Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nightshade and Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

I devoured “Nightshade” and “Wolfsbane” by Andrea Cremer over a period of 48 hours and they were delicious. Seriously, these books are worth staying up late for.. and that’s a big sacrifice considering I have a toddler who thinks 5:30AM is a wonderful time to be awake. What makes them so great? Well let’s review Michelle’s paranormal/fantasy YA romance checklist and talk about it, shall we?
  • Strong female heroine - CHECK. Calla is KICK ASS. She not only possesses some awesome powers and skills from being able to transform into a wolf, but she’s a strong willed person. The events of this book rock her safe little world and she has to deal with emotions she hasn’t really experienced. I loved seeing Calla discover her own vulnerability and the injustices in her world’s society. I look forward to seeing her grow more from these experiences in the third book.
  • Love triangle (and not one of those “wimpy maybe I sorta like this guy, but this guy is clearly the winner despite guy #2”) - CHECK and it is angst-i-licious. Yes, so much that I had to make up a word for it.
  • Creative Paranormal/Fantasy elements - CHECK! I love the world within our world that Ms. Cremer has created.
  • Good writing - again, CHECK-A-ROONY. Ms. Cremer’s writing is exciting and fluid. I didn’t ever feel the need to stop because of some bad phrasing or ridiculous situation. She does a great job at foreshadowing without frustrating the reader (a problem I’ve run into a lot recently in YA paranormal books) and she didn’t do any crazy deus ex machina stuff to rush through explanations. She was able to maintain an element of suspense throughout while giving the reader little bursts of knowledge. Well done, Ms. Cremer.
  • Great action sequences and suspense - I know I already mentioned this when I discussed the writing, but wow. Ms. Cremer got my heart pounding during some of these big action sequences.
Yeah, so I’d have to say Ms. Cremer’s “Nightshade” series is all that and a bag of chips. If you like paranormal/fantasy young adult romance, this should DEFINITELY be on your list. I know that the genre is an acquired taste, but it’s one of my favorites. I am anxiously awaiting the third book in this triology.

I was provided with an ARC of "Wolfsbane" by the publisher at the ALA Midwinter Conference. "Nightshade" is already available and "Wolfsbane" will be released in July of this year. It is published by Philomel (Penguin). Go to your local bookstore or library and pick up a copy of Nightshade today.


  1. This is one book that I have to disagree with you on. I say one as I've only read Nightshade. I like your checklist for a good paranormal but I think just the opposite that you did on pretty much every point. Its funny sometimes when you have such strong reactions to a book and then everyone else seems to think the opposite. It makes me wonder if there are different versions of the book out there. lol

    One thing I do love about the books are the covers there is no denying they are fabulous! AS for the rest, I just don't understand the hype. Glad you enjoyed them though!

  2. Thanks for your comment. I understand how you feel though. There have been a few books lately that I thought were terrible and yet people really love them. It's so interesting to see such differing opinions!

  3. That's what I love about reading and blogging. Running into all these differences of opinion. Makes some great discussions!

  4. I had picked up Nightshade in library eBook format at some point but never got around to reading it. Maybe I'll get to it sometime.

  5. Finished reading Nightshade yesterday. I liked it, but only because I SO love (were)wolves (I often find myself yearning for some fur and sharp teeth - o.O)! I also found the world well-constructed, though unfortunately very little of the book did actually introduce us to the world, which is really a shame.

    What I didn't like was the love-triangle, that is, it being over-emphasized. Another thing was the exaggeration of Calla's reactions to the boys. I mean, come on, the girl wanted to collapse after every single touch! Oh please. (Am I being a cynic?)

    For me, the value of the book really laid in the wolves, the world, and also the storyline.

    I HATE cliffhangers though, so I'm really-really angry because of the ending. Some punishment really should be introduced for doing this to the readers!
    Does Wolfsbane end with a cliffhanger as well?

    Thanks for your review, it picked up my interest in the book!

  6. id - Yup, it does. Cliffies abound in this series, I'm afraid. It's super great though and I hope you'll pick it up next week!


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