Below, Frankie and I fangirl squee all over Nightshade. But before you scroll down, here are some things you need to know.
First, check out the Goodreads page for Nightshade, and read the plot summary.
Second, mark your calendars for tomorrow, when we will be interviewing the lovely author of NIGHTSHADE, Andrea Cremer!! (heartheartheart.)
Third, please inform us immediately if you know a non-stalkery way we can befriend said author. Because she seems so awesome, we totally would go get coffee with her.
But without further ado, our co-review:
Sara: I admit it, I was kind of dubious when I first picked up my ARC of Nightshade. The caption says, "She can control her pack, but not her heart," and I wasn't quite sure what I was in for.
Frankie: I was a little unsure too--I wasn't in the mood for more werewolves. BUT...
Sara: This isn't really a book about werewolves. I mean, wolf-shape-shifting is a part of it, obviously, but this book is way more complex. Lots of layers. Like an onion! Except way tastier than an onion.
Frankie: Like Shrek! But WAY more awesome
Sara: And with werewolves!
Frankie: And hot boys!
Sara: Can we talk about the boys? Ren first.
Frankie: Ren: Hot, sexy, smoldering. He's the supreme Alpha male.
Sara: Dangerous, but loyal.
Frankie: Yes, and deep down inside, you know he's just a big softie. Like a cuddly wolf. Not a vicious one.
Sara: He just needs big wolfie hug.
Frankie: I'd hug him! He needs a hug, he has a lot of pressure on him!
Sara: And then there's Shay. I was sold on Shay the minute he walked on the page. He's totally my kind of guy. A mixture of boy-next-door and mysterious new guy.
Frankie: You know...I love Shay, but I was kind of more a Ren fan.
Sara: I really don't think I can choose. And I think that's part of the key of the book.
Frankie: That's why Andrea rocks!
Sara: She made her characters feel real. They're all too complex to either be Team Shay or Team Ren, Team Nightshade or Team Wolfsbane.
Frankie: So real! And so hard to choose between. Not to mention the supporting characters!
Sara: I LOVE Ansel. Maybe I'm team Ansel.
Frankie: Me too! He was so adorable! Or Team Mason and Neville.
Sara: The fact that Andrea thought out so many details of EVERY character, and made them diverse without being like, "And here's the token character for this, and the token character for that..." It was so refreshing, and awesome. It took the book to a new level, I think.
Frankie: It did and that added TENSION to every single page. There were seriously consequences for EVERYONE, not just Calla.
Sara: Omg, the tension! This is a page-turner. And I wasn't just turning the pages for Calla and Ren and Shay, but for ALL the characters.
Frankie: Sometimes with romances....you kind of skip through some parts...to get to other (cough) parts.
Sara: Haha. Truth. But not with Nightshade.
Frankie: But not in Nightshade! Almost jinx!
Sara: Owe me a coke!
Frankie: Every character counted, every scene mattered.
Sara: Also, this is one of the first books I've read in a long time that I haven't finished and gone, "It was good, but could've been about 75 pages shorter." I think Andrea earned every single page. Her writing is fantastic.
Frankie: I'd say could have been 75 pages longer! And this is slightly spoilery--but it ends on a cliffhanger. I was dying! Andrea! How could you do this to meeeeeeeeee!?!?!?
Sara: Can we mention the cover art too? It's gorgeous.
Frankie: SO gorgeous and different from a lot that's out there. I love the purple and pink and...sigh...too pretty.
Sara: Oh, oh, can we talk about the world-building too? One of my deal breakers is sloppy world building.
Frankie: Andrea knows how to build a world. This was solid. 1,000s of years solid.
Sara: Even though there was a lot thrown at me, it made sense and I totally trusted her. And the world is EPIC. Which is AWESOME.
Frankie: Yes. I did struggle a tiny bit at the beginning, there were a lot of races mentioned, but I appreciate now how things were slowly revealed. The world is SO EPIC. Oh man, talking about this right now makes me want to reread ASAP!
Sara: But epic in that way I think it might actually exist. And by think, I mean wish I could live there. And like, maybe date Ren...or Shay...or Ansel...
Frankie: I'd live there if I could turn magically into a wolf and date Ren... and Shay. And hang with Calla.
Sara: And Bryn.
Frankie: Oh Bryn! Be my friend too!
Sara: In conclusion. Tell me why you loved Nightshade in 140 characters or less.
Frankie: Super sexy smoldering tale of a young woman discovering her strength.
Sara: Alright, my turn. WOLVES ARE AWESOME.
Frankie: Hahaha! You win!