I decided to read Nightshade by Andrea Cremer because I kept hearing some many good things about from book bloggers, and I’m happy to say they did not steer me wrong.
Nightshade tells the story of Calla Tor, a seventeen year-old girl alpha to her werewolf pack. Calla’s life had always been predetermined by the rulers of wolf packs, the Keepers, she was to become the mate of alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, as they continue guarding the Keepers’ sacred sites. However everything changes when Calla violates one of the Keepers’ rules and saves a human hiker boy, Shay Doran, from a bear. Now with Shay in her life, Calla starts questioning what she has always thought to be true.
Nightshade gripped me from the beginning. The book gets right into it from Chapter 1 and I love it.
The concept is maybe not the most original, but Andrea Cremer weaved in a story around it that has plenty of originality and that takes you right in. This is not your typical werewolf story of forbidden love, oh no, there are subtleties and interesting themes throughout.
One of my pet peeves is when a main character (whether in a book, TV show or movie) keeps doing stupid things or making stupid decisions that make it hard to really relate and root for them, but not Calla. Calla is an awesome protagonist. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not perfect and she makes mistakes but they are mistakes that work with her character and what she is going through. But mostly, she grows throughout the book, which is one of the reasons that gets me excited to continue this journey with her in Book 2.
In addition, the two love interests, Ren and Shay (yes there is a love triangle, but I’m not complaining, I enjoy them too much), fit so perfectly into the story, it was so much fun to see Calla interact with them. Although I don’t want to give too much away because I think it’s better to enjoy the book without knowing what’s coming.
I will end with this, be ready because Nightshade ends on a cliffhanger, and when I say cliffhanger, I mean cliffhanger as in I raised my arms in the air and screamed “Nooooooo!” as I rushed to my computer to find out when Book 2 comes out (Book 2 “Wolfsbane”  comes out on July 12th 2011 in case you’re wondering).
So yeah, Nightshade is brilliant, and not only because of the random Sandman mentions. Make sure you read it.
A couple of my favorite quotes:
“I attempted to bare my teeth at him, but my effort rapidly devolved into a wolf grin. Come on Mowgli. Let’s go kill Bambi.
He sent a haughty laugh into my mind. You do realize you just mixed Disney metaphors, right? Disney metaphors. Wow, Calla, I’m just sad for you.“
This one is for the Sandman fans:
“You know, he wasn’t nearly as shocked as I thought he would be.”
“Well, he reads a lot.” I pulled the excuse out of thin air. “I think he’s more open to the fantastic possibilities of the world than most humans.”
Ansel brightened, bobbing his head. “Yeah, he lent me Sandman; it’s awesome.”
Side note: If you haven’t read Sandman by Neil Gaiman  yet, read it, even Andrea Cremer thinks it’s awesome enough she included it in her book multiple times, just saying.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars | Publisher: Philomel | Pages: 452 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon