by: Andrea Cremer
About the book:(from inside Advanced Uncorrected Galley)
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, Call begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By flowing her heart, she might lose everything -- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?
Let me start off by saying how awesome the pre-publication blitz was for this book! Penguin really put this book out there. I got a copy at a young adult literature conference I went to. Andrea Cremer was on a panel there so I got to meet her and have her sign it as well (Note: she is delightful! So nice!!) Before the conference I had checked out http://www.shaydoran.com/ and learned more about the book. What Penguin has done is taken Shay, one of the main characters, and made videos "starring" him. They take place right before the book starts and are set up as if they are Shay's personal vlog. He has just moved to town and is living in this creepy mansion alone. Readers/viewers can participate by helping him find answers to what is going on. Andrea Cremer is taking the people who participate and writing them in to a prequel that tells Shay's story. How cool is that?!?! (If you pre-order the book you get the prequel free! I ordered mine from Amazon!) There is also a facebook page that goes with it. What a great way to get people talking!
Now, for my thoughts on the actual book. First I have to say that the cover is gorgeous, however, I fear that it will really put boys off. It's very purple. They story itself is not all girly. There is action, mystery, suspense... all the stuff guys and girls both enjoy. If you work with students make sure the boys know this!
Throughout the book we follow Calla. I love that she is a tough chick. She's an alpha in her own right. Calla and Ren (an alpha from another pack) are set to marry soon (yes, they are teenagers) and start a new pack. This has been planned for so long Calla doesn't even think to question it. It's just how things are done. Enter Shay... gorgeous human boy who causes Calla to question her life and the rules that govern it. From the moment she meets him she is breaking rules. The way Shay gets Calla thinking and her reactions to him reminded me of Peeta and Katniss in The Hunger Games. Since I loved that book it was a good thing :)
Cremer is very clear that Calla and the Guardians are NOT werewolves. It was interesting to see the history she built for the Gurdians and the Keepers (even more so if you follow Shay's videos and try to put the clues together!) I loved the way Cremer worked Guardian/Keeper history in to our history and events that actually took place.
The story is fast paced and moves along nicely. There is action, adventure, mystery, romance, humor, suspense, and so much more! I found myself falling for Ren and can't wait to read the next books to see how it all turns out for him! Don't forget to pre-order to get the free prequel! Follow Andrea Cremer on Twitter at @andreacremer :)