From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—For Claire Benoit, life in Hanover Falls has been pretty normal and uneventful. But all that changes on the night of her 16th birthday when she discovers a secret that will change her world forever. Her mother explains that she is a werewolf, descended from an extensive line of strong, female wolves. After being introduced to the pack, Claire learns that her full change will occur at the next full moon when she will be initiated into the pack. Claire has never been close to her mother, so this revelation leaves her totally lost and alone. Struggling with her new identity, she turns to Matthew, the charming, hunky soccer star who has been recently flirting with her. As their relationship begins to heat up, events seem to work against them. Werewolf attacks are occurring at an alarming rate in Hanover Falls, creating a state of panic. This unrest is further fueled by Matthew's father, who is a lycanthropy scientist and has organized the hunt for the rogue werewolf. Overwhelmed with trying to balance her old and new life, Claire must make decisions that alter her behavior and have ramifications for her future. Johnson weaves a page-turning tale of forbidden love, loyalty, friendship, and deception that will leave readers eager for more. Strong characters and major plot twists coupled with a new twist on werewolf mythology make this a fun and entertaining read that will satisfy fans of the genre.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
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On their sixteenth birthdays, the women in Claire's family begin a three-month transformation into werewolves—a secret kept from the girls until they turn 16. Beginning with Claire's suburban birthday party—which is abruptly broken up by a werewolf attack in another part of town, causing panicked parents to demand that their teens get home at once—Johnson spins out an engaging and provocative riff on the werewolf tradition. Are they intrinsically antihuman? Bloodthirsty? Due the same respect other animals should receive in laboratory situations? Those questions are underscored by a romance between Claire and Matthew, the son of the prime public-hysteria-provoking werewolf hunter. Smooth writing and engaging main characters make for an easy read, while a feminist focus offers just a bit more for thoughtful readers. The red herrings aren't particularly deluding, but bypassing them doesn't frustrate either. A good summer read for the romantically concerned and monster-obsessed midteen girl. Grades 8-10. --Francisca Goldsmith