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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 v 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? "A finely-wrought compelling tale of romance and treachery..." -Cynthia Leitich Smith (New York Times bestselling author of Eternal and Tantalize)


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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 v 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? "A finely-wrought compelling tale of romance and treachery..." -Cynthia Leitich Smith (New York Times bestselling author of Eternal and Tantalize)

30 review for Nightshade

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    This book is preposterous, degrading, and offensive to strong women everywhere. There. If you disagree passionately with that statement, you will be offended by what follows. You've been warned. Oh yeah, and spoilers ahead, because I don't really care enough about this Idiot Plot enough not to give it all away. Capice? Good. You may proceed. The worst part of Nightshade is that I actually liked the basic concepts. The notion of a world populated and semi-controlled by witches and werewolves, with in This book is preposterous, degrading, and offensive to strong women everywhere. There. If you disagree passionately with that statement, you will be offended by what follows. You've been warned. Oh yeah, and spoilers ahead, because I don't really care enough about this Idiot Plot enough not to give it all away. Capice? Good. You may proceed. The worst part of Nightshade is that I actually liked the basic concepts. The notion of a world populated and semi-controlled by witches and werewolves, with incubi and chimerae and all that other good stuff- that interests me. I could go with that. So it's a shame to see that ruined by a cast of characters that made my blood boil, and plot that involved most of said cast being stereotyped and/or just plain willfully ignorant, and the only exception being stereotyped and occasionally douchebaggey. But the one I really want to talk about is Calla. At first, I was glad to see her characterized the way she is. A female alpha, a warrior, in command of her pack? GIRL POWER! ...right? What followed was an argument between me and this book. Went something like this. Me: GIRL POWER! Book: GIRL POWER! Me: So, because Calla's full of win and GIRL POWER, she's going to stand up to Ren and be his equal, right? Book: Sure, since he says that's the way he wants it. Me: ...what? Book: Well, obviously male alphas have authority even over the females. You know, like in real wolf societies? Me: Yes, but these are WEREwolves. They've got to have been influenced by feminism, right? Book: No, they don't. I don't want them to. Then I wouldn't get my enthusiastically flity/feminine best friend, or the stereotyped tomboy bitch, or the empty shell of a girl who follows said tomboy bitch around. Me: And Calla? Book: Calla's an ALPHA. GIRL POWER! Me: Yes, but no. See, she's very clearly an alpha in name only. Everyone- even her own pack before the union- defers to Ren. At times, they stand up to her and basically tell her to go to hell with her commands. IF she was an alpha with GIRL POWER, she would keep them in line and actually behave like a leader. Instead, she lets everyone steamroller her- from Ren to Shay even when he's human. She's never in control of her life, and she hesitates to take control. For an alpha, she's not assertive in the least. All it takes is a little kissing for her to give up every thought in her head, if she had one in the first place. Book: ... Me: And then there's her mother. You know what part bothered me most? I marked it specifically. "You cannot cross an alpha male, even when you belong to another. You risk your own life to do so." That's what Naomi tells her daughter after Ren's father has been sexually harassing her. Now, I understand the point in the society of the Guardians. BUT. Look at the larger message. You know what she's saying? "If the men are stronger than you, you become their possession, and others of that level of strength may also possess you unless your owner man fights for you." Well, book. Here's my response. FUCK THAT SHIT. Book: Have an angsty ending? Me: NO. GO DIE. And that's pretty much it. I would have been less insulted if Calla hadn't been an 'alpha'; by putting her in a position of assumed power and then subverting it, Cremer made her even weaker and more of an affront to true strong women.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kat Kennedy

    Usually, as a reviewer of YA and one who attracts a relative amount of trolls, I get told often that someone as OLD as me shouldn't be reviewing YA books. And at the staggeringly long-lived age of 25, I might as well be on Kidney dialysis and walking around with a zimmerframe to these people. Coincidentally, how do you like my tiara? Usually, I ignore these people because I can easily pretend to turn off my hearing aid and go to sleep. They stop annoying me when I "pretend" to fart in my sleep and Usually, as a reviewer of YA and one who attracts a relative amount of trolls, I get told often that someone as OLD as me shouldn't be reviewing YA books. And at the staggeringly long-lived age of 25, I might as well be on Kidney dialysis and walking around with a zimmerframe to these people. Coincidentally, how do you like my tiara? Usually, I ignore these people because I can easily pretend to turn off my hearing aid and go to sleep. They stop annoying me when I "pretend" to fart in my sleep and snore simultaneously. For the first time, probably ever, I really feel the distinction. I didn't like this book, so I'll still rate it. In fact, I didn't get past page 46 because I was afraid my eyes would roll out of my head if I kept pressing on. This book is for teenagers. Like, teenagey teenagers. Of which, I am not one of them. This book will relate to people who still think your clothing defines absolutely every aspect of your personality and who you can be friends with. Who still think that the most important thing is that's you're listening to the right bands and doing you're hair the way it's cool to do it now. People who GET Fred. *Disclaimer here: By "get Fred" I don't mean, "Get Fred and choke the life out of him because he shouldn't be allowed to exist." But if you did think that's what I meant then I think we can remain friends. I am not teenagery. My teenage cousin spent her Christmas money on hair products because she needed to update her range. I spent my Christmas money on NOT defaulting on my homeloan by spending the GNP of Brazil on haircare products. I dress nicely and I will never, ever, get mistaken for a teenager. I wear PEARLS! Real pearls. This book is SO not for me. This review also appears on my blog:

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue. Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not. This is undoubtedly the worst YA novel I've read this year. I suffered through about 50% of the audiobook, i.e. 6 long, excruciating hours, waiting for it to start making sense, but it never did. Eventually I became too annoyed to continue. Cremer rarely bothered to explain her world, but even when she did, the Keepers and Guardians made no sense to me. ‘Sink or swim’ is how I would describe her worldbuilding, at least in the first 40% or so - the story just goes on and you either get it or not. Not. I still don’t understand why these Guardians, werewolves, warriors, whatever you want to call them, would answer to a group of witches, allowing themselves to be controlled in such a horrible way. They can’t be dominant, Alpha, and submissive at the same time. I love my shapeshifter books as long as they don’t break one simple rule: the author needs to explain clothes right away or I’m done. I don’t care what the explanation is: the clothes can magically appear, they can be hidden somewhere or people can just walk around naked, but I need to know. For the longest time in Nightshade, Calla kept changing forms in public without any mention of clothes. It was explained eventually, but by then I was too angry to even care. You know how sometimes it seems, especially in books with a really strong plot (view spoiler)[think The Hunger Games (hide spoiler)] , that the love triangle was thrown in afterwards, probably to satisfy the publisher’s demand? Well, in this case, I’m betting there was an editor somewhere along the line who said: “Wait just a second, Ms. Cremer. This book needs an actual plot! It can’t ALL be just Calla going from Ren to Shay and back.” And so she was forced to add this plot she probably deemed unnecessary and even damaging to her beautiful love triangle drama. The love triangle was painful to endure. Calla is a terrible, selfish character with double standards, Shay is mostly just pathetic and Ren is blind to it all. Of course, if I had to choose, I’d choose Ren in a second because he has that sexy name going for him and he occasionally shows some backbone, which is more than I can say for either Calla or Shay. As Lora pointed out in her comment, the ratings are all over the place. It’s quite possible that some of you will find this story interesting and enjoyable. Many of my friends did. But if you don’t like love triangles, stay far, far away from this series.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Ok, let’s start with some general stuff first. In my opinion, Nightshade was a nice and steady read. I thought the world-building was unique and the heroine easily likeable. She’s pretty, though and a little bit of a tomboy, so nothing new there, but nevertheless, I found myself liking her instantly. There are actually quite a few interesting characters in this book. Some were likeable and some just made my skin crawl. Efron and Logan? Ugh. *shudders* As for the romance...be warned! This book is Ok, let’s start with some general stuff first. In my opinion, Nightshade was a nice and steady read. I thought the world-building was unique and the heroine easily likeable. She’s pretty, though and a little bit of a tomboy, so nothing new there, but nevertheless, I found myself liking her instantly. There are actually quite a few interesting characters in this book. Some were likeable and some just made my skin crawl. Efron and Logan? Ugh. *shudders* As for the romance...be warned! This book is one big fat love triangle and the story is almost solely focused on it. There are two boys fighting for Calla’s affection. Ren, a werewolf like Calla, whom she’s promised to and Shay, a human boy who’s new to town and whose live Calla had saved once. (which was a major violation of the rules, of course). I liked how it all started out with Calla and Shay and the author definitely wanted us to whoop for him in this love triangle but in the end, Ren was the one who got my pulse racing. I’m into strong male characters and don’t mind the occasional jerkness and believe me, Ren can be a jerk alright. He’s basically your typical bad boy. If you had issues with, say, Ethan from Glimmerglass you probably won’t like Ren, though. *nudges Olivia* I thought Calla’s and Ren’s chemistry was great and tangible and I really liked the forbidden romance vibe. I guess we were supposed to get this vibe off her fling with Shay, too, but somehow that was lost on me. I didn’t get Calla’s attraction to Shay at all, to be honest. I found him rather dull and that whole oh-my-god-I-knew-you-were-my-soul-mate-from-the-first-time-I-laid-eyes-on-you-and-that’s-why-I-want-to-make-out-with-you-right-away thing rarely works for me anyway. I need some suspense, I want to hope and fear and wonder along with the heroine whether her beloved one returns her affection or not. So if the author had made Shay a little less boring and had given Calla and him more time to fall for each other and build up some tension, I probably would have liked him better. What irked me was the fact that there isn’t that much happening in the first half of the book. It’s all about the romance and the ways of the packs. How the wolves operate is interesting, don’t get me wrong, and I really liked the dynamics within the pack but I want to establish that this book focuses mainly on the romance part. If you don’t mind that, you’ll be fine. Towards the end, the pace picked up a little but the turn of events didn’t really come as a surprise. It was rather obvious, unfortunately. In my opinion, Nightshade is one of the less innocent YA novels seeing as some pretty though topics were addressed and the make-out scenes weren’t all too innocent either. All in all, I enjoyed this book and I’m pretty sure that I will pick up the sequel. I’m just hoping for a little less love triangle and a little more plot in Wolfsbane. I can see why a lot of people loved this book and from what I can tell so far, I think some of the bookers might like it, too. Tina, Nic, this goes out to you especially. Olivia, you most definitely were right to kick it off your wish list ;-) Oh and, little cover slut that I am, I have to give a few bonus points for the awesome cover and deckled edges :-) So...3 stars it is!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    When I first read the description for this book, I thought "Here we go with the werewolves again." We're werewolves. We like to run. We like to hunt and we like to kill vampires. Thankfully, there was pretty much none of that in this book. No vampires? Amazing! Recently I've been in a bit a of a rut, and despite picking up some really interesting books, nothing lately has been holding my attention. I find my mind wandering to other completed series. Hmmmm, I wonder what Peeta is doing right now. When I first read the description for this book, I thought "Here we go with the werewolves again." We're werewolves. We like to run. We like to hunt and we like to kill vampires. Thankfully, there was pretty much none of that in this book. No vampires? Amazing! Recently I've been in a bit a of a rut, and despite picking up some really interesting books, nothing lately has been holding my attention. I find my mind wandering to other completed series. Hmmmm, I wonder what Peeta is doing right now. But finally! Finally, something held my interest and had me itching to find out more. I just love that feeling! When a book gets under your skin. When you start daydreaming about other things going on in it's world, searching for sub-text and insight into the characters minds. As much as I hate to admit it, I couldn't wait to find out what Ren would do next. Don't get me wrong, I love my hero types; but sometimes, just sometimes, I love some bad in my boys a little bit more. I mean I'll take Han Solo over Luke Skywalker any day. And Ren is all the best kinds of bad. To put it eloquently, he has the perfect combination of not giving a crap and at the same time giving a crap. That is really hard to even out with many characters. Many male characters tend to be either too chauvinistic or way too bleeding-heart. Ren is the perfect wicked combination. Maybe not the perfect match for Calla, but I LOVE him. Don't get me wrong: I love Shay as well, just not in THAT kind of way. I also really appreciated that this book was not all about warring factions of supernatural creatures like so much of YA fantasy, although it pushes toward a future of war. This first book of the series was more about a single faction establishing peace amongst themselves and unravelling the mysteries of the past. Also, alot of first person young adult books tend to either have to much dialogue or too much inner dialogue. This had it just right, and the tone and descriptions were very nice. I was glad to see that they got a lot of answers to questions raised about the union and such, instead of stringing us along with endless cliffhangers and no resolution in sight. And yes, it ends with a cliffhanger, but it is the best kind. The kind that opens up a whole new realm of possibilities. The plot is simplistic and primarily romance driven, but it is an easy page turner, which is what I happened to be in the mood for. Yeah, this book may be full of taboos. Werewolves (Those are in right now?) A love triangle (Haven't read one of those in a while!) So what? It just does it all so damn well. If you're looking for a plot heavy book with an in-depth and sensible story, then this might not be for you right now. But if your looking for a romance and tension-filled read with that addictive quality, and don't mind a love frustrating love triangle, then go ahead give this one a try.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Torzilla

    Reason(s) for DNF: -Shay's character rubbed off on me the wrong way. Though I've only read 119 pages, I did not see what made him so alluring to Calla. -Did not enjoy how Calla seemingly dropped everything for a random human. It might have worked if Shay left more of an impact on me. -Did not like how the love triangle felt forced. Again, going back to how I disliked Shay's character. (I'm sensing a theme here...) Despite my distaste for a character or two, Andrea deserves credit. Why? Because I t Reason(s) for DNF: -Shay's character rubbed off on me the wrong way. Though I've only read 119 pages, I did not see what made him so alluring to Calla. -Did not enjoy how Calla seemingly dropped everything for a random human. It might have worked if Shay left more of an impact on me. -Did not like how the love triangle felt forced. Again, going back to how I disliked Shay's character. (I'm sensing a theme here...) Despite my distaste for a character or two, Andrea deserves credit. Why? Because I thought her writing was solid. Had Shay not annoyed me so much, I would have continued since it was so easy to become absorbed in the story. Perhaps when the next two books in this trilogy come out I'll give this series another shot. I WOULD like to know what happens with Ren because, despite my inability to continue with NIGHTSHADE at the moment, I adore him.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Oh forget about it, enough already. I sat through 221 pages of torment, and I've had enough, I can't take it anymore. I spent months looking forward to this book. I mean, come on, just look at the pretty cover. The idea sounded great too. What could possibly go wrong? Everything Calla is the virgin (I cannot stress enough how much of a virgin she is) alpha female who leads a pack of wolves, and soon she will be dropped into some kind of arranged marriage business with the alpha male of another pack Oh forget about it, enough already. I sat through 221 pages of torment, and I've had enough, I can't take it anymore. I spent months looking forward to this book. I mean, come on, just look at the pretty cover. The idea sounded great too. What could possibly go wrong? Everything Calla is the virgin (I cannot stress enough how much of a virgin she is) alpha female who leads a pack of wolves, and soon she will be dropped into some kind of arranged marriage business with the alpha male of another pack of wolves, Ren. Who has seen every pretty girl in school naked, except for The Virgin Calla, who 'needs to remain pure until the union'. (I'm trying not to laugh right now) All of them go to the same school together. All is well. Enter Shay. Who is nearly killed off by... I think it was a bear, I can't even remember. Calla breaks just about every wolf rule in the book and saves him by feeding him her blood. She doesn't know why, she just.... wantsssssss him. *dreamy eyes* .... *stomps her foot to make the bubble burst* You'd think the cover has something to do with nightshade. Well, that's an honest mistake, but you couldn't be further from the truth. No, this book is actually filled with purple prose, page after page, after page. So it literally bleeds purple. A lot of the wolves engage in curling lips/growling at each other. Seriously, have you even tried doing one of those things yourself? Lip curling only works if you are Elvis, and growling sounds too silly to be threatening. Now, I wouldn't nag about this if these were the only things that were wrong with this book, but my next two subjects are what basically killed the book for me. First of all: when they turn into a wolf, their clothes just.... disappear. And reappear when they turn human again. At first I was constantly confused, thinking 'um this girl is naked and nobody seems to notice?' but then they, and I'm using those annoying quotation mark hand gestures, "explain" it. They are always wolf and human at the same time. Calla could make herself look like a wolf wearing clothes, but she doesn't see the point. So all her clothes must be magical. They don't rip, they don't have problems with the differences between the shape of the bodies. I'm not saying the whole concept of people turning into wolves is logical, but this is just lazy writing, not to mention effing convenient. It makes it so much easier for her to FLASH into a wolf mid-air and FLASH back to her human form. It's a real argument stopper, I'll tell you that. And secondly, my biggest problem: the relationship between Calla and Shay: it misses everything. Buildup, an actual reason for them to want to be together, chemistry, sexual tension, you name it. They just react like magnets for no reason at all. "Oh hi there, you look hot, I look hot, both of us are off limits to each other, want to boink?" I really like the whole star-crossed lovers concept, but for god's sake, please stop with the I-want-you-because-you-are-there-romances. It never works, it's getting really old and it seriously kills my buzz. The one relationship I did like was kept in the background. And I adore her brother, Ansel. ♥ 1 star for not liking it, 1 star for the cover. I'm not making sense. Sue me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bianca

    *Spoilers* I LOVED this book and would have given it five stars but seeing as she chooses Shay I decided to deduct a star, purely because I am TEAM REN! I really liked Calla as a character, she was strong and determined and her own person. I loved the feeling of family and loyalty between the Nightshades and even the relationships between them and the Banes. Calla has grown up her whole life knowing that she will be paired up with Ren to create a new pack. She of course hates the fact that her fre *Spoilers* I LOVED this book and would have given it five stars but seeing as she chooses Shay I decided to deduct a star, purely because I am TEAM REN! I really liked Calla as a character, she was strong and determined and her own person. I loved the feeling of family and loyalty between the Nightshades and even the relationships between them and the Banes. Calla has grown up her whole life knowing that she will be paired up with Ren to create a new pack. She of course hates the fact that her free will was taken away and that she doesnt have a choice in the matter. Still though she remains loyal and knows its her duty to Ren and the pack members to follow through, until Shay enters the picture. I loved Bryn Calla's beta, she was a great best friend and kept secrets that could have gotten Calla into loads of trouble. I love how she and Ansel (Calla's brother) end up together although I was sad at the same time when Calla mentioned how they got to be together (Due to her and Ren putting in a good word for them later on) yet she doesnt get that chance. I really liked Ansel especially when he said he would run away with Bryn to be with her if he had to because thats what love is. I just couldnt seem to like Shay as much as I wanted to he just wasn't appealing to me. He came into Calla's life and from that moment on Calla began questioning herself and everything she believes in. I like how she finds out the truth about the Keeper's and I cant imagine how it must have been for her to believe in something her whole life only to find out that it was a lie, must have been horrible. I can see why she relates to Shay and how she ends up with him over Ren. It also helps the storyline along, being with Shay just adds to the list of things she is not supposed to do. Also I doubt she would have ever discovered the truth if she chose Ren. He has admirable qualities but I still don't think he compares to Ren. Chapter 33 was my favourite, It was a hard time emotionally for Calla and Ren. Even though Ren throughout the book appears to be a sleazy player deep down he is a really nice guy. He truly loved Calla and you see that in this chapter. He is willing to do anything for Calla including protecting Shay if he has too. I thought it was really sad when he asked Calla to return to him, that she would come back to him and the pack and that he doesnt want to lose her. You can see that even though they are arranged to be married he has fallen in love with her. I wish Calla hadnt been so untrusting with Ren, especially when she questions whether he would be like his father. I dont think Ren was anything like his dad. He proved many times that he was a good person deep down. For a while he just had a funny way of showing it. Plus he gives her a ring!! Who doesn't love a guy who gives the girl he loves a ring!>? I just don't beleive Calla gave Ren a proper go, even though she has known him for a long time she never really *knew* him. She didn't give him a fair go. My favourite line from the book was "This isn't about love, it's about survival" "No Calla" His voice became hushed "This is only about love" I will continue to hold onto the hope that she changes her mind and ends up with Ren, in the next book. I definatly can't wait for the sequel.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Houck

    I really liked this book. I think people who like my series will most likely enjoy this one also. She ends the book on a cliffhanger similar to my style and she has layered in a lot of pieces which means she's got many things yet to reveal. It's exciting and makes me want to reach for the next book immediately. There is also a nice bit of romantic tension. I really liked this book. I think people who like my series will most likely enjoy this one also. She ends the book on a cliffhanger similar to my style and she has layered in a lot of pieces which means she's got many things yet to reveal. It's exciting and makes me want to reach for the next book immediately. There is also a nice bit of romantic tension.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    So everyone is probably going to hate me for writing this review but this is my honest to god opinion. I really wanted to like Nightshade. I waited so long to read this and I was dying to read it too! I heard nothing but great things about this series but I really wanted the book in paperback to save money. And the week the paperback came out, I immediately bought it! And well...I hated it. Okay no, hate is a strong word. I didn't hate this book. In fact, the beginning of this book started of So everyone is probably going to hate me for writing this review but this is my honest to god opinion. I really wanted to like Nightshade. I waited so long to read this and I was dying to read it too! I heard nothing but great things about this series but I really wanted the book in paperback to save money. And the week the paperback came out, I immediately bought it! And well...I hated it. Okay no, hate is a strong word. I didn't hate this book. In fact, the beginning of this book started off strong and had me completely reeled in. But after awhile, I lost complete interest. First off, Calla just...I don't know how to explain it but I didn't like her. I felt like Cremer was trying too hard to make her sound like a teenager and it didn't come off right on paper. Its like she was a mixture of too many things all at once. She was too fake in my opinion. Second, there's Ren. Yes, I said it. I don't like Ren. I'll say it again. I. Don't. Like. Ren. Honestly, I found nothing attractive about him at all. Again, I felt as if Cremer tried too hard with his character. Ren was too dominating, too sarcastic, too...much. I didn't like the way he treated Calla at all either. He seemed all over he place. Overbearing at one moment, caring the next. And I didn't like the fact that they were so eager to just get together and mate so quickly. All of the characters just seemed really poorly written. I couldn't connect to anyone except for one character. Shay. Yeah yeah I know I'm getting some wtf faces right now. But hey, that's just me. Personally, I could relate to Shay. From what I read, he loved literature and yet he had a natural curiousity for things that didn't seem right. I wanted more of him and it confused me why no one else felt the same minus three other people. But as much as I liked Shay, I couldn't finish this book, not even for him. Now, the biggest problem I had with this book is the plot. I had no idea what was going on! A hundred pages in, I still had no idea what was going on. Nothing had been explained or cleared up and this annoyed me. I mean, a little mystery is good but you can't leave the reader still guessing so far in the book. I lost all interest because not one thing was clear and I don't want to read a book that I can't understand. Overall, I really didn't like this book. There were so many problems I had with this book and there's no way I'm going to be able to finish this. Too many things left unclear and too many inconsistencies made me unhappy. I'm sad to say that I only fell in love with this book because of its cover. :( Will I ever read another book by Cremer? Probably not. Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Haleema

    So does Cremer like Harry Potter? Seamus Finnigan Doran. That Neville dude from one of the wolf packs. How dare she use their names in her book? Just for that I'm going to use the epic dating site serial killer memes for you, Cremer. That's the theme for this review. Stupid, wacko loser of an author. What is your problem? Do you not understand the annoying traits of insta-love? Do you not learn from other young adult paranormal romance writers that demonstrate that horrid concept of "love"? Must So does Cremer like Harry Potter? Seamus Finnigan Doran. That Neville dude from one of the wolf packs. How dare she use their names in her book? Just for that I'm going to use the epic dating site serial killer memes for you, Cremer. That's the theme for this review. Stupid, wacko loser of an author. What is your problem? Do you not understand the annoying traits of insta-love? Do you not learn from other young adult paranormal romance writers that demonstrate that horrid concept of "love"? Must I remind every author out there? Cremer, the next time you write a book, remember that. Nonsense. And what is with your heroine? Why does she hate everyone except Seamus Finnigan Doran? What's gotten into her? She's almost as whiny and pessimistic as the Queen of whinyness and pessimism, Bella Swan. Whatshername anyway? The heroine? Ah, yes. Calla Tor. And that guy that lusts after her? What's his problem? He's so dirty and disgusting. He makes me cringe. Whatshisname anyway? That guy? Ah, yes. Ren Laroche. The cover was so splendidly gorgeous! Why? Why must the nicest covers have the crappiest insides? I'm leaving. Andrea Cremer, can I say something to you? Yes, I've seen your new haircut. And I loved it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tiff

    Don't think I should say much on here because this book is not being released for another NINE months! I am putting this on my "need to read again" shelf because a. I loved it, and b. the sequel, Wolfsbane, tentatively comes out in Fall 2011, and I will need/want a refresher by then! For now, I'll just say this is a sexy, intriguing read that I could not put down! Don't think I should say much on here because this book is not being released for another NINE months! I am putting this on my "need to read again" shelf because a. I loved it, and b. the sequel, Wolfsbane, tentatively comes out in Fall 2011, and I will need/want a refresher by then! For now, I'll just say this is a sexy, intriguing read that I could not put down!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kay Cassidy

    I absolutely LOVED Nightshade! I have to admit I'm not usually a huge vampire or werewolf fan (or wolf fan, as the case may be here), but I was completely blown off my rocker by this fabulous debut. If I could give it six stars, I would. SO GOOD. Calla is one of my favorite YA heroines of all time - she's smart, funny, strong and resilient. And the two love interests, Ren and Shay? All I can say is WOW. The only problem is that I can't decide if I'm Team Ren or Team Shay! Can't we just clone Cal I absolutely LOVED Nightshade! I have to admit I'm not usually a huge vampire or werewolf fan (or wolf fan, as the case may be here), but I was completely blown off my rocker by this fabulous debut. If I could give it six stars, I would. SO GOOD. Calla is one of my favorite YA heroines of all time - she's smart, funny, strong and resilient. And the two love interests, Ren and Shay? All I can say is WOW. The only problem is that I can't decide if I'm Team Ren or Team Shay! Can't we just clone Calla so she can have them both? Am anxiously awaiting the sequel coming Summer 2011. This is a must-read for your YA para list.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

    Nightshade by Andrea Cremer has incredible buzz behind it. Not only does it have a 200,000 initial first print run, but the promo the publisher is doing for this book is unbelievable. When I expressed interested in reading Nightshade, I was sent it even though the blurb gave me some cause for concern. All together now… Twilight comparison. Calla Tor, the werewolf heroine of Nightshade, is a tomboy with a ragtag crew, aka the furry wolf gang who keep watch over the woods, mountains, valleys; you n Nightshade by Andrea Cremer has incredible buzz behind it. Not only does it have a 200,000 initial first print run, but the promo the publisher is doing for this book is unbelievable. When I expressed interested in reading Nightshade, I was sent it even though the blurb gave me some cause for concern. All together now… Twilight comparison. Calla Tor, the werewolf heroine of Nightshade, is a tomboy with a ragtag crew, aka the furry wolf gang who keep watch over the woods, mountains, valleys; you name it. Her people are controlled by the evil witch sorcerer types called the Keepers. Calla is forced to marry a rival werewolf, more like frenemies run by Ren Laroche, the resident bad boy, who’s so popular because he embodies many underage sexual fantasies. Ren is like a rock star with many groupies. He’s way chill about marrying Calla even though he does everything he can to get frisky with her before their wedding night. Calla isn’t down with that because she’s an alpha and wears jeans, rather than dresses and skirts way above the knees. But Ren temps her with unspoken teen desire and lust that her virgin flesh can’t keep dormant for much longer. Confusion sets in for Calla because she doesn’t know what she wants. Things grow even more complicated when she saves a human boy, Shay Doren from being eaten by a bear. Shay figures out what Calla is very quickly and now she’s torn with wanting both Ren and Shay. Nightshade failed for me on so many levels. Yet again we have a heroine who is very much a loner even though she is surrounded by many friends and family. She’s suffering from a form of silent emotional angst because she’s being forced to do something she doesn’t agree with. She walks a fine line with both the seductively dark Ren, and the sweet, very beta Shay who loves to have conversation with Calla. Why, this is a perfect way of explaining things about this world so it’s not really telling because the characters are having dialogue together. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why Nightshade would be a banned book. Other than some very subtle sex talk and witches and mysticism mentioned, the overall writing is very simple and weak at times. (Beware! Nightshade may make your tweens and teens practice dark magic and go running around naked in the woods). Rather than seeing Calla as a type of rebel, I saw her more of a pouty and cranky girl who would stamp her feet and roll to the ground and have a tantrum if she didn’t get her way. Again, Nightshade has more pop-light tension and suspense if anything. And if I had finished reading Nightshade, this would be a book that would have no lasting impression, where I could barely tell you those characters’ names.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Good book, but I liked the wrong guy. Sorry, Cremer, but you made Ren more enjoyable. I’m so behind on reviewing that I thought I’d start with a book that’s easy for me to lay out. In Calla’s world, she’s always known that her destiny is to life her life as co-pack-alpha with the sexy werewolf, Ren, and to lead the new pack. She never expected to fall for the gorgeous human guy she saved from the mountain one day, on patrol. She never expected for everything to change. Calla was a really strong ch Good book, but I liked the wrong guy. Sorry, Cremer, but you made Ren more enjoyable. I’m so behind on reviewing that I thought I’d start with a book that’s easy for me to lay out. In Calla’s world, she’s always known that her destiny is to life her life as co-pack-alpha with the sexy werewolf, Ren, and to lead the new pack. She never expected to fall for the gorgeous human guy she saved from the mountain one day, on patrol. She never expected for everything to change. Calla was a really strong character. She had the emotions to make her believable, she had the attitude to make her realistic and enjoyable, and the voice to make her someone to remember. She was someone I would look up to if I had the opportunity to be blessed by her company. She appeared to me like an average teenage girl with problems would, and I was actually very happy with her maturity and confusion over the issues she faced. I was glad she turned to her Scooby-Doo gang for help – go Ansel! – and I certainly liked how she wasn’t afraid to give up her pride in extreme times of need. Although she annoyed me a little bit with her whole Shay-obsession, she was a truly memorable character. This book focuses almost entirely on its love triangle. And one hell of a love triangle this one was. Calla – and the reader – becomes caught between two wonderful guys (one more wonderful than the other) and it truly is a journey wandering through her gaze as she spends time with both. I wasn’t too happy with the male lead, though (Shay), mostly because I hate human guys when comparing them to the supernatural. I also didn’t like him too much because he influenced some of Calla’s stupidest ideas (I didn’t like the plot twist in the climax. More on that later) and he just seemed completely naïve in comparison to his competition, Ren, the all-awesome werewolf. The pacing of this book is what made me knock it down star-wise. Everything seemed to be happening way too fast and even though I like quick paces, this one moved a little bit too quickly. Even though the action was fabulous and the plot was wonderfully unique, I found myself constantly wishing for Cremer to slow it all dooowwwwnnnn. The climax – besides me other qualm – was fun and heart-pounding, and I keep wishing for more. That cliffhanger…hoo boy, I’ll be one of the first in line to grab WOLFSBANE. Check out more here at my blog: http://bookbybooksummer.blogspot.com/

  16. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is an explosive debut to what I feel is going to be a great series. I enjoyed this first installment quite a bit, as the characters are intriguing, the plot is unique and the pace of the story kept me turning the pages at a rapid pace to see where it would all eventually lead. In this first installment, there were quite a few characters introduced as the two wolf groups, the Nightshades and Banes, prepare for a merge to become the Haldis pack. Calla is the alpha female Nightshade by Andrea Cremer is an explosive debut to what I feel is going to be a great series. I enjoyed this first installment quite a bit, as the characters are intriguing, the plot is unique and the pace of the story kept me turning the pages at a rapid pace to see where it would all eventually lead. In this first installment, there were quite a few characters introduced as the two wolf groups, the Nightshades and Banes, prepare for a merge to become the Haldis pack. Calla is the alpha female of the Nightshade and in her pack she has Bryn, Ansel, Mason, and Fey. Ren, the alpha male for the Banes, is followed by Cosette, Neville, Sabine and Dax. Together, Calla and Ren will be united as one group to serve as Guardians to the Keepers. The groups are preparing for the inevitable merge, but plans begin to take a turn when a stranger comes to town and uncovers secrets and deceit that Calla isn’t able to easily ignore. Her feelings for Ren are compromised and she must make a decision and risk everything including her pack to follow her instincts and her growing feelings for Shay. I liked the blend of old magic, paranormal lore, intrigue and strife that was infused in this story. The main character Calla was someone I could easily root for despite her flaws and questionable choices. Her feelings between Ren and Shay even confused me at times and I kept switching back and forth between who I thought was the better choice for her as I liked both characters quite a bit. Overall, there were a few flaws, but not enough to detract me from the storyline and keep me riveted the whole way through. The only spoiler I will offer is that Nightshade does end with a significant cliffy, but so much happened in this book and there is quite a bit to process that I don’t feel on edge waiting for the next installment because I just might use this time to re-read the book, which I don't often do. I am eager to read Wolfsbane because the ending seemed appropriate and left me wanting more. Great installment that I will definitely continue with!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    *looks at cover* Ya, it's super important to hit up the Maybelline aisle at the store for some ~lewks~ before going to save the world and shit #HighlighterChallenge #PurpleHairDontCare #PurpleLipSoHip #SmokyEye #MaybeImBornLikeThisMaybeImTheChosenOne *looks at cover* Ya, it's super important to hit up the Maybelline aisle at the store for some ~lewks~ before going to save the world and shit #HighlighterChallenge #PurpleHairDontCare #PurpleLipSoHip #SmokyEye #MaybeImBornLikeThisMaybeImTheChosenOne

  18. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lulu

    My status updates aside, this was a pretty good book. A nice breath of fresh air in the over-saturated world of paranormal YA rubbish. A wonderfully different take on werewolves, and a really nice, fast paced story/mystery. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. If you did read my status updates, the author does need a bit of help in understanding the economy of words. A few examples: "Her mug clattered into the stainless steel basin." "Her mug clattered into the sink." works just fine--get My status updates aside, this was a pretty good book. A nice breath of fresh air in the over-saturated world of paranormal YA rubbish. A wonderfully different take on werewolves, and a really nice, fast paced story/mystery. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. If you did read my status updates, the author does need a bit of help in understanding the economy of words. A few examples: "Her mug clattered into the stainless steel basin." "Her mug clattered into the sink." works just fine--gets the image across perfectly & succinctly. Economy of words is a great premise. "He poured tall, dark liquid from the thermos." Was the coffee also handsome? "Tall, dark liquid"??? So silly. We don't need flowing prose about coffee. And my favorite: "Unwelcome searing liquid pooled in my eyes." Did I mention the concept of "economy of words"? The word "tears" would have worked just fine here--actually, it would have been better. I listened to this book on audio, and when I first heard "Unwelcome searing liquid..." I thought someone threw something caustic at her. Any thoughts I have on the love triangle would be spoilers, so here we go...(view spoiler)[At first, I thought Ren was an arrogant man-slut, and was excited about the prospect of Shay. But Shay proceeded to annoy me as the book went on, and Ren proceeded to grow on me. I appreciate that the author didn't completely shut the door on Ren, but his prospects don't look very good. I think what bugged me the most was Calla gave Shay chance after chance--he was a little snot? She forgave him. He stepped on toes? She forgave him. She spent a ton of time with him, sneaking around to see him. But she never gave Ren anything. Not her time, not kindness, not forgiveness. He tried numerous times to spend some time with her, and she never had time for him. But she completely bent the rules and put her life in danger to make time for Shay. I guess I just wish the author would have given Ren a fair shake. It's not really a love triangle when one guy doesn't get even a fraction of the attention the other guy gets. (hide spoiler)] Oh, and one last thing. The author should have written in a few cold showers for Calla. This girl was a comical sensory trip. This boy makes her shiver, that boy makes her shake. This boy makes her breath stop, that boy makes her limbs go numb. It was over the top. When I start laughing when I read the next physical description of Calla's 0-60 desire, that means you've gone a bit too far. ;)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Krys

    Here's an experiment - go to your local book store and stand in the Young Adult area. Randomly throw a rock. Chances are you will hit a book with a love triangle in it. Odds are pretty good that it has a Werewolf theme to it too. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer has both of those things in spades. However, this is the book that has single-handedly restored my languishing faith in the Werewolf genre of story writing. Recent perusals of mine into this genre have left me cold and annoyed (save Maggie Sti Here's an experiment - go to your local book store and stand in the Young Adult area. Randomly throw a rock. Chances are you will hit a book with a love triangle in it. Odds are pretty good that it has a Werewolf theme to it too. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer has both of those things in spades. However, this is the book that has single-handedly restored my languishing faith in the Werewolf genre of story writing. Recent perusals of mine into this genre have left me cold and annoyed (save Maggie Stiefvater's sublime Shiver and Linger). Several books I have read lately end up spending too much time telling and not showing... pack dynamics, alpha/beta aggressions, running, running... running... What's with all the running? I know it's true to the wolf essence but really? How many hundreds of pages does one really need to read of running in the woods riotously glorifying the hunt? I am sick to death of S. Meyers clones and I want it to stop! That said, Cremer does it right. And I am so pleased of this. When she describes this world it is just enough to pique the reader's curiosity. The prose flows and the dialogue sings. Many of the characters are fleshed out and dimensional while not seeming like carbon copies to what's been written before. The love story (said triangle mentioned before) is sweet and complex and trumps other romantic novels by far. I am also pleasantly surprised that there is no big dramatic overwrought "OMG! I'm a Werewolf!!" moment to be found in this book. Calla opens up this book a werewolf, chasing down a bear from a human hiker and shifting back and forth with ease. For once, a character who knows her abilities and doesn't spend a portion of the book learning to be her supernatural self. Bravo! How refreshing to not have to grow into it with the character, but to be it already. We can focus on other things then, like character interactions and gorgeous world building. Also a stellar plot line about the how and why this group of Werewolves came to be. I am in awe of this idea. I can't wait to see how this pans out. Such a great story. Wonderful debut, Cremer. You've earned a 5 out of 5, and a solid fan. The first of many, I trust. -review courtesy of www.bibliopunkkreads.com

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    Rating 4.5 stars :) Favourite Quote: "I could smell his fear but was intrigued by the other, more alluring scents beneath it. Clover, rain, sun-warmed fields. I leaned toward him, taking in the shape of his lips, the light in his pale green eyes. He wasn't looking at me like I was a freak. His eyes were full of fear and wanting. I wondered what he could see in my eyes". What an incredible debut! Nightshade was a gripping read that will pull readers into it unique and beautiful world full of passi Rating 4.5 stars :) Favourite Quote: "I could smell his fear but was intrigued by the other, more alluring scents beneath it. Clover, rain, sun-warmed fields. I leaned toward him, taking in the shape of his lips, the light in his pale green eyes. He wasn't looking at me like I was a freak. His eyes were full of fear and wanting. I wondered what he could see in my eyes". What an incredible debut! Nightshade was a gripping read that will pull readers into it unique and beautiful world full of passion, mystery and romance. Right from page one I was drawn into this complex plot. So much history and plenty of secrets that slowly unravelled. It definitely kept me turning the pages to figure out what the Keeper's were hiding. The characters from Nightshade are well crafted. Calla is a strong, smart, genuine and loyal. You have to admire her strenght. She had many hard decisions but she always choose to do the right thing. Not only will you adore Calla but also the entertaining bunch of secondary characters like Ansel, Mason, Bryn and Dax. They bring some funnier moments to this intense story. Let's get to the romance. One word for it DELICIOUS! This love triangle actually worked. Both Shay and Ren were just as strong characters as each other and you could understand Calla's confusion. But I am so team Ren. He was just sexy as hell and I am crushing on him big time. Although I have a funny feeling he is not going to end up with the girl and I might have to write an email to Andrea Cremer begging her to make sure Calla picks him. Now the ending...talk about major cliffhanger. On a rating of 1 to 10. Definitely a 10. Why do authors do that to us and then make us wait for forever for the sequel. It drives me crazy. Thankfully Cremer is releasing Wolfsbane on 12th July, 2011. So only 8 months instead of the usual 1 year and it can't come soon enough! I really need more. Overall, Nightshade lived up to all the hype and is one of the best paranormal romance reads of the year!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sofija

    I wanted to like this book. But in spite of werewolves, love triangle and strong young heroine, it still wasn’t interesting enough for me. And I hated parts, where Calla was so aroused by Shay or Ren touches and she wanted to have sex with them (separately, not like threesome), but she couldn’t because it was forbidden. And these moments were repeated in every page. After I read about it in tenth time, I decided that Calla had some serious hormonal problems and she obviously can’t control them. I wanted to like this book. But in spite of werewolves, love triangle and strong young heroine, it still wasn’t interesting enough for me. And I hated parts, where Calla was so aroused by Shay or Ren touches and she wanted to have sex with them (separately, not like threesome), but she couldn’t because it was forbidden. And these moments were repeated in every page. After I read about it in tenth time, I decided that Calla had some serious hormonal problems and she obviously can’t control them. She either needed to be laid, or have some prescription.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ~Tina~

    Loved. Loved. LOVED this book! The minute I saw this cover and read the summary, I knew I so wanted to fall in love with this book. Nightshade has been one of my most anticipated and Andrea Cremer did not disappoint. Landing this remarkable novel on my favorite shelf and one of the best reads of 2010. It's no secret that I'm picky when it comes to this paranormal, but Cremer doesn't hold back, delivering an exceptional tale of mystery, intrigue and romance. I didn't even need to get use to the styl Loved. Loved. LOVED this book! The minute I saw this cover and read the summary, I knew I so wanted to fall in love with this book. Nightshade has been one of my most anticipated and Andrea Cremer did not disappoint. Landing this remarkable novel on my favorite shelf and one of the best reads of 2010. It's no secret that I'm picky when it comes to this paranormal, but Cremer doesn't hold back, delivering an exceptional tale of mystery, intrigue and romance. I didn't even need to get use to the style of writing, it's smoothly paced and brilliantly told. This is definitely my kind of escape! We aren't just introduced into the world of Werewolf, but other lore is weaved into this paranormal gem. It kept me guessing and entertained from start to finish. Sometimes love triangles can be a little tiresome in books. It's expected nine out of the ten books I read. But, when done right, a love triangle can be one of the most intoxicating elements in a good read, and Nightshade provides one hell of a triangle. This one's a toughy cause I love both of these boys. Ren is strong, confident, and drips sexy. There is something incredible hawt the way he holds his power, but he doesn't ever take advantage of it. He's fair but not overly tolerant. He's also very territorial, jealous and hot-headed. I guess some readers wouldn't find that appealing, but I thought it matched the young alpha character perfectly. He has instant chemistry with Calla. A destined history. In a way Ren is like a sinfully piece of chocolate cake. Tempting, delicious and waved in front of you. Yours for the taking. Only, Calla doesn't want to have to submit to it...she'd rather desire it all on her own. Enter Shay Doran. Shay is sweet and kind and very different form Ren. He tumbles into this world blinded by half truths and secrets and is apart of the bigger picture that goes beyond anything they could grasp. He doesn't have the instant connection that I felt with Ren, but, it builds up. It's attraction first. Get to know each-other stage, with chemistry swiftly following. Just the way I like my love triangles mixed. Calla is a great character with a great heart. She sacrificed so much to do what was right and I really feel for her situation. She may be a warrior but she's also a teenage girl who is struggling between her loyalty, her duty, and her heart.The tug-of-war between the boys was amusing and totally swoon-worthy. Not to say that it wasn't a bit frustrating with all the back and forth action going on. It made it just has hard for the reader to choice a favorite as it was for the character. But sadly, I already have my my favorite:( These triangles are almost always predictable so I think I know where this will end once the series is said and done, but, a girl can always have hope. The rest of the packmates are awesome and I absolutely adore Ansel, he is everything adorable and precious I love in a character. I can't say that I was very happy about the whole Efron/Sabine, Logan/Mason bit. It bothered me. But, it's meant too, so it was easy to shrug off. Every character is graced with there one personality and attitude and I really loved that. The plot line itself is amazing. It's more then a battle for Calla's heart. There is so much history between the Keepers and Searchers with the Guardians stuck in the middle. It's laced with prophecies, fate, war, betrayal and magic. It ends with a hefty cliffhanger giving the readers the pause-effect and making the sequel that much more demanding. Basically, I loved this book to pieces. It has some really touching moments, it's sexy and deliciously enticing. It's also unique, captivating and fun as hell! Can't wait to get my hands on Wolfbane and back into this incredible world! A Sensational debut!!

  23. 5 out of 5

    tonya.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The first third of Nightshade captured my attention like little else has recently. I found the characters authentic and compelling, and the world Andrea Cremer built was unique and intriguing. Even the love triangle element (which I suppose has become a requirement of YA literature) was tolerable, simply because I found both love interests equally as attractive and possible. This was not a Team Jacob / Team Edward situation where the main character's ultimate choice is so obvious you can only ey The first third of Nightshade captured my attention like little else has recently. I found the characters authentic and compelling, and the world Andrea Cremer built was unique and intriguing. Even the love triangle element (which I suppose has become a requirement of YA literature) was tolerable, simply because I found both love interests equally as attractive and possible. This was not a Team Jacob / Team Edward situation where the main character's ultimate choice is so obvious you can only eye roll at the contrived angst as she tries to 'decide'. Nightshade is well-written and well-paced, which most YA is sorely lacking lately. The paranormal elements were believable and, in what little YA experience I have, unique. It was a compelling and fairly quick read, and I'm definitely looking forward to the second book in the series. Why only three stars? That has more to do with personal preference than anything else. While Calla didn't actually make a choice in Nightshade, it's pretty obvious who she will end up with. And, I have a hard time understanding why. First of all, I never understood their immediate connection. Maybe that's just me, though. As much as I liked Shay in the beginning, I don't feel that his character was every fully fleshed out. In my opinion, he was extremely selfish and frivolous with Calla's safety. Yes, of course I wanted her to be free to make her own choices, to discover who she was and why, but I didn't like the way he pushed her. Time and again she became legitimately frightened and told him what he'd suggested could mean death for her if she was caught--and yet, without seeming to take that matter to heart or even take steps to protect her, he pushed. He didn't understand what she was or the pack mentality she had. Whether the way in which they were governed was right or wrong, Calla was still a wolf, and he didn't seem to respect that most basic part of her. It was all a joke to him, a riddle to solve, a cage to let her out of. And why did he want her out? So he could have her. End of story. There was no over-arching quest to free the Guardians at large. No, it was all about Calla. He came off immature, selfish and frivolous to me. Ren, on the other hand, had depth. He was a leader, respected and understood Calla's position as the alpha of her own pack. It was obvious he had deep feelings for her, and wanted their union to be one of mutual love, respect and trust. And while the point could be made that if she'd chosen him, she would have chosen a life without choice, I believe that if she'd trusted him enough--as he'd given her every opportunity to do--and let him in on her discoveries, he would have been on her side. Two other minor things that bugged me: 1) The way Calla got her panties damp every time someone touched her. I get it, you're seventeen, you're hormonal and have never been allowed a little touch. Girl, I feel for you. But jesus. Simmer down. 2) It was so obvious to me from the moment Calla's mom turned white when Calla mentioned she'd been hanging out with Shay that he was to be the sacrifice at the union. But, it didn't feel like it was supposed to be obvious with the way the characters took a thousand more pages to figure it out. And I'm rambling now. I liked the book. I'll read the next. But I can't shake the feeling of disappointment. Had Shay's character been developed a little more, I probably would have been more than okay with Calla's choice.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Helen 2.0

    I gave this book 2 stars because of Calla. Calla acted like an immature, self-absorbed drama queen for 90% of the book and I found it impossible to like her. Andrea Cremer couldn't decide if she wanted Calla to be a tomboy or a girly-girl so Calla goes from blushing over something as trivial as wearing skirts to flirting blatantly in the same chapter. The inconsistencies in her character had me rolling my eyes more than just a few times. Calla is supposedly a badass (she's called that by at leas I gave this book 2 stars because of Calla. Calla acted like an immature, self-absorbed drama queen for 90% of the book and I found it impossible to like her. Andrea Cremer couldn't decide if she wanted Calla to be a tomboy or a girly-girl so Calla goes from blushing over something as trivial as wearing skirts to flirting blatantly in the same chapter. The inconsistencies in her character had me rolling my eyes more than just a few times. Calla is supposedly a badass (she's called that by at least one person in the book), but she swoons at even the slightest hint of romance or sex - can you really call that tough? She's an Alpha, but is in truth only a figurehead for the Keepers, magic-wielders who organize the Guardian packs. Not only that, but she's very oblivious to the personal problems of her pack members and can't manage to help them even when she does realize (I'm referring to Mason/Nev and Ansel/Bryn here). However, all the aforementioned issues are minor in comparison to Calla's treatment of Ren and Shay, her two love interests. She keeps both of them on her hook for the entire book, at times kissing one boy then turning around and making false promises to the other, always lying to everyone involved. The worst part is that Calla didn't even seem to realize how cruel, deceiving, and selfish she was being; it was as if she thought she had a right to both boys. If you ask me, she deserved neither. The world-building saved Nightshade from getting just one star. I expected the book to focus on werewolves (called the Guardians) but it branched out into a whole world of supernatural creatures. The warring factions of Searchers and Keepers, winged succubi, and other well-imagined beings made the story more interesting and moved the plot forward. Also, the mention of succubi made me think of Bo from Lost Girl, my favorite badass! If I continue this series it will be to hear more about the world Andrea Cremer thought up outside of Calla's self-absorbed bubble.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dominika

    1,5 stars... funny, right? Like an F+... The plus is for the last 30 min of the audiobook... anyway. A bit of spolier stuff, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a paranormal romance. It was the worst book to read for a few years. I kid you not. I think even Hush, Hush wasn't so bad, because it was easier to go through. It was actually painful to finish it and I was counting how much I had left. This book is simply bad. It's too cheesy, it's too predictable. But I guess I should say what actua 1,5 stars... funny, right? Like an F+... The plus is for the last 30 min of the audiobook... anyway. A bit of spolier stuff, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a paranormal romance. It was the worst book to read for a few years. I kid you not. I think even Hush, Hush wasn't so bad, because it was easier to go through. It was actually painful to finish it and I was counting how much I had left. This book is simply bad. It's too cheesy, it's too predictable. But I guess I should say what actually annoyed me so much. So... What should be first? I guess the heroine. I was seventeen once too, you know? And I don't think you can get that horny before you actually even experience your first kiss. It's impossible for your body to react to a man's body like that if you don't really know what physical pleasure is all about. She was breaking into tiny little pieces just because someone "cupped" her head, or "cupped" her chin, or whatever they were "cupping". God, that word appeared soooo many times. She behaved like an animal lady in heat. And it was BAD. It's not like I'm some prude, or I don't know what smut is all about. And I like my books like that sometimes, but this was just unnatural. She almost had an instant orgasm because someone (ANYONE! it seems ) touched her leg or her waist. Calla is attracted to both her destined mate and the new-boy-in-town-which-is-totally-awesome. So she has all those bodily reactions to those two guys and it doesn’t really seem to matter which one it is. And THEN. And then she actually falls in love. And I don’t get that. WHY? Her love interest is not even a tiny bit appealing to me and I do not understand why she risks so much for him. But hey, that’s what instant love is all about in paranormal romance, right? I’ve read my fair share of bad books ,but this is just too much. All that I’m so conflicted stuff, I’m such a strong woman, I’m a warrior, but then I’m really not – I’m just a whiny lost girl that’s ruled by her hormones. She’s unreasonable, irresponsible… and WHAT DOES SHE SEE IN THAT GUY??? So there we are. The heroine’s love interest. I really don’t get him. He’s repulsing. He’s some wise-ass that pretends to be some young philosopher, hurt by how he had to live his life, all alone without friends. Even the fact that he mentioned Buffy season 8th as one of his favorite comic books didn’t save him. He’s dull, he’s annoying, he doesn’t represent anything that would be interesting for me. And then we have Calla’s destined mate. He’s one hell of a guy – he’s actually the only really interesting person in this book. But no, hey, he’s the bad, bad jerk. And he sleeps with women. And he’s confident. And we should hate him. But he’s the only considerate, devoted character in the whole book, the only one who is not one-dimensional and has all the qualities of a human being. But no, he’s the supposed-jerk and I don’t think we even get to be Seamus (new guy)-team or Renier(destined mate)-team, it should be that obvious for us. Anyway. The characters are shit. The story is shit. Just at the very end it gets a bit more exciting, we get to be doubtful about what we thought is really happening. But that still doesn’t make me want to read the second installment. I was just too happy to finally finish the first one. Most of the plot twists were predictable, so I was just waiting for Calla to figure out what I did a few hours before. And I’m really not that good with predicting plot twists. I’m really angry at this book, so this review might seem a bit chaotic. But I just hated it so much!!! I hate when the author tells me who I’m supposed to hate, who is the hot guy, without actually creating them so I feel like it myself. I hate heroines that talk about how bad-ass they are, but end up being some hormone-controlled-weak-freaks that just annoy the shit out of me. And all that cheesy talk. It almost had a gag reflex. It was forced, it was unnatural, it was supposed to convince us how deep the love between the two chosen characters is. BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BADBADBADBADBABD. Nothing more to say, really. Never ever.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker Queen of the Undead

    I really did not want to like this book. The book has so much publicity and I wanted to rebel and hate it. I really dislike overhyped books. As hard as I tried, I failed at disliking this book. In fact, my only disappointment came in the fact that I have no clue what is going to happen (yes, there is a cliffhanger) and frankly, I want to know! You can see from the other reviews that this is a book about werewolves. Oh pardon me, do not call them werewolves, they are “Guardians”. It is also about I really did not want to like this book. The book has so much publicity and I wanted to rebel and hate it. I really dislike overhyped books. As hard as I tried, I failed at disliking this book. In fact, my only disappointment came in the fact that I have no clue what is going to happen (yes, there is a cliffhanger) and frankly, I want to know! You can see from the other reviews that this is a book about werewolves. Oh pardon me, do not call them werewolves, they are “Guardians”. It is also about witches and sorcerers, my bad- they are called “Keepers”. The Keepers created the Guardians long ago to protect some sacred sites. The “Searchers” are the bad people trying to find those sacred sites. Or are they bad? Hmmm, are you figuring out the mystery here? The key to this book is Calla. As a Guardian, she has been raised to protect her pack, and follow the rules of the Keepers. She has been taught that she should not question them regardless of what looks like a bad outcome for her pack or herself. It is not until she meets Shay that she discovers that not everything is the way it appears. There is a large cast of characters here and Ren is the one that I struggled with the most. In the beginning, I liked him. He is to be “mated” with Calla and he is a bit of a player. He seemed to have her best interest at heart and you really felt that he did care for Calla. In the middle of the book, I changed my mind and thought he was just a player and was controlling. Towards the end….. I’m not telling since it will be a spoiler. When I liked Ren, I disliked Shay and vice versa. The author did a great job of making you question what is really going on. Overall, a very good read. I look forward to book 2!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    It's no secret that Nightshade was one of my most anticipated reads of 2010. I remember seeing it on some IMMs several months back. Once I saw the cover, it was like someone had switched on a neon sign in my head that flashed and buzzed 24/7: MUST! HAVE! MUST! HAVE! That cover! That title! That color scheme! DECKLED PAGES! Yes, I decided I needed to make Nightshade mine. So after months upon months of counting down and entering ARC contests (to no avail), I finally got my grubby little hands on It's no secret that Nightshade was one of my most anticipated reads of 2010. I remember seeing it on some IMMs several months back. Once I saw the cover, it was like someone had switched on a neon sign in my head that flashed and buzzed 24/7: MUST! HAVE! MUST! HAVE! That cover! That title! That color scheme! DECKLED PAGES! Yes, I decided I needed to make Nightshade mine. So after months upon months of counting down and entering ARC contests (to no avail), I finally got my grubby little hands on a bright and shiny copy. I have to commend whoever orchestrated the brilliant marketing for Nightshade. The whole mystery game with Shay was phenomenal. Huge props on that. Nightshade is narrated by leader of the pack, Calla. I liked being in Calla's head, but she tended to make me dizzy with her back-and-forth tendencies between love interests. After all, what would YA paranormal be without that love triangle business? However, Calla was nothing, if not loyal to her pack. I loved her devotion to her brother, Ansel, who was one of my favorite characters (and my sugar-to-coffee ratio is tooth-achingly similar to his.) Calla has a lot of soul-searching to do in coming books, and I can't wait to read about it. As Shay told her, "you belong to yourself." Loved that part. It brought the warm, fuzzy feeling. Speaking of Shay, I was a bit conflicted on how I felt about him. On one hand, he was rather pushy and insistent with Calla, almost borderline disrespectful of her boundaries and traditions. On the other, he was at times sensitive and encouraged Calla to look beyond the little box she's lived in her entire life. I think I need a bit more exposure to Shay to form a well-rounded opinion. I'm so glad this is a series, because I cannot WAIT to find out more about Shay and the exact part he plays in the grand scheme of things. At the beginning, I was not down with Calla's betrothed being a player while she has to remain virginal and pure. Do not want. I'm Team "Calla finding herself and rocking it out as a strong, self-sufficient chick." But as the story progressed, Ren's charming, faithful side emerged and I, too, was back-and-forth about who I was cheering for. Cremer has a way of presenting you with the characters' flaws and then offering a deeper, more meaningful look into their personalities, which were delightful distinct and diverse. What an insane journey I've just concluded. I don't even know if I can use the term "concluded," because holy cliffhanger. It was a doozy. The world-building, the lore, the intricacies of the precarious balance between the Keepers and the Guardians was exquisite. There were some issues with the Keepers and their power trips that made me slightly uncomfortable, so I'm hoping for retribution in future books. I'm so impressed by Cremer's ability to keep all of it straight in her head, let alone create this complex hierarchy. Reading about the Guardian's history was a infinitely more interesting and fun than any history book I've ever read. If only it were this much fun in real life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    brittany

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. So I really liked this book. It was really good but there's one thing that I really really hated about it - SHAY. Why? Some people might love him, think hes nice and loves Calla and all but to me he was a pushy, annoying hindrance that made me want to strangle the book whenever he popped up. TEAM REN!! *Cough* moving on.. The plot was good although kinda predictable,IMO. The story is built around the main character, Calla, a female Alpha Guardian. She had always known how her future would turn ou So I really liked this book. It was really good but there's one thing that I really really hated about it - SHAY. Why? Some people might love him, think hes nice and loves Calla and all but to me he was a pushy, annoying hindrance that made me want to strangle the book whenever he popped up. TEAM REN!! *Cough* moving on.. The plot was good although kinda predictable,IMO. The story is built around the main character, Calla, a female Alpha Guardian. She had always known how her future would turn out - Marry Alpha male guardian Ren (he's awesome btw) and lead a new pack with him. Until SHAY arrives (here we go). Calla saves SHAY from a grizzly bear attack at the beginning of the book and when he joins her school she starts to get to know him better. (She feels this INTENSE attraction to him which I can't really comprehend). Calla begins to question everything she believes in and her destiny once she starts talking to him. This leads to them (Shay forcing her *Ahem*) to start investigating even though it is forbidden and could get Calla in SERIOUS TROUBLE. And yeah they unravel hidden truths and lies she and the other guardians have been led to believe. From the very beginning of the book I just couldn't bring myself to like Shay. And as the book progressed I really began to hate him. And over the book he became and and more obsessed with Calla. He was also really pushy and just plain annoying and I hated his attitude (especially towards Ren). I truly loved Ren as a character. Hes portrayed as a bit of a player and sexy and confident. I think he really loved Calla though. He gave her a pretty ring and when he did he wasn't so confident and even blushed ;D. I was really sad for him in chapter 33 when Calla was running away with Shay (>.<). I wish Calla had given Ren more of a chance instead of always being so mistrusting of him. There were also parts in the book where she treated him really unfairly. The side characters were also interesting. I especially liked Calla's brother Ansel and thought his relationship with Calla's best friend Bryn was cute. And I like how the author brought a few gay characters into the story too. Overall the plot was really good and it was a good read.I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, Wolfs bane. As long as it has Ren ;D

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristi

    What made this novel so awesome? The plot. I didn't love this novel because of the characters. I loved this novel because of the intricately weaved, never a dull moment plot... the history of the characters and their mythology. I absolutely fell for this story. It's action packed. I am not exaggerating when I say there isn't a dull moment... there's not! Nothing is what it seems... one word I wouldn't use to describe this novel is predictable. I had lot's of moments where my mouth was hanging op What made this novel so awesome? The plot. I didn't love this novel because of the characters. I loved this novel because of the intricately weaved, never a dull moment plot... the history of the characters and their mythology. I absolutely fell for this story. It's action packed. I am not exaggerating when I say there isn't a dull moment... there's not! Nothing is what it seems... one word I wouldn't use to describe this novel is predictable. I had lot's of moments where my mouth was hanging open... I mean it was literally hanging open and usually gasping. I really need to get over my apprehension of reading books that I really want to like. Am I the only one that does that. I'll hear about a book, that has everything that I think would make an awesome book, but then I'm afraid to read it because it may not live up to my expectations.... what is my problem. Nightshade was one of those books. I thought it sounded epic.... but could it really be that good? It was. And I have been kicking myself in the ass since I read it for not devouring it back in May when I had a chance to. Let's talk about characters. Calla. I liked this girl. She was a very strong, resilient character. She has to be to a certain extent because she's an Alpha, but I think her Alpha status only magnifies those qualities, it doesn't define them. Ren and Shay were a toss up for me. I'm not really sure if I like either of them at this point. The characters that I did love: the pack members. The whole dynamic of the pack interaction was very fascinating. I need some more of that! Nightshade is the perfect blend of everything I love in a novel. There is engaging plot, well written characters, romance and a BEAUTIFUL cover. I have to admit the cover is what initially drew me in. I'm eagerly awaiting Wolfsbane!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicole's Book Diaries

    A strong main protagonist can carry a book with a weak plot line and a mediocre setting. But it’s a shame when a book with an interesting plot and excellent world building is hindered by the main protagonist. That is exactly what happened with this book and it really is a shame. It could have been a great book if I didn’t spend half the book wanting to scream at the main character for being utterly frustrating. So let’s meet her shall we? Calla is a werewolf or in this book, a guardian and not just A strong main protagonist can carry a book with a weak plot line and a mediocre setting. But it’s a shame when a book with an interesting plot and excellent world building is hindered by the main protagonist. That is exactly what happened with this book and it really is a shame. It could have been a great book if I didn’t spend half the book wanting to scream at the main character for being utterly frustrating. So let’s meet her shall we? Calla is a werewolf or in this book, a guardian and not just any guardian, the new alpha for her generation of Nightshade wolves. She started out amazing with her ferocity while patrolling their borders in the beginning of the book and fighting off a bear while trying to save a human’s life. Unfortunately, any redeeming traits for Calla ends there. Calla spends the rest of the book being a naïve angsty teenager while juggling two guys vying for her attention. Nowhere in this book did I see any indication of alpha Calla. She can fight and be a warrior just fine but then so can all the other female wolves in her pack. She has no leadership qualities and no clue of what is going on in her pack. She is literally years less mature than her YOUNGER 15 year old brother. Keep in mind that she’s almost 18, the older sister and as she constantly states in the book, an alpha. Aren’t alphas supposed to be mature, perceptive, strong, and encouraging? Isn’t that what makes a great leader? So why do we have this girl who couldn’t even tell the relationship budding between her brother and her best friend. Both of which are closest to her personally and proximity wise? Honestly, if I was in Calla’s pack, I would be afraid of having her as my alpha. Now let’s move on to her “affair”. So there’s a love triangle in book. Calla our ever annoying protagonist, Shay, the new boy in town, and Ren, the rival alpha of Calla’s pack. Here’s a little info first. Calla and Ren was proclaimed to be mated when they both turn 18. Their union is supposed to bring the new generation of the Nighshade and Bane (Ren’s pack) wolves together and create a new pack. Enter Shay, the new boy that Calla saved from a bear and shifted in front off. There is this insta-love connection between them and you can pretty much see where this is going. Both guys are vying for Calla’s attention and heart. But she can’t choose between them so she two-times them. She doesn’t tell either of the guys what she’s doing with the other. She was also supposed to stay “pure” until the union ceremony and she did well considering that she did not kiss anyone for seventeen years or had any type of relationships. But of course, the love triangle changes everything. She ends up kissing BOTH guys on the SAME day of her first kiss. Let’s talk a little about the guys. Shay is a carefree, go-with-the-flow type of guy. He’s very open-minded and doesn’t know when to give up when it comes to Calla even when Ren’s shoving him on the chemistry lab table during class. Then there’s Ren. Despite his womanizer status in school, he’s actually quite caring and sweet. His life has been filled with hardships after losing his mom at a young age and having to answer to a lecherous Keeper named Efron. He’s also hot-headed and can get jealous when Shay’s flirting with Calla. Of course, Calla also flirts back. Actually she flirts with both them. In my opinion, she really DOES NOT DESERVE EITHER OF THEM. Now onto the story and the world building… The plot of the story was pretty strong which made up for the fact that I had to read one of the more frustrating protagonists I’ve had to read this week. Other than the love triangle, there’s relationships between the other packs. There’s also the mystery of the war between the Keepers and the Searchers and the true purpose of the Guardians. I was also very impressed by the world building. The whole town was basically controlled by the Keepers and protected by the Guardians. There was also an impressive amount of history behind the Keepers and the mythology of werewolves. It was written in a way that I found very interesting and revealed slowly as the book progressed. I appreciated that the author didn’t just write info dumps and took her time crafting the setting. Even though it took time to build the setting, I didn’t find it hindering the book. It wasn’t boring and I found it more interesting than Calla’s teen angst kicking in every now and then. Overall, it was a good book. I just really didn’t like Calla.

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