Farrah's Reviews > The Shapeshifter's Secret

The Shapeshifter's Secret by Heather Ostler
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Mar 13, 2012

really liked it
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Read in March, 2012

The Shapeshifter's Secret was very good. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, but I ended up getting really into it.

So, I'm not sure this is mentioned, but the whole shapeshifter thing is werecats. Julia is a werecat. She can turn into a white tiger. Now, this is a fairly unique concept. I don't think I've seen it used before, which gives SS a few points by itself. It's actually pretty interesting. Ostler even explained some of the mechanics of transformation.

Julia is a okay character. She's not special among YA female leads but she is a worthy heroine. What's nice is that she reacted fairly realistically to her situation. While she was understandably skeptical about the whole werecat business at first, she accepted her new reality in a sensible way. Basically, she's actually smart and truly clever. She's not weak and can hold her own in a fight (I mean, she can turn into a massive tiger).

The plot was pretty slow and steady at first. Not boring, just deliberate. Things were revealed at their own pace, no info-dumping. It isn't until the last bit that a lot actually happens. And, let me tell you, there was a twist at the end that I was not expecting. Seriously, I never saw it coming.

The reason I took off a star for this otherwise lovely book is the romance. I didn't quite get it. First, the whole issue with Caleb. It initially felt like he would be the love interest, she felt "drawn" to him. Then we find out he has a girlfriend and Julia suddenly decides to be mean to him even though he's perfectly nice to her. But throughout the book, I still got the impression that they liked each other but nothing really happened there. The actual romance is with Terrance. It didn't make sense to me. Terrance and Julia never really talked except for a couple of conversations. They wrote each other a couple of letters while Terrance, who is a soldier, was off in battle. But even so, in the second letter he writes to her, he professes his love and Julia writes him back returning the sentiment. But they had barely interacted yet! It really frustrated me. This isn't even the normal brand of insta-love. At least in the others, the two lovebirds will spend a lot of time together in the few days it takes them to fall in love. But in this instance, they talked a couple of times and spent the most of their time not interacting, yet they still fell in love. That didn't set well with me.

Besides that, this book was great. If you can find it in yourself to overlook the whole romance issue, I would definitely recommend it.

4/5

I obtained a copy of this from Netgalley
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