Thursday, August 12, 2010

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.
As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever.

This is a light and interesting story about a sweet girl who discovers she’s a werewolf. I liked Claire. She’s basically a good girl with a good heart. And even when she was defying her mom, she didn’t go off the deep end and get herself into serious trouble. Yes, that can make a good story, but it’s nice to read about more normal characters, too.

I also liked that Claire wasn’t the constant victim of mean girls who didn’t think she was good enough for the highly popular Matthew. She got a few snarling looks here and there, but that was it. Quite refreshing, actually.

There were a few things, though, that gave me pause. I never got a clear picture of the setting, why Matthew is so intriguing to Claire (aside from his popularity), or how werewolves came to be accepted as real and feared in Claire’s world. These are all big pieces of information that make it possible for me to step out of my own life and into Claire’s. I was disappointed that I couldn’t do this very well.

I was also disappointed in the identity of the rogue werewolf. I kind of understood her motivations for killing humans, but not completely because of other things she did. If we’d gotten to see more of her and learned about what she really wanted to accomplish, then I think I would have enjoyed the big reveal at the end.

I thought the lack of security around Claire’s mom was too convenient, the information that Mom refused to give Claire seemed a contrived way to increase tension, and I wasn’t sure what Emily’s purpose was in the story. Finally, I didn’t understand the benefits of having a pack in Claire’s world. These issues give the story less oomph than it could have had.

A lot of werewolf stories are dark with truly troubled characters, but this one doesn’t go that far. The romance between Claire and Matthew is kept pretty innocent, and even the murders aren’t gruesome with details. Because of that, I think this is great for younger teens, even some middle graders, who like werewolf stories.


Annie McElfresh said...

Thanks for the review! I have this book sitting on my bookcase! :)

Tabitha said...

I hope you enjoy it!!

cleemckenzie said...

I'm not too much into werewolves, but you might have piqued my interest. Thanks, Tabitha.

C.R. Evers said...

hmmmm . .. I'll have to check this one out!

Bridgette Booth said...

I was drawn in by the title. Thanks for review. It's on my list now. (And its not one I would have selected otherwise b/c little interest in werewolves.) :)