Monday, July 26, 2010


Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre: YA fantasy/paranormal
Page Count: 464
Why I read it: ARC Tour
Grade: B-
Publication Date: Oct. 19, 2010

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

My review:
I really liked the writing here. The flow was good, and it was never slow. Unfortunately, this book falls victim to the love triangle of death that has been killing my enjoyment of most YA novels lately. I don't mind a little romance in my books. In fact, I prefer it. But I'm talking about a little romance. And I'm sick to death of love triangles. To me, it shows a definite lack of imagination and creativity on the part of the author. I imagine it's a lot easier to write a book when you can devote at least half of it to the internal angst of the main character who must choose between two hot guys who are in love with her. "I want him to kiss me . . . now he's kissing me . . . I like this . . . this can't happen! . . . stop kissing me . . . oh no, maybe he's mad at me and will avoid me . . . oh, there he is again . . . I want him to kiss me . . ." This seemed to be a major theme throughout.

Plus, it seems that if there is a love triangle, I inevitably like the wrong guy. The one that is never chosen, which is really frustrating! Okay, now that I've got my major reading pet peeve off my chest, I'll get back to the story. It's good. I thought a lot of it was very original. I felt like there was just enough information given at just the right times that the suspense was kept up without me feeling completely lost. That is, until I got to the end, and realized that I really knew nothing, and had no idea what was going on. There is a cliffhanger ending, so bad that it's almost like the book ended mid-paragraph. I don't care for endings like that, where the reader is forced to read the second book. I've said it before, but if you make your first book good enough, readers will read the second book without you having to leave them hanging quite so much.

If it weren't for her inability to just choose a man and stick with him, I would have really liked Calla. She is strong, mostly independent, and interesting. The love triangle just ruined her for me, though, and I had a hard time liking her in that context. Also, I just never connected to Shay (the human boy she saves) as a character. I didn't find him attractive at all, I actually found him kind of annoying, and he is such a central character.

So, if it sounds like I hated this book, I really didn't. I thought the writing was wonderful, and therefore was even more disappointed than I would usually be over the stupid plot devices. The author has so much potential. I will definitely be reading the next in the series, but I'm prepared to be disappointed some more. I would recommend this one to YA fantasy fans, but if you hate love triangles as much as I do, beware--it's one of the main themes of the book.

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