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Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything--including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

I wanted to read NIGHTSHADE because it had a cool sounding title and a pretty cover (and in other superficial details: I really like the awesome chapter break pages too). I didn’t actually know what it was about until I received the ARC and read the blurb, saw the word ‘wolf’ and thought ‘uh oh’. Because I am not inclined to like werewolves; I have to be convinced.

Luckily, with this book, I was convinced. They’re unique and interesting. There’s an interesting hierarchy that goes above the packs, and I liked the way their dual nature as a wolf and a human was described. Her world was clearly well thought out and it was pretty cool, so I got on board. Plus there are other things like wraiths and Keepers, who have their own powers.

Now what I really liked with the hierarchy she set up was that she didn’t do it halfway. People were more powerful than you, you listened to them. That was the way it was. But the MC, Calla, still has spunk to her, and she does have the capacity to recognize when something just isn’t right. Which is a very good thing, because a lot wasn’t right in her world. I liked her a lot, and all the teenage characters, actually. There were many of them, since both she and Ren (her betrothed) have their own packs, but everyone's personalities were unique enough that I didn't get them confused.

The book is quite long. But things are happening all the way through, so it didn’t feel long, and other than some of the swooning descriptions—I did think Calla spent a little too much time feeling like she was going to faint (about midway through I was actually starting to theorize that her feeling faint so often was going to come into play as a plot element) when one of the two love interests touched her—I thought everything belonged and I didn’t notice the length at all.

The one main concern I had with this book (besides the excess swooning) was that nearly every man with power—both Keeper and Guardian—behaved appallingly. None of the women in power behaved so badly. And while many in positions of power are corrupt and unpleasant, I wanted to see a little more balance. Also, considering the length of the book, the ending felt a bit rushed. I won’t elaborate on that, for obvious reasons.

So to sum up, this book kept me hooked, and I definitely recommend it. I also think it will appeal to both the romantics and the skeptics, because there are lots of things to enjoy about this book, even if you’re not into the romance part.

Kaitlin Ward

Kaitlin Ward is the author of Bleeding Earth, Adaptive Books 2016, and The Farm, coming 2017 from Scholastic.

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  1. Thank you for a fair and honest review. I laughed reading it because the cover appeals to me, but werewolves also don't. I'm glad to hear it kept you reading and will keep this one in mind!


  2. I'm the opposite...the wolf thing really appeals to me. I want to read this one really bad now! Thanks for the review.

  3. Hmmmmmm excessive swooning, eh? Now I'm nervous to read this ARC that's in my TBR stack. LOL

  4. Thanks for the great review. I too love the cover, but am picky when it comes to werewolves. I've heard nothing but good things about this book and can't wait to read it.

  5. Thanks for the review! I got the ARC of this at BEA, and I've been wondering if I would enjoy it or not. Seems like I might. (Especially now that I'm forewarned about the fainting.)

  6. Annie, don't be nervous to read it! The swooning is easily overshadowed by the book's good qualities :)

  7. I'm glad you liked this even though you don't care for werewolves. I just started it, and don't like wolves of any shape, size, or form. lol

    I didn't realize it was about wolves either until I started reading it.

  8. Great review! This book is high on my tbr list. I can't wait now. :)
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  9. I really want to work the phrase "excessive swooning" into everyday conversation somehow.

  10. I'm not really fan of werewolves, but it does sound interesting. I like when they set up the hierarchy similar to real wolves. It lets me suspend my disbelief. I might pick this book up if I see it in the library. I'm not sure I want excessive swooning, but that sounds like it can be overlooked.

    Thanks for the review.

  11. Nice Review! I just finished reading and reviewing this one too :)


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Item Reviewed: Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kaitlin Ward