Friday, December 17, 2010

YA Thriller/Romance: Nightshade


by Andrea Cremer
Philomel (Penguin), 2010
528 pages

Calla's life has been planned for her since before her own birth. That's the way it is in the pack. Sworn to protect each other and the sacred sites for the Keepers, Calla is part of a pack of wolves/humans whose existence is solely for the benefit of the Keepers--magical beings older than humanity itself. Calla prepares to become a lifemate for the alpha male Ren, but a chance meeting on the mountain with a human boy changes all that.

When Calla breaks the highest of laws by saving the human from a bear attack, she allows him to see her change from wolf to girl. She hopes she never sees him again, but when he shows up at her high school, she is forced to face her feelings.

Shay wants to know Calla better but her pack has other ideas. Calla and Shay begin to dig into the mysteries of the Keepers and find that all the old laws are wrong. As they rebel, they risk everything to be together. The book ends in a cliffhanger, opening the door for the sequel: Wolfsbane due out July 26, 2011.

Paranormal romance readers who enjoyed the Twilight series and Shiver and Linger will be panting to get their hands on Wolfsbane (book 2).

Highly recommended grades 9-12. Some more mature grade 8 readers will be okay with this novel. Warning #1: two wolves are gay--although they face prejudice in the pack and the larger world, there is NOT any mention of sex. Warning #2: At one point, Calla must shed her fancy gown, and Shay is astonished to see she is not wearing a bra--but it does NOT mention anything sexual.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library. Other reviews mentioned grade 8-up. I would recommend it for grade 8 with CAUTION.

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