Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BWB's Never Cry Werewolf Top Reviewer

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Here is her review:

Okay, so maybe Shelby has made a few mistakes with boys lately (how was she supposed to know Wes had "borrowed" that Porsche?). But her stepmother totally overreacts when she catches Shelby in a post-curfew kiss with a hot senior: Suddenly Shelby's summer plans are on the shelf, and she's being packed off to brat camp. It's good-bye, prom dress; hello, hiking boots.

Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there's more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby's help guarding it. Shelby knows that she really shouldn't be getting tangled up with another bad boy . . . but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one? One thing's for sure: That pesky full moon is about to get her into trouble all over again.

This post is going to be in two parts. The first part will contain the discussion questions that were provided by the group administrators. The second part will address anything not covered by the discussion questions.


Q#1 - What do you think about stereotypical characters? Do characters like "Honey bun" - the evil stepmother & Shelby - the teen acting out, bother you, or are you accepting of them?

I find it hard to say characters are "stereotypical" in a book. The author wrote the character's personalities to best fit the story. Readers can relate and better understand the stereotypical characters. Besides, the story would have been totally different had the stepmother not been evil and the teen been a happy, obedient child. I don't think the characters in this particular story was a generalization of their groups. Not all stepmothers are evil, and not all teens act out. They just did in this story. So I guess I'm accepting of the characters the way they were written.

Q#2 - How did you feel about the immediate attraction and relationship between Shelby and Austin? Do you think it worked in this story or not?

Okay, this quetion addresses one of the issues I have with the book. I was really disappointed in the lack of punch when the two characters met. Just because they are teenagers doesn't mean that the awesomness of love at first sight (or attraction, whatever floats your boat) can't be powerful. There was no power in the "love at first sight" theme in this book. None. Zippo. Maybe a slight sizzling, but oh so forgettable. I wish it would have worked in the story. I think the story would have been ten times better had the attraction at first sight been more... more.
Q#3 - What did you think about the attempts the camp staff made to connect with Shelby? Were they at all effective? Did the staff have a point in their position on her personal life?

I've never been to a so-called brat camp. I have no personal knowledge of what the counselors would be like at such a camp. But it bugged me how A. they never listened to her, and B. they only perception they had of Shelby came from her parents. What was Shelby's take on her personal life? Did she ever have a chance to speak up for herself? Nope. That always bugs me when a character has no say whatsoever.
I do have to admit though, that I did appreciate the counselor's advice about her mother and the issues involved with that. I also thought that the letter writing idea was genius.
Q#4 - What is your opinion on parents who send their kids to reformation camps - the ones who need to be "reformed" and the ones who don't?
Is it okay for me to not have an opinion? I guess I was raised that if you have kids, they are your responsibility. Problems and all. Would I ever send my child to a brat camp? Probably not. Do I think badly of other parents when they do? No. It's their children and they can make whatever decisions regarding their upbringing that they want to. Who am I to judge?
Q#5 - Do you wish there would have been a bit more mystery regarding Austin being a werewolf, letting us get to know his character first and then the big reveal?
Yes, I do. The whole reveal went so quick! I practically blinked and all of the sudden he's a werewolf. There was no lead-ups, no mysterious happenings.. it was quite disappointing. I didn't even have time to wonder what he was, or ponder on why he wasn't quite acting "human".
Q#6 - Do you think this novel has enough momentum for a sequel? There was some hinting at the possibility (the scratch), do you think this would be a good follow-up?
I'm divided on the sequel question. One one hand, I wasn't interested enough in the characters or the story to continue on with another book. On the other hand.. I would love for Heather Davis to try again and hopefully write a better story this time. So if she does write a sequel, I might read it just to give her another chance.
I'm not sure if you could tell from the discussion questions, but I wasn't a huge fan of the book. These are the main reasons why:
1. The book was SOOO short. And not in a I'm-so-in-love-I-never-want-to-it-to-end kind of way, but in a that's it?!?! kind of way. It was too short to fully develop the characters. I didn't get to know Austin (the love interest) and was totally ambivalent towards him. He could have been a really nice guy, I just didn't know him. And everything went so fast. The big reveal was super quick, and the whole story was just over in a blink. It literally only took me an hour to read. I just couldn't get into it.
2. The other thing that bugged me was that Shelby was scared of Austin for more than half of the book. I just feel like if you're going to write a paranormal love story, the heroin needs to suck it up and be brave. Maybe there is an initial fear to make it realistic, but then she needs to come to terms with it and fall madly in love with him. But that's just me.

I did however, like the ending. I thought it was a great romantic gesture that Austin showed up at the camp to go through it with Shelby. And as far as the kiss went.. it was all right. Not the best on-page kiss ever, but it was okay.

Like I said, for the most part I didn't love the story. It wasn't memorable, and I didn't feel like the hour it took to read it was a good use of my time. There are so many other great YA paranormal/fantasy books, and this one doesn't measure up. Would it be dishonest to return the book even after I've already read it?


Mandy said...

I totally agree with you about the kiss!

Congratulations, you Top Reviewer, you!!

Julie said...

congrats to you.

Falling Off The Shelf said...

Congrats as Top Reviewer! I didn't get a chance to review this book..because unfortunetly I live in a small town and NO ONE had this book! Waldenbooks didn't have it..and none of the local libraries either (there are 4).

Hopefully Covet will arrive soon from Book Depository, my order is still pending! grr.

natalierenae said...

Congrats! Great review!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate in this reading...but hopefully Covet will arrive soon! I ordered it from the Book Depository last week.

Caitlin said...

Hey.. thanks for the award! I mostly joined the group because I was so excited to find other people that loved to read the same books I do. However.. I have to say it feels pretty dang good to win. ;-)

Thanks for the award and thanks for putting the group together. It's awesome to be a part of it!