Series: Nightshade, #1
Author: Andrea Cremer
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Fantasy Romance
Publication Date: October 19, 2010
Overall Rating: 4/5
Cover Rating: 5/5
Cover Comments: Gorgeous cover! Love the golden eyes, and the flowers, and the model's make up is just so pretty! And it's purple. Hahaha! I love purple.
Calla Tor has her future all set out in front of her: she'll graduate from high school and become the mate of alpha wolf Renier Laroche, when they'll rule their new pack and protect and obey their Keepers. Everything seems perfect, until she meets Shay Doran, a human boy who seems to be much more involved in her world than any other human.
I love Calla. She's not your usual weak, shy girl that depends on a guy to fight for her. She's also an alpha wolf, and she can fight just as well as any guy. While she can handle just about any physical situation, internal conflicts prove a little more difficult. An intense love triangle blossoms between her and Ren, the hot and sexy werewolf, and witty, fun Shay, who is like a breath of fresh air for her. These two boys will attract you in their own ways, leaving you torn between them just like the protagonist. As her union with Ren is fast approaching, Calla finds herself unable to decide: fulfill her destiny with Ren, or freedom with Shay?
Alongside the romance in this novel you have the mystery and suspense that surrounds the entire werewolf population which is not evident to all the wolves, but definitely to Shay and Calla. The Keepers and the Guardians seem to have all their laws and history set in stone, but as the two unravel more and more of the mystery in the forbidden book, Calla discovers that maybe everything she was told is not really true.
This book captivates you with the fantastical world Andrea Cremer has created. It's about werewolves, but really they're not even werewolves. It's definitely one of my favorites of the year so far. Nightshade is an amazing, driven book that will keep you up all night and day and make you howl for more. (Haha, see what I did there?)
Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
This love triangle killed me. After much debate (with others and myself), I just couldn't decide: Ren or Shay?!? Yes, I know I do tend to fall for the dark, mysterious, sexy bad boys, but Shay just stuck his face in mine with his humor and adventure and attractiveness. Sigh. Well, finally, some people managed to convince me in the end that I should be TEAM REN ALL THE WAY. So I hereby proudly pronounce myself Team Renier Laroche. You can't go wrong with such an amazing name, can you? Anyways, if you're still undecided, here's a post that I discovered a couple days ago that just might jumble up your feelings even more. The entire book had me on edge. I stayed up waaaay past my bed time to read it, and even after I put it away I couldn't stop thinking about it. And what do you know, I wake up at FOUR FREAKING O'CLOCK the next morning and finish the whole thing! If you haven't picked this book up yet, GET IT. NOW.
"I'd always welcomed war, but in battle my passion rose unbidden."
"I blinked, but I couldn't halt the burning sensation. A pair of tears, hot and unwanted, slid down my cheeks. Bryn's eyes widened. I never cried. Not when anyone could witness it."
"As an alpha I could help my packmates get the things they wanted, but there wasn't anyone who could do the same for me."
"He kissed my forehead and left the room. I fell back against the pillow, not feeling in control of anything, much less like anyone's boss. My lips still tingled from Ren's kiss, but when I closed my eyes, only Shay's face was there."
"'Fine,' he said, taking my arm. "Try not to do that again. I don't like to see another man touch you.' Another man? Ren had pointedly been referring to Shay as 'that kid' since we'd first met him. Jealousy really was eating at the alpha."
"'Do you love him?' His eyes searched mine. 'Don't ask me that,' I said, lips still burning from my confession to Shay, now stinging with this deceit. 'This isn't about love. It's about survival.' 'No, Calla." His voice became hushed. 'This is only about love.'"
"From behind me, I heard the lone cry of a wolf. The howl echoed as it rose toward the full moon, a sound full of agony and irreparable loss."
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?