Nightshade: Andrea Cremer

The cover actually was one of the reasons this book is getting a slightly higher rating than it should.  That’s never a good thing.
This book is you’re pretty run of the mill post Twilight paranormal novel.  Meaning, it’s pretty much Twilight  to a T it certain elements (i.e. the love plot), but it tries to keep things fresh by adding in a different mythology (this time werewolves that aren’t Meyer’s werewolves).  Also, in the case of Nightshade throw it throws in an additional twist by making the Bella character the guy.
Yeah, I know we’ve seen that before too…..
This book received a huge amount of promotion before it was released. The art department went all out on it and it shows. And I remember buying it (in part) because of the publicity.
But it sat on my shelf for years.
That in itself is always a warning, I find that my subconscious is sort of psychic.
Laugh all you want now.  But I’ll prove it to you because I was able to guess everything that happened in this book.
Okay, maybe that’s not being psychic maybe that’s just the fact I’ve read way too much PNR YA at this point in my life.
If you look at other books that go in the vein Nightshade went they’re all oddly similar.  Supposed strong female protagonist, bond to someone who is obnoxious (though I didn’t find Ren to be as obnoxious as Cremer probably hoped), and falls in love with a human boy that’s essentially Bella Swan if she would’ve been born with a y chromosome. And of course even though our powerful heroine, is, well, powerful…the human boy tames her in the end.
Nightshade suffers from this and having horrible characters.
Let’s look at the couple we should be rooting for: Calla and Shay.
First of the name Calla is just stupid and an excuse to have calla lilies on the cover.
Yeah, I  know that’s purely speculative and subjective, but I had to throw it out there.
As for the character herself.  How would I describe her….wannabe Buffy Barbie.  Yeah, that’s a good description.  We keep hearing how tough Calla is, but at the end of the day she’s your typical YA PNR heroine who needs a man to rescue her.  Really, the only thing that Cremer does to make you think she’s tough is  have her proclaim that she doesn’t like wearing dresses and makeup.
Hmm, if I remember correctly Bella Swan didn’t like wearing dresses and makeup either…
Doesn’t mean she was tough.
As for the love triangle.  I don’t root for Shay.  And he’s the very obvious endgame.  I just didn’t like him.  He’s whiney, annoying, and honestly I felt no chemistry between him and Calla whatsoever.  All I knew about him that he was sort of an elitist (I love books more than the next person, but not everyone who’s intelligent likes to read, Shay),  was obsessed with Hobbes, and had Xavier Woods hair.  Anytime I equate a hero to Xavier Woods.  You should know that means to run, run away.  He’s also sort of useless and pushy.  Two things I hate in a YA hero.
Seriously, he gets all hot and bothered over this guy.
As for the other guy, Ren, I saw more chemistry there.  Although, I’m sure Cremer will probably villainize   him even more so that everyone will ship Shay and Calla.
Sorry, that’s still not going to make that ship float.
I might’ve got past the shitty characters if there was an interesting plot.  And for awhile there, the world building seemed sort of interesting, but it never really came to full fruition.  Rather, Cremer is vague on details so we get the obligatory trilogy (I swear, trilogies are the standard YA publishing contract these days).
As it stands though, I was able to predict every twist and turn like clockwork and even though I’m still vague on a lot of the details, I have no interest to continue.
That probably makes me sound like a horrible person.
I’ve gotten to the point with a lot of these YA PNR books though where I don’t even want to bother.  The predictability is just yawn inducing.  I get why these types of books exist in the market, but at some point I just want to say come on!
Why can’t we do something a little original?
There were things about this novel that could’ve made it a unique and interesting trilogy to read, but instead I got to read about three (okay, to be fair really two) characters I couldn’t stand.
I feel like with Nightshade there were a lot of things that could’ve been great, but the execution just turned it to another one of those books.  You know, written of the coattails of Twilight, but nowhere near as memorable.
In fact, I can easily see myself mixing it up with another YA book series that involved a powerful girl who was supposed to be bonded to a guy, the only difference between that series and this one.  That one involved dragons.  But hey…it’s the little things like that, that apparently make for originality in this genre.
Overall Rating: Four out of ten moons.

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