Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

The second book I read is Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. I mostly liked this book, but I had some issues with it, ok, actually one issue, a boy, to be exact. So yeah, this review might actually contain some SPOILERS, so you might not want to read my opinion on this one if you haven't read it. Oh, and this might or might have not turned into a rant about Shay, so if you like him, you might not want to read this. Just saying. Here is the summary from Goodreads:

"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?"

I decided to read the book based on the overview and recommendations I got for it. And since all three books in this series are out, I figured I was safe because I could find out immediately what happens next. To be honest, I had expected something different. Actually, I would have enjoyed this book even more if it wasn't for the human boy, Shay. He just annoyed me so much that it soon became a struggle to read, but I continued because I really liked other characters. He is the only thing that didn't make sense to me.

So Calla is an alpha wolf, even though it mostly doesn't seem so. She is destined to be mated to Ren and there's nothing she can do except follow the rules. On top of that, she has to remain "pure" while Ren can sleep with whomever he wants. I know some of the readers had issues with all of that, but I didn't. I mean, I couldn't help but admire how good the position of women in that kind of society was shown. First you have the girl who is apparently given equality, the title of alpha, but the decisions of the male are still more important; men are still the center of everything. And I think this exactly is still the problem in our world. We apparently have the same rights, but why in most countries men are still better paid and hold more important positions? I see male presidents, still more males in the government and so on. True, some women are also there, but it's still annoying when you go to a job interview and they ask you if you plan to have kids, because, you know, you won't get the job if you plan to get pregnant. *face palm*

But let's get back to the book. So Calla is supposed to stay a virgin until the union (no, I'm not going to get into it how annoyed I am that women still get to be insulted because of this and men are like heroes or something) and this whole oppression thing leads to tons of sexual frustration. You see what you get when something is forbidden and shouldn't be lol Her sexual frustration is so great that it can be cut with a knife and she's basically attracted to both Ren and Shay. I just had a feeling the girl wanted to jump somebody's bones, and it wouldn't even matter whose. And I was like, wow, cool, this shows that women shouldn't be oppressed, and I liked that.

Now comes the issue of Shay. *sigh* I developed an instant dislike for him, and as the story progressed, I liked him less and less, especially when he started appearing all the time. The problem I had with him is that I just don't feel he's real and I don't feel the thing between him and Calla. She would basically throw herself at anything male, and I got the feeling she wanted him just because he was forbidden. I was annoyed how he seemed to be brave one moment and the next he's almost pissing his pants. Even though he's supposed to be hot, I kept imagining him like someone small, bony and twisted looking lol. And he's like so super smart, apparently learned how to use a whip by reading and pretending to be Indiana Jones. Great, then I'm a super spy and totally know how to use a gun, you know, because I pretended to be that when I was young and read about it. No, don't you dare shatter my illusion lol I'm a spy!

Not to mention he's a great dancer, but apparently a loner who moved a lot and didn't have much friends. So, with whom did you dance? A doll? lol That reminds me of a movie. XD If he went to dance classes, wouldn't he have met someone? Then he constantly makes Calla break rules, I guess that's his way not to be too perfect or sth? (Where is that 'we have a badass in here' meme when you need it). I mean, he's the chosen one! There's a book about him! Aaaaaah! I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one who had a problem with this, who knows? But I just couldn't stand him from the moment when he got to the class and started insisting that they should study Hobbes or someone, I'm not good at Philosophy lol but when would a teenage boy, especially as a new student, ask so much to study about something? I mean, you can be interested in something, but wouldn't you then study it on your own or ask the professor about it after class and not embarrass yourself in front of your new class? lol Maybe my logic is messed up, but I saw this as a sort of a social suicide :P

As for Ren, he can sometimes be a jerk, but I have a feeling he doesn't know any better. I mean, he was raised to believe his behavior is the right one, so I can't blame him for it. And yes, I like him actually. He cares for Calla and even tries to be nice. I really loved other characters, like Ansel and Bryn, because their stories were very interesting and sweet. I guess I could read just about them and their lives. The whole book would be awesome if there wasn't for Shay. All that doesn't include him is basically perfect. I loved the rest of the Calla's world and it would have been awesome if she and Ren somehow together decided to break free of the rules. I even went to read the short novella from Ansel's point of view and loved it, and too bad it was so short. I'd like to read the next book in this series, but I don't think I'm ready for more of Shay. He's become like my reference for guys I don't like in a love triangle lol Now I'm like, no, the guy's fine, he's better than Shay lol

Anyway, this was a quick read and I found myself coming back to it to read more. The plot was mostly interesting, there weren't any slow, boring parts, and in the end, I did enjoy this book. You may or may not agree with my opinion on this one, but that's perfectly ok. Books can be interpreted in thousands of ways and the beauty of it all is that we all see things differently. So if you like this boy whose name I don't want to say, take him, it's yours lol XD Oh, and yes, despite all of this, I'd recommend people to read this book because it's really fun.

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