My Wolf's Bane by Veronica Blade
Publishers: Crush Publishing, Inc
Published Date: January 28th 2013
My rating: 4 out of 5
Different species. Mortal enemies. It'll never work, but they'll die trying.Autumn Rossi thought she was a normal teenager. Suddenly, she can outrun every critter in the forest, making her wonder if she’s even human.
When the new guy at school, Zack de Luca, witnesses a questionable scene, he unfairly pins her as stuck-up. He acts like he hates her, yet he keeps bailing her out of trouble. Not only is Zack both insufferable and irresistible, he seems to sniff her anytime he gets close.
As passion flares between them, Autumn isn’t sure which is more dangerous: her psycho ex-boyfriend, or falling for Zack — who’s risking his life just by being near her.
It's been a long while since I've read a Werewolf story. You remember when these supernatural creatures became all the rage, along with vampires and suddenly everyone and their dogs were writing about them. All the story-lines drifted along becoming very samey. The thrill of the story got lost and I refused to read any more.
So when Courtney from Crush Publishing contacted me, I admit, I was hesitant. The thing that really pulled me in was the first few lines of the Goodreads synopsis:
NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: As with any Veronica Blade book, this is a ROMANCE NOVEL, meaning it's romance FIRST and everything else is secondary. Rated PG-13 for sexual situations and mild profanity.
Intriguing, I thought. The one thing that stories tend to lose is the personal element of the story. Most lose their way overcompensating with graphical descriptions while balancing a convoluted love story and don't quite pull it off leaving you either frustrated or nonchalant.
So, here's the thing. My Wolf's Bane took me less than a day to read. I literally couldn't it down. The story sucked me in from the first page and I just had to continue reading, and reading, and reading. Once I reached the final few pages I had that wonderful satisfied feeling you get when you finish a great book and enjoyed it.
So the questions that followed (and there weren't many) were:-
a) Why was this any different to what I'd read before?
b) What made the story interesting enough?
c) Was there anything new and original I learned that prompted me to keep going?
Well, the answers are simple. No, The characters, and No. But surprisingly I wasn't bothered by that.
Here's the thing. The story is a school story. You know the ones where you meet all the characters, some are bitchy, some are stereotypical, there's always the nerds and dweebs vs the cool jocks/cheerleaders (although there were no jocks or cheerleaders in this one).
What interested me was, going against stereotype, the main protag isn't allowed all comforts under the sun, isn't rich, isn't given much freedom, and is basically coddled by doting parents who won't leave her alone. Some of her friends are good with this, some shun her because of this.
Anything new in the story line, anything original? Well, not really but when you're reading the story you realise that that isn't the point. The story is about a relationship, and coming of age, of love, and romance, and someone denying and suppressing their own feelings to such extreme's because they want to protect you. Pretty heavy, strong emotions ripple through this book and everyone somewhere can relate to at least one aspect that happens here.
So, lets go back to the beginning. I loved Autumn. I thought she started out as a shy girl, afraid of her exuberant best friend, worried about splitting up with her boyfriend even though he's a jerk, and allowing her parents to walk all over her.
Then she slammed into Zack (literally) and everything started to change. That and her 18th birthday is coming up, and she begins to feel different. More energized, slightly warmer, a little bit more impatient.
She's going through changes that she doesn't understand. But for some unknown reason Zack keeps getting thrown in her direction. Now she finally gets rid of the sleazeball boyfriend and has to suffer the shame afterwards of finding him with her exuberant best friend making out, AND they were at it before she dumped him.
But, and this is what held my interest, Zack doesn't seem that into Autumn. He's rude, obnoxious, a little bit callous. But on the other hand he seems to always turn up at the right time, he helps her with her car situation, and fills her flat tyre then invites her round to his Aunts house for dinner.
So then the ex boyfriend decides he's sorry and will stop at nothing to try and get Autumn back in his life because he LOVES her. Yeah, right! Yay for Zack though, he really does go out of his way to protect Autumn. I know what they are but it really was like watching two rutting reindeer. I kept wanting to shout Fight! Fight! Fight! But I braced myself and continued reading.
Curiously, there were tell tale signs along the way implying the hidden story that wasn't being told, easy to pick up on but it was honestly so much fun riding out the story, waiting to reach the confession page because the angst, anger and guilt had reached such a high with our two main characters that I thought they would spontaneously combust.
Yes, at the end there are questions that have no answers to them. Not everything is revealed in the final pages but I can wait for the next book for that!
Suffice to say that the author was dead-on with the synopsis. This is a romance book first, and its good. Really good. Bittersweet and tender in all the right places. Heartwarming at other times. It really did have you hating the right people and severely wanting to maim others (like Gina! Boy, I want to sock her in the face!)
Apparently this is the first in the series which I'm mighty glad about and I absolutely will be reading the next one.
Check it out now if you love Maggie Stiefvater, Twilight and basically anything werewolfish! Go Zack!
Here's the book trailer!