Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)

Synopsis (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?

My Thoughts:
Oh, how I loved this book!  It grabbed me from the very first sentence and I couldn't put it down until the last sentence!   I stayed up late to finish it which wasn't such a great idea since I had to be up early to teach a bunch of 3 and 4 year old kids the next morning.  But it was worth it!

I loved Calla.  She was a strong character right from the beginning.  There was no whining, poor me, pity parties with Calla.  I liked how she didn't like that she was forced into a union with Ren but she is so loyal to her pack and family.  I liked the turmoil in her feelings for both Ren and Shay.  I actually felt her confusion about which one she really liked.  I won't give away the ending here but I'm still on the fence about who Calla should have picked.

I loved Ansel, Calla's little brother, as well!  He was cute and sweet and honestly cared for his big sister and his pack.  I really enjoyed his relationship with Bryn and was impressed with how much he loved her and showed it to everyone. 

Ren was hot!  He was in control, sexy, demanding yet not quite so self-assured when it comes to Calla.  In the end, he really shows how much he actually cares for Calla.  Despite sometimes really hating Ren (like during his jealous rages, for instance), I still find myself drawn to him.  At the end, I actually even felt sympathy him.  However, I cannot say for certain that I am "Team Ren". 

Shay got on my nerves at times.  He was very whiny about the whole union between Calla and Ren.  He didn't really care what kind of trouble he got her into and would continually urge her to read the "forbidden" book or go places they weren't suppose to go.  I just felt that if someone really cared about another person, they would not keep trying to talk them into getting themselves into trouble.  At the end, I found myself liking him more though and now I think I am as confused as Calla was over who to chose! 

So, I was really excited that this was a werewolf story without the usual werewolf ideas.  There was no waiting for the full moon, no clothes ripping off as they changed forms or anything like that.  There were no vampires!  However, there were the "Keepers" and the "Searchers" that kept things plenty interesting.  As Calla and Shay learn more about the deception of the Keepers, you begin to wonder more as well.  Are the Searchers really the enemies?  What are the Keepers hiding?  These questions are still running through my mind!
I cannot wait for Wolfsbane!  The ending of Nightshade was a major cliffhanger so I am dying to find out what happens to Ren, Calla and Shay.


  1. Great Review. I loved this book. And I am totally Team

  2. I cannot wait to read the next installment either! I loved this book, too. Thanks for your review. (I'm Team Ren!)

  3. Great review! I loved this one too! It was such a long wait too. I had entered 100s of contests to try to win an early copy and eventually did, just 2 weeks or so before its release date! Can't wait for Wolfsbane!

    Not sure which "team" I'm on yet! :)

  4. I completely agree. I was very torn between Ren and Shay at the beginning, but now that I think back on the book, I'm leaning towards Team Ren.

    Like you said, Shay irritated me at times too and tried to justify his actions repeatedly. There's something about him that I don't trust. I'm sure there is more to him that we don't know.

    I can't wait for Wolfsbane either!