"Nightshade" Review

by Andrea Cremer

Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: Oct 19, 2010

Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

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?

My Review:

Finally, a YA paranormal that lives up to the hype! "Nightshade" tells it's own story instead of rehashing the same old story and sends a positive message to young girls while doing so. I absolutely loved that this book dealt with real issues- thinking for yourself with a big dose of girl power. The author deftly weaves this into her addicting, exciting story.

Calla always accepted her fate as a guardian and let herself be told what to do. Until the day of her long awaited "union" (marriage) to the other pack Alpha, Ren, rapidly started approaching. Calla realized that maybe she wasn't ready to be married when she'd never been allowed to date any other guys, let alone that she was only 17! Then she meets mysterious Shay who turns her world upside down. Not just because of her feelings for him, but because of the ideas he shares with her. Shay helps Calla to see that all of the Guardians are completely controlled by the Keepers, regardless of being Alphas or not. Also, Calla starts to realize how men control the women in their world. Even though she and Ren are both Alphas, his authority takes precedence over hers because he's male.

Calla's society is completely closed minded and controlled by the powers that be. I see so many similarities between Calla's structured society and our own. This side of the story blew me away more than any of the paranormal action. Id' never seen so much social commentary in a YA paranormal book and I loved it. I hope this story can affect the audience and at least make readers think twice.

I absolutely loved Shay. I'm not even sure if it was in a romantic way or because I saw so much of myself in his values and how fired up he got over certain subjects.

Calla was a great lead, too. She was physically strong at the beginning but I loved her journey to becoming emotionally strong as well. This was a book where I can't even list all the things I liked about it, you will have to read it for yourself!

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line: This book was a great paranormal story and the author built a strong, well-thought out paranormal world. But what impressed me the most about the book was the powerful message sent out to teens and especially young women.


  1. I really want to read this book. Calla sounds like a really strong female character. I'll definitely have to get it some time this week. Great review!

  2. Great review! I really enjoyed this one as well and loved the character of Calla. I agree that there is a lot of social commentary in this novel. I appreciated the author's message as well! I'm looking forward to book 2!

  3. I really want to read this one now :-)


  4. Wow! sound super awesome.
    I had no idea what this book was all about, by the cover I thought it was just another vamp book.
    Glad to hear otherwise. Will add to To-Buy list!
    Thanks for the review!

  5. I completely agree with you. I loved how strong Calla was. She had just as much control over her pack, being a woman as Ren did over his and I loved that this wasn't even questioned. This really was an incredible story. Great review!

    So, uh, you're a team Shay fan. Feel like writing about it in my YA Love Triangle Week? The person who was going to do it had to back out for some personal reasons but the show must go on!

  6. Great review! I am totally excited to read this. I have heard so much about it!!

  7. I do love when books lives up to the hype cos so very often they do not.
    Awesome review

  8. So glad this lived up to the “hype”. I hope to read it soon :)

  9. Ooo lives up to the hype? Good to know! Great review :)


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!