Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Title: Nightshade
Author:  Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #1
ISBN: 039925482X
Publisher:  Philomel
Pub. Date: 2010
Source: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages:  454
Rating:  3/5

From Goodreads:  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?

My Reveries and Ramblings: Calla, an alpha werewolf, is set to be mated (or married) to Ren, another alpha werewolf.  When patrolling the woods, Calla comes across Shay in the woods injured and threatened.  By saving his life, she could be sentenced to death.  She doesn’t think she will ever see him again.  When he shows up at school, Calla is asked by her future master to watch over him.  Their newfound friendship turns into love and Calla must not only choose between Ren and Shay but also between playing it safe or learn the truth.

Okay, so for starters-I love Ren.  He is attractive, an alpha, hot, nice, caring, hot, confident, hot, and oh, did I mention-hot?  As you can tell-I’m completely team Ren.  Now that I got that out of my system, I can continue.  Calla, the protagonist, is strong, both physically and mentally.  She’s not a push over.  She and her “pack” all attend Mountain High School with Ren and his “pack.”  Andrea Cremer puts an interesting spin on werewolves and the paranormal.  This isn’t your normal werewolf story (you know, all that full-moon-tortured-soul stuff).  This is a love story that forces the reader to feel torn and conflicted.  The characters are very realistic (besides the paranormal element) and layered.  Each one has realities that they are forced to face.  Because they serve their masters they do not have a choice in who they marry (although, they can make requests) or where they live.  Disobedience usually involves death.  The other option, though, is to suffer at the hands of a dark shade-like creature that reminded me a lot of the dementors from the Harry Potter series.  There were several suspenseful scenes; and of course there is a bit of a cliff hanger.

I read this book in one day (at the airport and on my flights).  When I finished it, I wasn’t really sure what to think.  I liked it and I didn’t like it.  I thought it was interesting and definitely creative.  I liked the world Cremer built.  However, I really didn’t like Shay.  I wouldn’t mind him being like the “best friend” but I just don’t like him.  Also, I didn’t trust him.  He kept pressuring Calla to do things that if discovered she could be punished/killed.   I decided about a day after I finished it that I liked it and that Shay was the reason why I felt odd about it. I give it 3/5.  I can’t wait until the sequel Wolfsbane comes out.

*If you read the book, highlight the area below, if not then I’m warning you that there are spoilers:

That last scene when Calla asked Ren to give her and Shay some time to get away really showed how much he loved her.  Then she just ripped his heart out (not literally).  That made me so mad.  Poor Ren.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

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