Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Sometimes books remind me why I write. This was one of those books for me. Andrea Cremer at first made me envious of her writing style, with her poised maturity, choice of words (like nascent) and lyrical writing voice. I was in awe in the first couple of pages, not to mention drawn in completely. Later the envy turned to disappointment as the story progressed. There were less sensory perceptions (how much can you really perceive in a classroom) and more dialogue. As the story began unfolding, I found myself attached, but not obsessed with it.

And then there was the love/hate thing. I’m really not sure where to push this book. I have been pretty divided when I like certain authors and don’t like others. I mean, those books go on the bottom shelf, where they are lost forever. Andrea Cremer is still on the headboard above my bed, because I need to give it an honest review.

The love/hate fest began with “toe the line” and for me it looked out of place. I sought wikipedia for the rules on it and found it’s actually a common term, and spelled that way. I would have read it “tow the line” but that’s just me apparently. A couple of other words felt out of place as well but I let them go figuring that since she prefers using the more off beat words, that I’m probably just not familiar with the terms.

Overall the book kept my interest until the end and managed to keep me up for a sort of late night. I ended up finishing it around 2:30am, which isn’t unlike me considering that I’ve finished other YA books at like 5am, not being able to put them down.

The Good and The Bad then:

– Sexy boys. Both of the love interests in the book aren’t bad catches.
– Yummy mysterious prophecy stuff.
– Secrets galore between the families and the packs that make things interesting.
– Packmates that really do act like best friends.
– Packmates that are definitely comic relief.
– Plotlines that don’t hold back and circle around options incessantly.
– Action and scary villains that make the danger seem real.
– Oh, and then there’s temptation, a lot of it.

Bad: (oh should I hold my tongue?)
– I didn’t identify with the main character Calla. I’d like to say the tagline for the book should read “Can control her packmates but not her hormones” but let’s be honest, she couldn’t even control her packmates, or her hormones. I really don’t know if this was about love for her, the love wasn’t genuine. Also, to add to Calla, she makes too many mistakes and she doesn’t act like an Alpha.
– Shay was a great character, when he wasn’t acting stupid. I dunno, somewhere in all of this he lost his edge. He began as a great character, then turned into sort of a turd, then became a boy, then became something else I can’t really describe.
– Ren was sort of the same way, he fluctuated between being an asshole, a jerk, and a nice guy, and then all of a sudden did something perverse and forceful.
– I’m not emotionally invested in the packs. That was the thing, this society is different from what we’re used to but I wasn’t as drawn into it. For me I needed to live with the lifestyle longer, but I realize that in books that’s hard to do because everyone wants action now.
– I predicted the ending about 10 chapters before it happened. That’s a horrible sign. I mean I saw her trying to throw me off the trail but I knew what Calla’s big surprise would be. Maybe it’s just because like her, I’ve also studied witchcraft and druidism, and what not. It seemed like a very logical thing to occur based on older traditions. Very reminiscent of a story with young King Arthur.

The good outweighs the bad in this book and I still recommend it as a read for anyone interested in the YA Supernatural feel. Andrea Cremer does know her stuff and that helps when weaving a scintillating tale about forbidden love and ancient traditions that could potentially spell disaster.


Comments ( 1 )

  • Natasha M. Heck says:

    Your reviews are so thorough and great.<br /><br />I just finished the book and my major complaint was the lack of introducing the world in the beginning. I didn&#39;t know what I was getting myself into and I wish it was explained a bit better. Once I understood, it was much better (or was there a page missing in my e-book?). I just know that I almost said to hell with the book because of it,

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