Karen Kaiser's Reviews > Never Cry Werewolf

Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: one-star, summer-2011, never-gonna-read-the-sequel
Read from August 18 to 19, 2011 , read count: Once

I'll start out by saying that, despite the fact that I gave this book only one star, it wasn't that bad. It just wasn't good, or original, or compelling. The fact that Austin's lycanthropy could be controlled by a prescription drug was about the only unique thing about this story. And I respected that.

That being said...everything else was pretty run-of-the-mill. You've got the damaged-in-some-way heroine who doesn't trust anyone and who has built walls around herself and who doesn't need to/want to be saved and blah blah blah. Strong women are great, don't get me wrong. But in this novel, it was a claim that was never substantiated Everyone and their grandmother talked about Shelby being 'brave' and 'strong' and 'fearless,' but when it got rough, Shelby was the one who needed saving. There's nothing wrong with that, but it jarred with the build-up of Shelby being a strong, fearless heroine. Could the author have picked a different climax? A climax that actually supported the characterization?
And I thought Shelby's alleged tendency to put herself at risk just to help others was a bit exaggerated. At the beginning of the story, she had only helped a variety of boys with their homework or charity work or whatever. That's generous of her, but how does that equal "risk"? And then she just ran off into the woods, supposedly to help Mr. Winter's, Charles, and Austin. Mr. Winter's was probably no stranger to those woods, but Shelby thought he needed help simply because he was chubby. And she had no idea what kind of forest experience Charles or Austin had. She just assumed they were clueless because they were going to brat camp and came from rich families. Isn't she going to brat camp? Isn't she rich, even if that's a recent development? Hell, she categorized Austin as not-outdoorsy just because he was British. I don't know, she did an awful lot of assuming. And as it turned out, Austin had more experience with the woods than she did because of the werewolf thing. Anyway, her selfless tendencies weren't really that selfless. She liked helping people sometimes, which is great. That's wonderful. She was no saint though, and I got annoyed when everyone described her that way.
And what was all that crap about her not being the kind of girl who liked being saved? Or her being the kind of girl who actually did the saving? Yes, Shelby wrapped up Austin's wound immediately following the cat-fight. And yes, Shelby did end up getting Austin's serum for him. That can be loosely defined as saving him. However, the climax of the novel was the wild cat. And that was Austin. I don't get it. I reiterate: the climax didn't match up with the characterization.

After the heroine, you've got the classic damaged-in-some-way-besides-his-supernatural-affliction hero. He's charming, handsome, sensitive, and speaks in an archaic way I find weird, even if he is British. I'm sure if I put in the time, I could waste an entire notebook on male characters that fit in the exact same mould as Austin. Frankly, it's stale bread by now. I'm kind of done. But he was decent.

This book even sprinkled in the secondary-best-friend character, Ariel. She's only mentioned between the important, romantic scenes when nothing else is really going on. She's cute, short, has a tiny, inconsequential crush on another non-important character, and is the understanding, devoted, caring friend that our young heroine really needs. I'm all for friendship, but...this type of character has also become stale for me. I'd appreciate Ariel more if she was defined better.

As for the plot, it's pretty standard. Girl and Guy meet at a secondary location that conveniently lacks the presence of parental units. Once again, I'm sure I could fill an entire notebook with examples of this cliche. Sure, there are counselors there, but...that didn't really stop the midnight strolls, did it? Anyway. Girl, who is trying to be strong and tough and independent, tells herself not to crush on gorgeous, mysterious (British) Guy. Girl doesn't listen to herself, and crushes on Guy. After all, he's hot and British. Then comes the tense conversations absolutely rife with romantic undertones. Then...gasp! Guy is a werewolf. Girl doesn't believe him, and runs off. Then, after some careful thought, Girl believes him and decides to help him. Girl gets into trouble for it, in more ways than one. Guy saves girl. Girl helps...excuse me, saves...Guy. Girl and Guy reunite at the end and have an explosive, satisfyingly romantic kiss. End.

This story is way too common, but I suppose it got that way for a reason. It's not a bad plot, just...stale. That's exactly what this entire book was to me. Stale.

So this book wasn't really bad, I guess. But it definitely wasn't worth buying, so don't waste your money or your shelf-space. If you don't mind wasting your time by reading it, then go for it. But don't be surprised if it just kind of goes out one ear. I certainly won't have trouble forgetting that I ever read this book.

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