Weregirl by C.D. Ball
I’ve been looking for a quality shifter story (this was before I checked out Hair In All the Wrong Places and Blood and Rain, which is a ridiculously different style of story than Weregirl), and there was initially a lot to like about this book. There wasn’t a lot of horror, and the small town vibe fit with this type of story. It has a bit of a cozy mystery vibe early on, which worked well for a YA werewolf book. Nessa’s initial transformation is tied to her track running and emotions. That was interesting and reminded me of Ginger Snaps a bit, but without the boat loads of blood (shame). I loved Nessa as a high school athlete trying to get a college scholarship to leave her hometown. I really related to that, and I love stories about female athletes. Her character and her struggles around life are vivid and real, and Nessa’s desires to run kept me hooked on this book even though there were parts I didn’t like.
There’s no real romance with Nessa and anyone, which I suspected might happen later in the book, and while there was a direction I think it might have gone, there’s enough obscuring of the romantic interest to allow focus on Nessa’s internal struggles. An athletic, female protagonist draws me into stories, so I liked Nessa, and some of the other characters felt developed, too. The romance plot was interesting in that Nessa doesn’t fall into anyone’s arms immediately, and the story stays friendly and never delves into romance plots, which is abnormal in paranormal stories. I always have mixed feelings with romance plotlines, so Weregirl going ‘light’ on the romance angles didn’t bother me. There’s definitely a tease at who the other ‘real’ werewolf is.
And now to the rant section. HOLD ON. 🙂
FUCKING NO VIRUSES ARE NOT TREATED BY ANTI-BIOTICS
OF COURSE THE VILLAIN IS A RANDO EVIL PHARMA COMPANY
Could you tell I didn’t like the plot and thought it ended in the tritest, most unimaginative way possible? It keeps the cozy, small-town mystery tone throughout, which helped me get to the end, but I hated this plot. A lot. The level of anti-science on display at the end triggered all my rage buttons. (It’s happened before…) I don’t mind woo (it’s fantasy), but the particulars of this story and the ‘all doctors are evil’ lazy characterization tanked the ending of this for me.
The shifting ended up being unspectacular, too. Nessa becomes a full wolf, which is fine, but it never goes much beyond that. The shifting feels a little too easy in parts, although I liked Nessa’s interaction with the pack of real wolves.
Rating: 3 stars. There’s just nothing beyond Nessa’s character that interested me. I loved the focus on Nessa and her running, and it makes her stand out as an individual. It was kind of this weird werewolf/athlete biography, but the werewolf pseudo-science elements weren’t handled well and tanked the story for me.