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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer


I picked up Nightshade at the NCTE conference, excited because it sounded like a great new series for Twi-hards and because the author was there to autograph it. I also nabbed the audio-book version since I knew I had holiday travel looming in my future. Since my hubby & I had a twelve + hour drive each way, what better way to pass the time? Let me say, I have only made it half-way through the audio version – this book is simply not catching my fancy. I'll keep struggling through it, but I felt the need to go ahead and blog my thoughts. Keep reading to see why.

The package of the audio-book recommends Nightshade for ages 12-17.  As a teacher, I would like to say, “Nuh uh!”  

Summary: Calla has known all of her life what her role was – up & coming Alpha female of her young werewolf pack, destined to be joined with Ren as her mate. She has never questioned; has always followed the rules. That changes when she sees a young human being attacked by a bear in the woods – for reasons she cannot even understand, she saves him and reveals herself.

When the human boy, Shay, shows up at her small private school as a new student, her world gets rearranged. Somehow, he is important to the Keepers, the witches that the werewolves, known as Guardians, serve. Calla quickly finds herself acting as his bodyguard, protecting him from the mysterious “Watchers,” rogue witches who are trying to overthrow the Keepers and destroy the sacred sites that the various Keepers and their Packs protect.

Shay’s curiosity about Calla and her world drive him to ask questions that Calla has never asked; questions that could get her killed. Shay also drives a wedge between Calla and Ren, threatening a union that has been planned all their lives.

Calla is a physically powerful female character who can take care of herself (& others) in a pinch. I like this about her. However, I don’t like her obsession with….well, read on.

My Review: Nightshade reads like an old Harlequin romance novel. As we listened to the first few chapters during our drive, hubby & I made a game out of pointing out all the instances of the word “throbbing” and all its derivatives used throughout.

Calla makes it a big point to “remain pure” for her union ceremony, but this doesn’t stop her from constantly thinking about the effect the various males have on her physically. There were times I felt I needed to put a little Barry White on in the background, because it sounded pretty sleazy for someone who wasn’t doing anything.

There are also vague but suggestive scenes involving other characters who were being forced to do things they weren't happy or comfortable with.

For those older readers who like paranormal romance mixed with a little action, Nightshade is the first of a series.  Enjoy! It just wasn't for me.


Age Appropriateness:
Grades 10 & up

Areas of concern (content):
Foul Language: none
Nudity/Adult Content: pervasive
Violence: moderate

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