Author: Andrea Cremer
Number in Series: 1
Time: 11 hrs. and 59 mins.
Narrator: Rebecca Lowman
Release Date: October 19, 2010 (audiobook: October 26, 2010)
Publisher: Listening Library
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Synopsis 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?
I have been reading quite a few YA books recently. A lot have had such hype, but after reading them, I wasn’t sure why they were so hyped. Finally I have come across a book that is as good as the hype says it is. I loved this book so much. This is quite possibly one of the best YA books I have ever read.
Nightshade started off pretty intense. Calla, our lead, finds a guy named Shay dying in the woods, but she has a conscious. Like many in her pack, they would have left him there because he is nothing but another human, but Calla wants to save him. She Is instantly taken by him. But her saving him starts a domino effect of sorts. Shay isn’t just any human, he has a special connection to her world and he shouldn’t. So through curiosity, Shay and Calla both find secrets that will change them and the world as they know it forever. She is also falling for Shay, but she is arranged to marry Ren, the opposing pack’s alpha. Calla has a duty to do so because falling for a human is strictly forbidden and could cost them their lives. This book was more complex than I thought it would be and man did I love it.
Cremer has put us in the lives of teenagers that aren’t afraid of what they are. There is none of that “I am monster” thing in this. In fact, they embrace it and pretty much run the town. Humans know to stay away except for Shay, which only made him more intriguing to me. Instead of being intimidated, especially by Ren who can see that Calla is starting to get a thing for him, Shay does his best to be friends with them even though he knows they aren’t human. He really impressed me. Okay, that is an understatement, I love him. He was kind of nerdy, but still manly. You know, he wasn’t an Urkle. Calla was kickass. It was nice reading a YA with a female that can stand on her own two feet. That being said, I did have a bit of an issue with Calla being googly-eyed around Ren and Shay. She was strong, but I would have liked it if Cremer made her stronger where they were concerned. But I understood it. Calla is a warrior first and foremost, she has never experienced love. So now being in the middle of two guys that love (and can potentially love) her, I understand why she acts the way she does around them.
There is romance, violence, magic, conspiracies, mystery and suspense all rolled into a 452 page book. To be honest, it was over too soon. I was buried in this story and I didn’t want to get out. Cremer gave us such an incredible world, full of teenagers that didn’t give us watered down, unintelligible dialogue. The way this was written, it could have easily transitioned into a world full of adults which was clever. A lot of the times when I read a YA book, the way teens speak could easily let you know they were teens (well, duh). But with Nightshade, it could have been either (without the mention of high school, of course). So if you are an adult like myself (I don’t act like it, but I am close), I can gladly say the drama aspect could be easily found in adult books. Teenage drama cut down to a minimum! HALLELUJAH!
If I have to be forced to recommend a great read to you right now, I’d drive to your bookstore or the library and find this quick. I promise you will probably be as shocked as I was because of how good this book was. The characters were real and relatable. The story was original and Cremer has really taken the werewolf legend and made it her own. Wolfsbane (book 2) just came out, so you know what will be added to my bookshelf next.
*This book belongs to the following challenge*
BCC's Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011