Saturday, April 3, 2010

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Published: May 18th 2010 by Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 256 pages
ISBN: 1416991824
ISBN13: 9781416991823
Torn between two destinies?

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?

Descending from a line of French female werewolves was not the news that Claire was expecting to find out about on the weekend of her sixteenth birthday. That sort of ruined the birthday buzz pretty quickly, especially since at her pool party she had just made sure that she captured Matthew Engle's attention. See that wouldn't be to big of a burden to bear except that he's Dr. Engle's son--as in the scientist that is so desperate to get into the Lycanthrope Researchers International that he claims he's "curing" werewolves while he's really half-killing them, as Claire later finds out from her oh-so-helpful mother. Diving into the werewolf life feeling almost completely alone as to what her potential and possibilities may be, Claire is finding it harder and harder to lie to the people that she cares about. She thinks she catches a break when one of the pack members Zahlia takes pity on her and tries to teach some skills that werewolves from their pack inhabit. Getting the occasional helping hand does not, in the end, help Claire against the new trouble that arises.
In the course of just over the two first months of Claire's true nature revealing, the plot slowly builds to climax into its conflict of Dr.Engle's doing. With his false beliefs of safety spreading around the community, Claire knows she has to find the real werewolf behind the killings. Knowing that something was wrong, Claire sought out help from the one place she was sure to find out but came up short when her pack members express resignation rather than determination.

Claire knew that getting into a forbidden relationship with Matthew was probably the worse thing she could have done, and in the end dragging him into harm's way. However, in doing so, what exactly did Claire risk for their lives? Did she really think she could trust Matthew after all her lies?

It is hard to write this review without revealing too much because it seemed like the only eventful parts are worth telling. I have to be honest and say that a lot of the introductory/beginning of the story was slightly dull and was seemed smothered in the sense of keeping it safe. As if, Johnson's didn't want to take a chance. Since the starting out of the book obviously deals with Claire's werewolf-nature being revealed I would have expected more of a shocking outcome or maternal view from her mother, Marie. I disliked Marie's frigid-like behavior till the plot really started picking up around the middle of the novel. It slowly shows how Claire learns just how hard it is to be a werewolf in such an anti-werewolf town.
While I appreciated the significance of Matthew's character in the end, I do not believe that his character was as well developed in his relationship with Claire, other than their mutual view on how wrong his father is. Also, Lisbeth's character as Claire's live-in nanny (so to speak) was refreshing and left you guessing at other false predictions you may have about this book's certain mystery. Another thing I quite couldn't believe was the happy note the book ended on. It took me by surprise, and I did not expect it at all. I may sound a bit corny here in saying that I undoubtedly love happy endings, and this one was one that I will have to look back on. The reason I gave this book such a high rating was because of its non-failing way of getting the reader sucked in enough to follow through to the end. And by the end, I believe the readers will not be disappointed.

Grade: B-

This Advanced Readers/Reviewers Copy was sent to me from the publishers at Simon & Schuster.