Book Report: Our highly scientific analysis of a book, from the characters to the writing style to the swoon. See More...

She Can Control Her Pack, But Not Her Hormones

Forever Young Adult presents a book review of Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

She Can Control Her Pack, But Not Her Hormones

BOOK REPORT for Bloodrose, a Nightshade novel, by Andrea Cremer

Cover Story: Brown Bag It
BFF Charm: Nay, But Wait!
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Solid
Bonus Factor: Tasty Business
Bonus/Anti-Bonus Factor: Werewolves
Relationship Status: It's Been Fun

Cover Story: Brown Bag It

No. Just... no.

The Deal:

Warning: This is the third and final book in the Nightshade trilogy. Spoilers for the second book follow.

Calla and Adne have just left on an unauthorized mission to rescue Ren from the Keepers in Vail, and to convince him to come back, Calla plays on his love for her (and her own feelings for him). This, as you might imagine, causes some tension between Shay and Ren once they return, but of greater importance, the Searchers are preparing to launch their final attack on the Keepers. So Calla not only has to control her pack, but also her own desires, and instead focus on not letting the world end. Which is hard when you're a teenage werewolf in love. With two boys. Heavy sigh.

BFF Charm: Nay, But Wait!

Calla, Calla, Calla. You're strong and stubborn, which are two qualities I like in a girl, but... you actually don't have a whole lot of personality. In the first book, you were so brainwashed about male/female roles, and I really felt for you as you struggled against that. But now that you're all empowered and shit, I KIND of feel like you lack substance.

However, I really enjoyed all of the supporting characters, and would absolutely want to sit at their table in the caf. Or Haldis, or wherever they eat lunch.

Swoonworthy Scale: 7

Okay, let me get this out of the way right off: this author knows how to write steamy scenes, and she's written two love interests who were actually hard for me to choose between. But if you've guessed that I have but-face, you're right.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I am well and truly tired of the fantasy-genre love triangle, and reading this book helped me figure out why: we are supposed to believe that not one but TWO guys are totally and completely (irrevocably, if you will) in love with one girl. FOR NO REASON AT ALL. And said girl loves them both! And can't decide! Oh gosh! So instead of choosing to date one or both or neither of them, she chooses to make them be friends -- and they follow along willingly, each determined to fight for her (It IS fantasy-genre). Now, if the girl was a fully developed character, and it was explained WHY these guys are both in love with her, I might have more tolerance for it. Like, one of them loves her honesty and the other one loves her sense of humor. But we're just supposed to believe that she's special or has a magical vagina and that it's a normal thing for two guys to be in love with her. Guess what, teenage girls reading these! You try pulling that shit with a mature boy who's not a creepy stalker or obsessed with you, and he will be SO out of there.

Talky Talk: Solid

Cremer really outdid herself with the action this time around, and the adventure junkie in me couldn't put this book down once it started going. I'm also pleased to say that this last book in the series didn't feel rushed and didn't jump the shark in its conclusion.

Bonus Factor: Tasty Business

I always enjoy a good meal, or even a description of a good meal, and the food the characters eat at various locations around the globe was one of my favorite parts of this book. And it made me want to go to Italy even more than I already do.

Bonus/Anti-Bonus Factor: Werewolves

So whether this falls into the bonus or anti-bonus category really depends on the reader. A few years ago, when I was getting tired of all of the zombie movies out, I declared that the next big thing was going to be werewolves. And I was excited. Bring on the werewolves! And boy, have they been brought. But not like I meant. I want a werewolf story where being a werewolf is a bad thing! Where the werewolf is the bad guy, or at least an ambiguous character. I want ones that look crazy and demonic, not like cuddly wolves. Come on!

However, if you do like werewolves as good guys, Cremer's descriptions of the wolf pack are detailed and believable. The fight scenes were brutal , which kept me wincing throughout, and asking myself -- why am I more okay with reading fight scenes between humans than animals?

Casting Call:

You can see my casting choices for Calla and Shay in my review of Wolfsbane. Ren was difficult, though. Until I remembered this guy:

Ethan Peck as Ren

Relationship Status: It's Been Fun

Hey book, thanks so much for taking me out. I had a good time. We don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, but you were so adventurous and thrilling that I really enjoyed myself with you. But now it's the end of the night, and while I appreciate you walking me to my door, I think its best if we say goodnight out here. I mean, let's be honest, we're not going to go out again, so I'd rather remember the fun times we did have than spoil everything by having to awkwardly spurn your advances.

FTC FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my review copy from Penguin. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (damnit!). Bloodrose is available now.

Jenny Bird's photo About the Author: Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.
K