Saturday, 11 September 2010

Claire de Lune - Christine Johnson

Claire de Lune is the debut YA novel by Christine Johnson. It was released in the UK on 5th August 2010 by Simon Pulse (Simon and Schuster) and it is 352 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy for review.

It is Claire’s sixteenth birthday and she’s having the most fantastic day. Pool party filled with loads of people including her best friend, Emily and the hot guy, Matthew, she has been crushing for so long now. Unfortunately, the party has to end early due to werewolves. Hannover Falls hasn’t seen any werewolves in a very long time but since people start dying, it sends the whole town into a state of panic.

Not only did Claire get pulled away from Matthew and realised that she had some crazy rash, her mother also informs her on the night of her birthday that she is a werewolf. As her packs leads her through initiation, Claire must try to deal with this extreme change in her life as well as keeping it a secret from everyone else. Matthew’s Dad is the one leading the werewolf hunt to rid Hannover Falls of its problems but this killer werewolf is no where to be seen. It’s looking like Claire is going to have to make the choice between her pack and her human friends.

What I thought
I had been waiting for this book for quite a while and was extremely excited by the idea of it. Unfortunately, I think my expectations were way too high and I was left feeling a bit disappointed after reading it.

Claire was a great main character because she was so real. When she finds out she is a werewolf what does she do? Has a screaming row with her mother. That is exactly how I would have imagined a teenager to react and also what I think I would do in that situation. Although she does eventually come round to the fact that she can’t change who she is, Claire still tries to find ways around the pack’s rules and being able to keep parts of her human self, which she isn’t prepared to give up. For these reasons, I liked her but there were also things I didn’t like. Even though Matthew clearly showed how much he liked her, she still had to question things. Why can’t a girl just accept that a hot guy likes her without whining about it?

Claire and Matthew’s relationship was nice though when Claire stopped moaning (and notice how normal their names are). The fact that Claire is a werewolf didn’t seem to mess with their relationship too much, mainly because she couldn’t tell him what she was. It was great to see a couple have a relatively normal relationship in this genre without one of them having a past that would threaten their lives or one of them get kidnapped with the other having to come to the rescue. I’m sure you see what I’m getting at here. Although I do like those aspects in other books, it is nice to read something else for a change. Some could say that their relationship was too sweet but I really liked it.

I really enjoyed the new ideas that Christine Johnson brought in about werewolves. The fact that the whole world new that they existed and they were real was something that I have never read about before in this genre so it made for a really nice change. There were also other ideas that were new to me but I didn’t feel as though some of them were explained in enough detail. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand what was going on but more that it was so interesting that I wanted to know more about the background of the werewolves. I really liked the fact that there weren’t any male werewolves but again, this was an aspect that I felt needed more explanation and a lot more detail regarding why this was the case.

There were a couple of things that I really didn’t understand though. As werewolves are known throughout the world, I didn’t really get the need for such secrecy. I know the pack was just trying to protect themselves but it seemed a bit over the top. Another thing was the way that human men were described. I didn’t like the way that they were pretty much described as sperm donors only and that they weren’t really good for anything else. That was way too harsh for my liking but at least Claire didn’t agree with this part.

Although I was fairly certain I knew who the killer werewolf was, there was twists thrown in all over the place that made me second guess myself. Throughout the story, I kept changing my mind a little bit and towards the end, my original thoughts were near the bottom of the stack of suspects. I liked that this book made me think and that there were numerous possibilities as to who the killer was.

So, as you can see, I didn’t love Claire de Lune but there is a lot of promise if there is to be a sequel.


Unknown said...

Great review! I completely agree with you that I felt like I wanted to know more and a little more details about the background. I'm hoping we'll get some of it in the sequel. =)

Belinda said...

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Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

What a shame that it was a bit disappointing! Do you have a problem with the ridiculous/dramatic-sounding names in paranormals too?! ME TOO.

Jesse Owen (Reading to Life) said...

It's a shame you found it dissapointing, it sounded good. Great review :)

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