Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Andrea Cremer

Grade: A-

Description from

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 thoughts on the book:

I enjoyed Nightshade quite a bit. The cover is obviously gorgeous (probably my favorite cover of all time), and Calla is an amazing heroine. However, I cannot stand Shay. The song "Don't Be A Girl About It" by Kelly Clarkson keeps coming to mind when I think of Shay. Ren, on the other hand, is wonderful. 

Calla saves Shay from getting killed by a bear and then is plagued by him everywhere she goes. She broke th rules to save him, and she is terrified that he will tell the Keepers (basically witches who are in charge of the wolves) what she's done and she'll be killed. Of course she's curious about him because the Keepers treat him as if he's important, and since her entire destiny has been decided for her by the Keepers (she's betrothed to Ren and destined to be co-alpha of a new pack), she wants control over her own life. Because of this, she can't seem to stay away from Shay. 

To me, Shay comes across as a pansy. He's weak. I mean I know he's human, but he's an overly emotional twit. Thankfully, Calla is a strong character. After Bella Swan and the 900 other weak-minded/emotionally dependent characters that followed her, Calla is very refreshing, and I like the fact that she saves Shay repeatedly and not the ohter way around. However, Shay is just clingy and overly emotional. He got on my nerves a lot. 

Ren is a lovely character, and he embodies all of the characteristics that a hero should have. However, Shay, I think, is supposed to be the hero. Yucko. Ren is brave, strong, and hot. He's also loyal to Calla and would risk his life for her. Shay, on the other hand, cowers behind her every chance he gets. 

Calla reminds me a lot of myself. That's probably why I could relate to her character so well. She's a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, and she is not a romantic at all. She's very practical, and until Shay comes and mucks things up, she is content with her decided future. I do think it's good for Calla get gain her own freedom and make her own decisions. I just feel that associating with Shay is a bad decision. 

My irritation with Shay aside, Cremer has created a wonderful world, located in Vail, CO, that is dark and somewhat terrifying. I don't mean ghosts jumping out at you terrifying, I mean terrifying because of the society Calla lives in. Her every move is dictated by the Keepers who use Wraiths (think evil spirits) to torture those who go against their rules. They decide who marries whom, and the women of the pack can't touch a man until they are married. Going against that rule would get the women tortured or killed. Furthermore, the Keepers can basically force anyone in any pack to have sex with them, and there is nothing that any of the wolves can do about it because of the Wraiths. The Keepers have absolute power, and it has corrupted them absolutely. 

In the novel, there are a few phrases that are worded awkwardly, such as, "Did he hit you with his flesh or a weapon?" But over all, the entire story was well-written. The awkward phrases made me give this book an A- because they stood out and distracted me momentarily. Awkward phrasing and Shay aside, I loved this book. The story itself is fantastic, and I could not put it down until I finished it. You will be kept on the edge of your seat with this one. 

Want to read Nightshade?

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