Wolfsbane - Andrea Cremer “What in life is worth a sacrifice, if not love?”

After reading so many PNR adult novels, the first thing that always strikes me about YA novels is the smooth writing. I can't pinpoint what it is, exactly, that I love so much about it. Maybe it's just a lot more simpler to read or something, but I just love how the story flows off the page and each scene blends into the next without any pause or break in between.

Wolfsbane picks up right where Nightshade left off. After helping Shay escape, Calla finds herself in the midst of the Searchers, but instead of viewing them as the enemy, she starts to finally see through the lies the Keepers have fed her all her life, and decides to give all she's got to the Searcher's cause and her dream: freedom.

The consequences of Calla's actions are terrifying. I felt sick just reading about what the Keepers had done to her family and pack after her betrayal. And through it all, I couldn't help wishing Shay was dead so none of this would have happened. And I wish Calla hadn't been so shortsighted and gullible in running away with Shay, thinking that her actions would only have mild consequences, not anticipating all the tragedies that resulted from her foolish "love" for Shay.

But despite all that, I don't hate Calla, or even dislike her. She realizes that all the terror that has befallen her loved ones is her fault and after accepting it, she grows from it and becomes a stronger, better person. The selfish girl she was in Nightshade has developed into an admirable and responsible young woman in Wolfsbane, and I really love her for it.

I can't stand Shay. If anything, I hate him more in Wolfsbane than in Nightshade. He's immature, boring, selfish, and completely overbearing. At several points in the story, he gave me the rather unsettling impression of a rapist in the making. Calla pushed him away lots of times, and he kept on insisting and if Calla had been a weaker girl, I hate to see where it would have led.

Every time I read an argument between Calla and Shay, and there were A LOT of them in this book, I felt like doing a little jig around the room.


Why it's blatantly obvious to me that Calla is NOT in love with Shay:

1. She never runs to him for comfort, and rejects him when he offers it.
2. Every time she's reminded of Ren, and even times when she isn't, she turns away from him and pushes him away rather than talking it out.
3. She's reluctant about letting things progress farther than kissing between them. And yes, I am ignoring the last 50-some pages of the book on purpose. She would have never let Shay get that close to her if Ren hadn't betrayed her. She was just hurting, and let Shay comfort her. That's all there was to it, and I'm not ready to accept otherwise, because then all the positive feelings I've been feeling for Calla would go down the drain.
4. She can't stand it when he decides things for her, even though if she'd truly loved him, she would have been more understanding of his worry and concern.
5. She treats him like a subordinate, not like her equal.
6. She refuses to take off Ren's ring, even after Shay asks her to.
7. And lastly: SHE'S IN LOVE WITH REN!!!! I don't care how long it takes for her to admit it, but she's fangs over paws for Ren, and Shay is just a result of her teenage rebellious stage. She hates the power that the Keepers have over her, and in order to prove that she can run her life by herself, she takes off with Shay.

There's a completely new set of cast in Wolfsbane because now Calla's among the Searchers rather than the Keepers. The Searchers have a true bond between them similar to the bond among the Nightshades. I love how Silas, Ethan, Connor, and Adne are always teasing each other and making the best of their situation. Their firm resolve and the ability to always keep their eye on the future are qualities I find extremely remarkable and refreshing from Calla's occasional shortsightedness.

“You haven’t had time to stumble across love yet.”
“Sure she has.” Connor slid into the chair on the other side of Adne, throwing his arm around her shoulders. “She just doesn’t appreciate it yet.”
Adne groaned and dropped her forehead onto the table. “I’ll marry the first person who gets me a cup of coffee, I don’t care who it is.”
“Throw me a mug, Isaac!” Connor half rose.

Connor and Adne are my new favorite duo in this series! I loved their constant bickering, silent support of one another, and the trust they have in each other's abilities. I hope there's a lot more of them, AnselxBryn, and SabinexEthan in Bloodrose.

I can't believe this series is ending in just one more book. I've really come to love these characters and I wish there's a spin-off featuring the side characters, or something. As for Bloodrose, I have only one prayer request: Please, please let Calla end up with Ren.