Today, I am going to be looking at a young adult book entitled Nightshade. I was lucky enough to receive an advance uncorrected galley, but the book itself will be released in October of this year, 2010.*
Nightshade was written by Andrea Cremer, a history professor who lives in Minneapolis, home of the Mall of America.**
To summarize, Nightshade is the story of Calla, a "guardian"*** who is very beautiful, has a pack of friends (also werewolves) over whom she presides, has been engaged to a very hot, very popular boy named Ren her entire life, and is fine with her life of glorified slavery until...
...she meets another cute boy named Shay.
I loved this book. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it very much, but I read it in its' entirety in two days.****
Andrea Cremer did a wonderful job of writing teenagers who are teenagers, rather than precocious pseudo-adults or annoying twats who learn all of their SAT vocabulary from bloated novels about sparkling vampires. Her teenagers seem like teenagers who are still interesting to those of us who aren't teenagers anymore.
At the same time, Mrs. Cremer writes about so much more than a group of teenagers and how they interact, entertaining as such subject matter is on its' own merit. In her writing, and the pact society she has created, Mrs. Cremer writes about feminism, and the importance of freedom as opposed to the easiness of tradition.
The complexity of this novel, paired with the wonderful characters whom the reader comes to know and care deeply about, make Nightshade a must-read.
So make sure you read it.
*Unlike L.J. Smith's Strange Fate, which I am STILL waiting on. I'm beginning to think her publishers just hate me.
**This is probably weird, but that is seriously the only thing I ever remember about Minneapolis, Minnesota.
****which, considering that it was in the middle of the work week, is quicker than it sounds