By: CD Bell
Publication Date: Novemberl 1st, 2016
Eager to escape her small hometown, high school junior Nessa Kurland is focused on winning a college scholarship for cross-country running. A chance encounter with a trapped wolf while out on a run leads to powerful and frightening changes, and one day, Nessa is transformed into a full werewolf. Now Nessa must navigate the challenges of high school while coming face to face with true human darkness, as she tries to make peace with her new wild nature.
Nessa is a normal girl. She has a best friend, she runs cross country, and she sees her only way out of her small town is receiving a scholarship based on her cross country performance. The most notable thing so far in her life is that her town was put on the map due to a contamination spill and her brother is under observation as part of a study to see if there are ramifications. Soon, though, Nessa’s life gets much more complicated.
What I liked most about Weregirl was Nessa and Bree’s friendship. The no-judgement and acceptance and unwavering support that came from Bree was a blessing. It provided an outlet for Nessa to discuss her problem unfettered and without it sounding like exposition. The friendship anchored the story as did Nessa’s relationship with her little brother. The story’s basis was also rooted in some Native American lore (and I appreciated that it was acknowledged that it was weird as hell that a random white girl was suddenly dumped into these traditions).
However, while Weregirl had a lot of potential, the approach and writing felt too clinical. There was a sense of detachment from the story, and even though I wanted to become invested in Nessa and Bree, Chayton and Luc, I couldn’t, because I felt I wasn’t given a chance to connect with them. In this sense, the book, even though it clocked in at around 400 pages, felt unfinished and incomplete. There were also some characters whose presence didn’t seem to make much sense. First, there is Cynthia, a cross country team mate who was suppose to run with Nessa the night she is bitten. Cynthia runs on ahead of Nessa and even though Nessa is attack, and probably screaming for the whole town to hear, Cynthia doesn’t turn back. She doesn’t even seek Nessa out afterwards to see how she is doing. Overall, her character was confusing, I couldn’t decide if she was suppose to be a basic mean girl character or if her motives were more sinister. Then there is Cassian. He is a fairly random love interest. Sure, he is the star jock and really cute, but his personality seems to be nonexistent. And besides, the relationship doesn’t last long and he moves on quickly to another girl, who happens to be a freshman (and he is senior). Yuck.
There was a lot going for Weregirl, and I was still interested enough at the end to want to read the next book. However, I wish that the book had been a little more invested in its characters, and had nixed the random, brief romance in exchange for building up the one that seems to be developing at the end of the book.
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. An advanced copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.