Author: C.D. Bell
Source: Library - saw it on Greg's Book Haven
Eager to escape her small hometown, high school junior Nessa Kurland is focused on winning a college scholarship for cross-country running. A chance encounter with a trapped wolf while out on a run leads to powerful and frightening changes, and one day, Nessa is transformed into a full werewolf. Now Nessa must navigate the challenges of high school while coming face to face with true human darkness, as she tries to make peace with her new wild nature.
This was a pretty entertaining read! I was in the mood for some YA angst mixed with some sort of supernatural type element, and this fit the bill perfectly! The fact that it is set in Michigan is just a bonus. I am a fan of werewolf stories, and this cover - you can't deny that it stops you in your tracks, with those ice blue eyes staring you down, daring you to pick this book up and read it.
Nessa is a super-driven, motivated high school student with a set goal and a plan. She is a cross-country runner on her school team, and knows her talent and athletic prowess is the only way to pay for college. She needs to have a stellar year in order to be even considered for an athletic scholarship, and has put in the time pounding the pavement to train for the season. Unfortunately, there is one hitch - as a result of one moment's kindness, Nessa is bitten by a wolf, jeopardizing her chances. She is told she won't be able to compete for at least a month to allow the wound time to heal completely. Nessa however, begins to heal faster than the doctor said, letting her continue to practice. Good stuff right? The flip side of faster healing? Suddenly growing fur all over your body. Gross. I can only imagine how I would react as a teenage girl, to a sudden growth spurt of animal hair, on me. I had the chicken pox in high school, and honestly, that was hard enough! Yep, you guessed it. That wolf bite had the power to transform her into a wolf.
The rest of the book is Nessa dealing with her newfound wolfish nature, as well as what she learns about the truth behind her town of Tether as a result, which includes a mysterious and ominous chemical company that polluted the water in her town for years.
I think what I really liked most about this book was Nessa herself. The central plot kept my interest, but I really liked how real Nessa was. She had a real life. One where she had to take care of her little brother, who has autism, and has a part-time job. She has to balance her home life with work life with school with track - as well as a social life and boys. She has self-doubts, and dreams. It was very realistic, in my opinion, making her relatable. Not everything is handed to her easily on a platter. This girl has to work for it. On top of all of this, now she has to deal with turning into a wolf as well following down the track of the dark undercurrents of her town.
I thought this book was a fun read, with a unique perspective on the whole werewolf scene. I look forward to visiting this world again, and seeing what happens next!