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A Reader of Fictions: Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? - The Lovin' Spoonful

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? - The Lovin' Spoonful

Nightshade, Book 1

Author: Andrea Cremer
Genre: young adult, fantasy
Pages: 452
ARC Acquired From: Penguin booth at ALA 2010

Brief Summary:
Calla is a Guardian, able to shift into a wolf at will, conveniently without losing any clothing in the process. She is the alpha of her pack and soon to be paired with the male alpha, Ren, of the other young pack by the Keepers, witches who give the Guardians anything they need in exchange for protection and some other less savory things. As a female, Calla is required to remain chaste, but Ren has done nothing of the sort (isn't that always the way?), which is one of the main reasons why Calla does not feel entirely certain about the impending union. Also making her hesitant is the cute new boy, Shay, whose life she saved with her awesome Guardian blood healing powers. Her decision is one of love versus duty, if only she could figure out who she loves and what her duty actually should be.

has a flashy, eye-catching cover. Quite beautiful. The chapters, of the ARC at least, each begin with an image of the waxing or waning moon. Also lovely. The publishers have done a lot to make this book appealing and have aesthetically succeeded. Except that these images are not well-matched to the content of the book. As I said, I like the cover art, but there is nothing about Calla that says purple, especially not her hair. Calla also hates makeup and will not wear it for even the fanciest events, so why would the girl on the cover (presumably Calla) be covered in glitter? As for the moon shots, I liked them a lot until I got to the climax of the book, which takes place at the 'Blood Moon,' which is described in the book as being a full moon. And yet the moon images at the end of the book are of the moon disappearing entirely. Did no one notice this?

The story itself is certainly melodramatic, as is rather unavoidable when the plot is based entirely around a love triangle. Still, I enjoyed the book and will probably read any sequels fairly eagerly. Cremer has done interesting things with the basic premise of werewolves (which these aren't really). Her story definitely falls into a more serious fantasy category than the paranormal bandwagon books. I do hope to see some more exposition about the Keepers and Searchers in later volumes, as this one left a lot of information out.

Nightshade falls somewhere between Twilight and Shiver, but I liked it better than both. Elements of the love triangle were certainly frustrating (such as Calla's inability to suss out her feelings), but I try not hold it against her too much. I did not blame Katniss for that, so Call also deserves a pardon for her circumstances. Paranormal romance fans, this one won't disappoint you!

"Did you ever have to finally decide
Say yes to one and let the other one ride
There's so many changes and tears you must hide"

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Blogger Heidi said...

You have to stop reading so I can catch up with my tbr list which just keeps growing with every review! Take a vacation...hide all your books...geez...and I thought I was a quick reader.

October 29, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Haha, thanks Heidi!

I actually am reading more slowly than I would like to be. A lot of this YA stuff goes really quickly though, thank goodness.

October 30, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

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