Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bookanistas Thursday: NIGHTSHADE

Just a little reminder of what the Bookanistas are about:

Bookanistas-logo-hisnhers (1) The Bookanistas: Books are the New Black. We are a group of writers who are in various stages of the publishing process -  and we have decided to band together and review the special books of our peers. We – as fellow writers – have decided to only post positive reviews, therefore, only reviewing the books we LOVE. No negative reviews here!

Other Bookanistas reviewing today:

Christine Fonseca is coveting the cover of A TOUCH MORTAL
Shelli Johannes-Wells is working some MAJIK
Bethany Wiggins is totally team Jay with THE BODY FINDER
Beth Revis recommends THE REPLACEMENT
Carolina Valdez Miller talks up NIGHTSHADE
Shannon Messenger raves about The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter
Lisa and Laura Roecker and Kirsten Hubbard are coveting 2011 covers

And now, to tease your taste buds, I offer you a review of:

NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer

Summary (from the book):

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?

Here's the thing about this book: I got it because someone handed it to me and said, "Check this one out. You'll love it." I had never heard of it, to be honest. So, I flipped it over and glanced at the cover and thought: WOW (yeah, my mouth even rounded out). It's truly beautiful, isn't it? It's gorgeous--so shiny and colorful and glittery and the calla lilies with the blood specks and the's bookcover as art. And it was enough to get me to read the book without even reading the summary. Which...had me a little thrown at first. Took me a couple of pages to orient myself, and then I realized why, it's because...WHOA...this books is not like anything I've ever read. A truly original premise. And utterly gripping--which is saying something because it's a massive book for YA. The ARC is 452 pages, and not once did I want to turn away from it.

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out what I think is the highlight of this book. Yes, it has shapeshifting wolves and other paranormal creatures, magic, and some super cool fantasy elements--but what really stands out is its kickass female. Calla is one tough little thing. She's strong and smart and the leader of her pack--a supreme alpha. But that's where the irony truly lies. Because as strong as she is, the control she has over her own life is really just an illusion--though it takes saving a human, despite the laws of her world, to make her realize it.

You might have guessed, then, that this human boy is the one she falls in love with. Now, I don't want to give anything away, but I will tell you that there's a love triangle that is one of the most complicated love triangles I've seen in YA. I kept flipping back and forth on who I wanted Calla to fall for. Both guys bring out a different side of Calla--and I couldn't decide which I liked better. Indeed, my emotions ran really high with NIGHTSHADE--at times I felt myself getting really angry with Calla's choices or with one of hthe boys, and at other times, I felt like I had to stop and fan myself to force the heat to die down. Talk about some steamy scenes (nothing too graphic, though). I feel like such a cougar even thinking about these boys as drool-worthy, so I'll...just...stop there.

But there's more than just romance and kissing and...stuff. There are some major adrenaline-charged scenes as well, scenes that had me flipping through the pages like an Olympic speed reader, especially in the final third of the book. There's a drawn-out fight scene that had my fingers cramping, I was gripping the book so hard. The werewolves are just a tip of the dark iceberg (although it's not a dark fantasy, per se). In NIGHTSHADE, the humans were the lowest common denominator, subject to the whims of the werewolves and their masters--yet the humans are completely oblivious. Cremer's approach to the paranormal was simply brilliant. Such a strong female mc...such passion...such a marvelous concept....

I devoured every page.


If you haven't done so already, be sure to stop by and enter my contest to win one of 7 (or 8) ARCs: MATCHED by Ally Condie, FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan, TORMENT by Lauren Kate, EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin, PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers, HALO by Alexandra Adornetto, THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger. This contest is open internationally! Unless you live in Antarctica. Sorry. I have to draw the line somewhere.

P.S. If you have an ARC or new book you think the Bookanistas would love enough to review, send me an email and we'll add it to our list.The Bookanistas give nothing but love!


  1. Wow, LOVE your review of NIGHTSHADE. I want to read that book SO bad! :)

  2. Gah! I have no idea what is wrong with the formatting in this post, but I can't seem to figure out how to fix it. Sorry all. How frustrating.

  3. What an awesome review! I can't wait to read this book, especially if it's addictive as it sounds :)

  4. If that isn't a glowing review, I don't know what is. (Andrea should come wash your dishes for you today ;) Yeah, so you made me want this book now too! Curse you, woman.

    Seriously that is indeed a gorgeous cover. She got very lucky to get cover art like that.

    Yeah, you do have some weird gap in your format on this post. Blogger has been very buggy lately.

    Happy Thursday, C.

    PS, I pimped your contest on my latest blog post.

  5. Oh yea, I'm definitely reading this one this weekend. I can't not read it now haha. Thanks for the fab review! :D

  6. This book was SUCH a fun read. I have to be honest though, Calla's little brother was my absolute favorite character =)

  7. I had a hard time finding the comments section. Did you lean your hand on the enter key. ;)

    This is already on my wish list. I'm wading through my TBR pile right now, but I do want to read this.

  8. Ok, this wouldn't be something I would typically be running out to pick up and read, but dang it sounds awesome!

  9. Woa this book does look awesome!!! Have to buy it!

  10. I've been interested in reading this. Glad to hear it's so wonderful. :)

  11. i LOVE the cover on this book and i love that Calla is tough.

  12. Thanks for such an enthusiastic review! I've seen a lot of talk online about this one, but haven't paid much attention until today. I'll be looking for it soon!

    Thank you!

  13. Hi there. I have been following your blog for a short while and I think it is excellent. It is one of the reasons I get out of bed in the morning. Well...that is a bit of an exaggeration...but your blog is excellent.

    I have selected you to be one of my fifteen recipients of the Versatile Blogger Award.

    Shoot on over here to check it out.

    I continue to look forward to reading you.


  14. These reviews are deadly. You take a book I may not have heard of (or one that I might otherwise have passed on) and make me WANT to read it.

    Good job.

  15. Oh oh oh!!!! I want to read this book based on your review. *runs off to check out fav online bookseller*

  16. Wow, that sounds good! I absolutely adore love triangles, especially when I don't have a clear cut choice of who I want her to choose. I'll definitely be checking this one out.

  17. I'm so over werewolves...but your review is fantastic. Maybe I should check this out!

  18. I like the fact that the love triangle isn't so obvious. Great review. Sounds like a great book.

  19. Looks like a fantastic book! Definitely adding it to my list!

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