Friday, September 17, 2010

Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Claire de Lune
Author: Christine Johnson
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Series: Claire de Lune #1
Pages: 336
Genre: Paranormal, fantasy, YA
Release Date:
 May 18, 2010
How Received: Library

Summary: Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?

My Thoughts:
This story isn’t your average werewolf story – you don’t get bitten to become one, people/the media know that werewolves exist and actively hunt them, and the pack is entirely matriarchal. The premise of the story confused me at times. I go into books without reading summaries. I like being “blind” about a story, lest something on the back sways my judgment while reading. So, with that said, I had no idea what the hell was going on besides Claire dealing with her three month change into a werewolf and being whiny about having to lie. There was no real action, and we didn’t even get a subplot, until the end.

I’ll start with Claire. After Claire’s rockin’ 16th birthday part, she finds out she’s a werewolf. She spent a lot of time in denial – and I mean a freaking lot. I wanted to slap her at the beginning and tell her to just go with it, since you can’t change it. We’re constantly reminded that Claire HAS TO LIE and that she doesn’t like it. After the tenth or twentieth time, you’d think we knew by now that Claire hates lying and that she’s going to whine about it for a few paragraphs. I couldn’t connect with Claire. Not really. She’s your typical rebellious teenager who is too self-absorbed to notice the shit pile she’s walking into.

The other characters... eh. Emily was just there for annoying banter for a few paragraphs. Lisbeth was just... there, as well. We never got to experience or see who the wolf pack members were for ourselves. Again, they were just there.

The one thing I did like about this story was the progression of Matthew’s and Claire’s relationship. It wasn’t a look—then BAM, we’re in love. It was slow, it was sweet, it was romantic. Matthew was such a gentleman at times. I didn’t, however, like their awkwardness. I felt like screaming every time there were awkward silences.

The progression of the story was very dull. It was mostly Claire whining, and then trying to learn how to be a werewolf, and then we’re back to Claire whining. Repeat and rinse. It only picked up near the end (and it wasn’t much of a pick-up). I have to admit that I almost fell for the red herring Johnson threw at us. But then I realized the one she cast as suspicious couldn’t have been the culprit – the times never matched up.

One thing I despised about this story was the lack of description and detail. I never even knew what Claire looked like, other than a really vague description about her. Other characters got even more vague descriptions, which were limited to their hair colors. And the werewolves – people knew about them. But how did they know? How did this lycanthrophy research society set itself up? There was just too many “why’s” and not enough answers – I mean, I know it’s a fantasy novel, but at least throw us a bone, give us some vague idea.

I guess, however, the lack of description worked in a way – it made this a really fast read.



Cover Musings: Oh gosh, the one thing I absolutely loved about this novel! The cover is so pretty. The model, the moon, the sentence, and even the brush they used behind “Claire de Lune” is absolutely gorgeous!


Memorable Quotes: 
“The truth of who she was, what she was, hung over her like a lead umbrella. Her mother had told her over and over that it would get easier, that Claire would become like an oyster. ‘The truth, chérie, the secret—it is like a grain of sand. You must hold it inside the way an oyster does, smoothing it over and over until it becomes a jewel that makes you stronger, more valuable, even though no one can see it inside you. It will only hurt at first.’” (pg. 259)

“Claire sighed. ‘I wish I could, but I’ve got some, uh, girl stuff to do later. I think I’d better stick around here tonight.’
‘Girl stuff’? Is that what we’re calling it now?’” (pg. 321)

“Every part of her felt right—her silky fur that caught the wind, the pads of her feet against the soft dirt—it was perfect. The feeling of release was so great that Claire couldn’t hold back the cry that rose through her. She threw back her head and howled. Around her, she could hear the others join in, calling out to the moon above them, the ground below, and the forest that circled them tight.” (pg. 335-6)

Final Thoughts/Overall Comments: I wanted to like Claire de Lune more than I did, but I couldn’t. The book itself was okay; I liked it. But it wasn’t extraordinary, or something I’d fan about. It was just a good book, and I’ll probably read its sequel whenever it comes out.

Rating: 3/5

1 comment:

....Petty Witter said...

As if 16 isn't an awkward enough age without discovering that you are a werewolf.

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