I was impressed earlier this year when I read Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s Every Other Day. The book took an interesting look on the paranormal which was one of the reasons I was excited about reading Raised by Wolves. However, being a busy law student it just sort of sat there until I decided to clean out my bookshelves recently.
General Summary: Bryn has been raised by wolves: seriously. Although, she’s human Bryn still has to abide by pack rules-think cave men like behavior and values. Of course, since she’s a teenager she doesn’t want to follow these rules. Especially when she spots a mysterious teenage boy who’s locked in a cage of all things.
I have mixed feelings about this book. There are parts of it that come off very strong. Barnes really does know how to create great paranormal worlds that feel realistic. I think it’s because her approach to the paranormal is very scientific which makes sense given her background. The pack, odious as they are, do act like wolves (Note, I don’t know much about wolf behavior though other than what I learned from The Dog Whisperer). However, I think maybe taking a more scientific approach with the wolf pact was a little less than desired….
Byn is beaten in the book because she doesn’t follow pack law. This is a big no-no for me. And I get the concept that alphas discipline when the rest of the pack does not comply thanks to Cesar Millan, but I think having Bryn attacked the way she was, was just wrong.
While I understand that books need conflict, I really hated Bryn’s reaction to what happened to her. Or for that matter, her not doing anything proactive to prevent it from happening. She knew how the pack would act if she disobeyed, she acted way too impulsive in my opinion. And yes, I know she’s a teenager, but teenagers can still think and *gasps* be cautious when need be. What was even worse was the aftermath when she blamed herself for what happened and sort of grew a weird dependence on Chase.
Okay, it wasn’t that bad of a dependence as far as YA books go, but authors I’m pleading with you I hate the concept of mate, soul mate, imprint mate, bond mate, etc. unless it’s done correctly. Meaning the character must have some element of choice. Despite what some people think arranged relationships are not romantic even if there is supernatural/divine intervention.
Other than these few complaints, I really enjoyed the book. Despite my problems with Bryn, I’ll admit that she’s no Mary Sue. She has faults and she’s not too strong of a character or for that matter too weak. I also liked her mom, Ali, as well. She sets Bryn straight and is actually a proactive parent-which is something you don’t usually see in YA lit.
Best Feature: Mystery: There is a rather interesting mystery going on in this novel. Unlike most werewolf books that focus primarily on the romance, this book actually has a plot. So yay you book!
Worst Feature: Stockholm Syndrome: As I stated in my review, I wanted to slap Bryn for thinking that it was okay for anyone to mess around with her. Seriously, Bryn. Fight back. Don’t be like that girl from that Lifetime movie.
Appropriateness: This book is pretty violent. A teenage girl is beaten and it’s a sanctioned beating. For that matter, the teenager’s mindset towards the abuse is a little demented. There’s also some talk about people belonging to other people (i.e. they marked them to become their mates etc.) and that’s a little bothersome to me.
Blockbuster Worthy: It could be an interesting movie. I mean, it would be a lot better than Twilight- whose werewolf mythology I still haven’t figured out since Stephenie Meyer keeps changing her mind in order for me to purchase that Twilight encyclopedia (Meyer, it’s not going to happen).
Bryn: India Eisley: I just see Bryn looking like this. Shrugs.
Chase: Tom Sturridge: I’m sorry but he’s my go to guy when a character is suppose to be dark haired, blue eyed, and gorgeous.
Overall Rating: Six point five wolves? It was really close to being a seven wolves review for me, but some of the values that Bryn grew up with just made me feel a little sick to my stomach. I will give Barnes props for addressing that what Callum and the pack did to Bryn was wrong, but I couldn’t get past the fact that a part of Bryn thought she deserved her punishment and wanted to return to such a society.