because I did enjoy it. It just seems like this one had the sole purpose of developing the plot for the third book. The characters weren’t as great as in the first book. Kate was a little lacking, and there wasn’t enough Henry. I felt more annoyed by Kate this time around. In The Goddess Test I thought she was this incredibly strong female that blazed her way through life. This time, however, I only glimpsed elements of her inner strength. She spent most of her time whining and feeling sorry for herself in this book.
So, with the ugly out of the way, I can honestly say that where the characters lacked, the plot soared. There is a lot going on in this book. Calliope has gone completely evil and sided with one of the Titans. Don’t whine about a little spoiler. You know you saw that coming in book one. What I found really surprising in this book was Persephone. What a piece… I couldn’t make up my mind on whether I hated her or not. She was a snot (kid friendly edit) most of the time, but there seemed to be a few redeeming elements to her personality. A very small few… I have a feeling that she will have a major role in book three.
Now for the best part about this book: the final 30 pages! Holy moly. My toes curled when Henry and Kate finally… bow chica bow wow… (and get your head out of the gutter because it was handled very nicely. No smutty romance novel scene here.) There was also another cliffhanger ending that left my mind blazing! So many questions and guesses. I can only imagine what the next book will have in store for us! Now I’m all moody and sulking because we have to wait a year to find out! Ugh. The sabotage and double crossing at the end of this book is unbelievable. Un-believable! I really didn’t see it coming. (less)
The story begins with Lisa’s attempted suicide. Before she can overdose on her mother’s pills, Death intercedes and appoints her as Famine. She thinks...moreThe story begins with Lisa’s attempted suicide. Before she can overdose on her mother’s pills, Death intercedes and appoints her as Famine. She thinks she is dreaming, until she notices a large, black horse living in her backyard and Famine’s scales sitting on her kitchen table. At night, Lisa takes on the roll of Famine, the fourth rider in the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With her horse, Midnight, she travels trying to find ways to bring balance to the world’s famines.
As Lisa discovers her power as Famine, she also discovers how to control the “thin voice” in her head. Instead of being controlled by the negative power of hunger and food, she learns that food has the power to heal. With her new knowledge, Lisa begins to heal the victims of famine and her self at the same time.
This book was very unique. The idea of an anorexic girl becoming Famine—and not being crazy—was a hard one to take in. I didn’t fully appreciate the story until I finished the book and read the author’s note. Knowing that the author had a “Lisa” in her own life really put the story in to perspective for me. I couldn’t help but remember people I knew growing up that battled with eating disorders. With that, I began to appreciate the symbolism throughout the story more than I previously had. I’ve never suffered from an eating disorder, but I would imagine Lisa’s thoughts would be accurate. You could feel her struggle with the “thin voice” throughout the story. I could almost feel her pain every time she saw food.
I thought the characters weren’t as developed as they should be. I never fully appreciated the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War came across as mean and nasty, but that was it. I never got the feeling of an overly threatening persona. Pestilence was disgusting. The description of his cold sores and snotty nose made my stomach flip. Other than that, however, there wasn’t any character development. My favorite of the four Horsemen was Death. A Kurt Cobain styled messenger of death was an interesting touch. I picked up on the Nirvana songs instantly—even if I wasn’t a fan of Nirvana when I was younger. I would have loved to see more character development overall. Since this is the first book in a series, maybe the characters will have a chance to evolve with each addition in the series.
I think I would pair this book with Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls. Together, they would be an interesting look into eating disorders. I had a rating for half stars, I would probably give this a 3 ½. But, since the image of the struggle with food seemed so real and horrifying for Lisa, I will give it a 4.
Where to begin with this one? Yikes… I knew pretty early on that this was going to be a big, steamy pile of werewolf poo. It was an easy read, so I wa...moreWhere to begin with this one? Yikes… I knew pretty early on that this was going to be a big, steamy pile of werewolf poo. It was an easy read, so I was able to fly through it, but the story never got better. By the end of the first chapter, my mind was made up. Unfortunately, I read the remainder of the book because I was hoping that it would get better and I would have an awesome werewolf tale to push for a meme in a few weeks. That did not happen. My first complaint: the characters. I loved Brandon. He was mysterious, caring, and overall sizzling. He was the only one, however. This story was told from Celeste’s point of view, which added to my annoyance. I have a MAJOR issue with whiny, wishy-washy female characters. She couldn’t make up her mind as to what she wanted. It was a constant flipping back and forth between her feelings for one guy or another. Gag me. Please. Then she was trying to be the peace keeper between the rich “Eastsiders” and the poor “Riversiders.” What-ever (insert annoyed Buffy voice here). The stereotypes were just too much! It was ridiculous. “Oh, I don’t like you because you wear gloves with cutout fingers and I’m an awesome jock.” LAME! That could seriously be a line from the book—that’s how badly written these characters were. Oh, I also couldn’t stand how every time Brandon was mentioned, Celeste was drooling over him. I kept wondering if she was in heat or not. It was overkill. Then there was the issue of the plot itself. WTH?! So much randomness. The story starts with three couples telling spooky stories in the woods. (Um, can we say Blair Witch Project?) The uber-jock, Nash, gets freaked out because he hears a wolf. Why? Who knows! There is so much talk about his fear of wolves and canines, but no insight as to why. Chased by a dog at a young age? Maybe. Part werewolf? Could be. Lame as a three legged cat character? BINGO. And then there was the issue with the gullible nature of the characters, which added to the nonsense of the plot. Am I really supposed to believe that a group of high school kids instantly believe in werewolves because one prankster tells a werewolf story in the middle of the woods at night at the same time wolves howl? Seriously? I understand that I am supposed to suspend my understanding of reality when I read fantasy. However, I expect the book to make that possible. If it’s fantasy, it needs to read like fantasy. If I’m supposed to believe this crap could really happen, make me believe it. Don’t jump back and forth between contemporary and fantasy elements. Oh, and do I even need to mention my annoyance with how neatly the plot is wrapped up with a little sparkling bow? Ugh. Obviously, this one falls short for me. I really hope it’s not the first in a series. I can’t imagine this story continuing on without being dreadfully painful. Maybe if the wolves eat most of the characters (except Brandon of course) it would improve. I am so disappointed that I wasted 3.25 hours reading this mess. Now I have to continue my search for a great werewolf book. Consider yourself warned: reading this book is equivalent to pouring salt in an open wound. (less)