Hello there, long time no see! This is Alz with another review for you. Krispy won this book as an ARC and a long time ago I stole it from her to read. I kind of wish I hadn't.
Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Pros: I think there were one or two minor characters who were okay.
Cons: Everything else.
Intellectual Rating: 0.5 out of 10 stars (only because Crescendo is my golden standard for utter literary failure)
Emotional Grade: F
Book Blurb: (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?
Nightshade tries very hard to be immersive, erotic (yes, this book is the closest thing I've read so far to YA erotica, though there is no actual getting beyond second base), edgy and hip and cool.
The way it tries to do this is by throwing you into this magical werewolf/warlock society where apparently stuff happens because of other stuff and it's very omgwtfbbq important because people say so. My main motivation for finishing this godawful waste of paper and ink was trying to figure out what the hell was happening. It took me months to finish the book because every 3 pages something annoying or beyond implausible would happen and I'd stop. I finished it and I still don't know what's going on, except that there's some kind of conspiracy, Calla is lamer than a flock of wingless one-footed ducks, and Shay is every 13-year-old girl's wish-fulfillment fantasy boyfriend, right down to liking Buffy the Vampire Slayer (specifically: Season 8).
I've got to hand it to the author, though, you know how they say to start off a book with action? There is ACTION in that first chapter. Calla's in wolf-form fighting a freaking bear that already mauled beautiful illegally-trespassing-hiker Shay. Yes, folks, that was and is still the most memorable and interesting (and laughable) scene Nightshade: the hot love interest is mauled by a bear before the book even begins. He's literally lying on the forest floor bleeding on page 2 or 3.