Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
Release date: September 1, 2009
Other books by this author: The Clearing
Shelby’s summer plans go totally awry when her horrible stepmother sends her off to “brat camp” as punishment for one too many broken curfews. Camp is full of spoiled rich kids, obnoxious counselors wanting Shelby to talk about her feelings, and a totally inhumane “no cell phones” policy.
Things start looking up, though, when Shelby meets fellow camper (and son of a rock star) Austin Bridges III. But soon she realizes there’s more to Austin than crush material—his family has a dark secret, and he wants Shelby’s help guarding it. Shelby knows that bad boys get her into trouble…but who is she to turn her back on a guy in need, especially such a good-looking one?
Heather Davis’s debut novel mixes together irresistible characters, a pesky full moon, and a delicious taste of the supernatural.
I picked up Never Cry Werewolf a few months ago as a spur of the moment thing and put it down after about 30 pages. It wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the time, but then I picked it up again a few days ago- and I'm glad I did. It was exactly the light, quick read I needed, a break from some of the heavier reads I've been tackling lately.
As I mentioned before, this was a short and sweet book, and that's as far as it went for me. I really liked most of the secondary characters, but sadly didn't get enough of them. The friend, Ariel was great, I would have loved to hear more about her. The main character Shelby could have been the kick-butt, awesome heroine, but she fell a little flat for me. It may have been that I couldn't really relate to her. Her mother had died and her father remarried the wicked stepmom. From page one, I liked Shelby's sarcastic and witty tone, but at times it got to be a little much. She said some stupid things and her personality flip-flopped, and she wasn't very developed. The main thing I liked about having Shelby as the main character was that she was different from a lot of characters I've read lately. Although, yes, she was annoying at times, she was the type of character that normally may have more of a background role, but rather took center stage with Never Cry Werewolf. By the end I could better understand her and her decisions, but still she wasn't a great character overall.
The plot of Never Cry Werewolf was unique, I really liked the brat camp idea, that added a lot to the book, and of course the werewolf aspect. This was definitely not your typical werewolf read. Davis added her own twist and although the plot and characters fell a little flat I liked how she orchestrated it. Maybe with 50 or 60 more pages the oomph factor could have made it's mark on me.
As I was reading, I was drawn in, and could definitely have finished it in one sitting, but at times the plot got a little slow for me. Shelby wants to help Austin. She helps him. Shelby complains about her stepmother. Shelby, Shelby, Shelby. Repeat. I think this was where things got a little tedious for me when Shelby was busy complaining or moping the plot stalled. I did really like how the sub plots worked in. There were quite a few sub plots that really added a lot to the book. There were even some twists in the plot that surprised me. Romance was definitely a part of this and I did feel the connection between Shelby and Austin. I did think she may be the character to scream and run when hearing the word werewolf, but she really turned out to be braver than I first thought.
Overall, Never Cry Werewolf was a good debut that may not hook all readers, but will definitely stand out. It contained unique, albeit under-developed, characters, and a plot that occasionally dragged, but it definitely laid the works for greater things from Davis in the future. I expected a short and fun read from Never Cry Werewolf and I got just a little bit more. I definitely know Heather Davis has it in her to write even better, so I can't wait to start The Clearing!
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars