SPOILERS OF "WOLFSBANE" AHEAD. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
In the first book, I was definitely leaning more towards Team Ren than Team Shay, but I was hoping Ms. Cremer would turn Shay from being mostly an annoyance into someone I could accept - and even delight - in having Calla end up with (since it seems like Cremer is intent on having Shay/Calla be endgame).
That hope is completely gone.
While I found Shay to mostly be an annoyance in "Nightshade," in this second installment, I was absolutely appalled by his behavior and now I seriously cannot stand him.
The scene that really made me hate him was when he and Calla were making out and Calla told him to slow down. She pointed out to him that with her packmates in danger, having sex was not a good idea - and the fact that she was still wearing her engagement ring made it clear that yes, she does still care about Ren. Instead of being understanding of the fact that the people Calla spent her ENTIRE life with are in danger - her family, her friends, and yes, her former betrothed - Shay just gets pissed that Calla won't put out.
I was so disgusted by his behavior. On some level, yes, he has a right to be upset with Calla because she keeps leading him on and then backing off because of Ren. But at the same time, why is he so completely unwilling to accept the fact that Ren was a part of Calla's life from the moment she was born, and that it's really just not possible for her to stop caring about him completely? She spent her whole life being groomed to be Ren's mate, and quite honestly, I think there is way more spark and passion between those two than Shay and Calla. But my opinions aside, Shay should not expect Calla to not care at all about someone who has been such a fixture in her life - he just kept getting way too angry whenever she mentioned wanting to save Ren, like she should just let Ren die and stay blissfully ignorant of her pack and stay with Shay.
Now that Calla has mated with Shay, I really have almost no desire to read the third book since it's now 99% certain that Shay/Calla is endgame. I really hate Shay that much. And honestly, the rest of the book didn't give me much reason to want to keep reading either - I found most of the new characters to be annoying or one-dimensional, though with all the backstory Cremer kept shoving down our throats, I suppose she didn't have many extra pages to make us give a crap about the Searchers. Also, I feel like what Ansel did seemed completely out-of-character - this is the guy that told his sister he would betray the Keepers for her and who rebelled by starting his own little romance without permission, and we're supposed to believe he then betrayed his sister? It just seemed so contrived to me and didn't fit at all with his portrayal in the previous book. So, yeah. "Wolfsbane" was a complete disappoint to me, and unless I see rave reviews about "Bloodrose" and find out that Calla and Ren miraculously wind up together, I will not be reading.
I've always been Team Ren since I find Shay utterly annoying! When calla mated with Shay I wanted to throw the book away, I mean she had just seen how Ren had turned on her because he'd been tortured till a breaking point, a torture brought on by her escape, and yet what does Calla do? she has sex with Shay on that very same day, you know, cause that's the best way to pay Ren back for helping her and shay escape *insert sarcastic smiley here, please* I Read the first chapter of bloodrose and she almost had sex with Ren there, just hours after having slept with Shay. WTF? I want her to end up with Ren but come on, this is ridiculous......
I broke down and read the first chapter of Bloodrose too, just to see if it seemed at all promising, and now I hate Calla as much as - if not more than - I hate Shay. I am just so utterly disgusted with her. She seriously JUST had sex with Shay, and then not only does she not admit to Ren that she's already mated to Shay, she goes on to almost sleep with Ren. She does not even deserve Ren anymore after everything she's put him through. This series has dissolved into a pure rampage of hormones and I am not impressed and just not interested anymore. You fail, Cremer.
I am okay with the fact that Calla chose Shay over Ren. It wasn't my first choice as far as pairings go, but I understand the author will choose different things for the characters. However, I am definitely not okay with what the author chose to do in the beginning of Bloodrose. I can't stand how she allowed Ren to think he still had a chance to be Calla's mate. I don't think I want to stick around to find out what happens next. I was rooting for Ren, and to have him being effed around with in the first chapter just turned me off to the series.
Ok... let me get this straight. A lot of people seem to be Team Ren. Personally I was on ok terms with Ren up until he tried to rape her. I'm sorry but I don't care what they threatened or told him. Or even if he didn't want to to do it, the fact of the matter is he was going to do it. He was going to force Calla to 'mate' with him. To break her. *Pause* And no one is up in arms over this? Rape is somehow justifiable? (And saying anything that excuses something so heinous - i.e. he was being forced to - is justification. He had a choice.) If you're saying he wasn't going to rape her go reread the end of chapter 21 and the beginning of 22. Cremer doesn't need to spell it out - its pretty strongly implied. He wasn't going to beat her in to submission to break her (she's too strong of a person for that) he was going to force her to accept their 'destiny' in a very violent and unwanted way. Throwing her across a room, her lip bleeding, causing her physical pain and him trying to force her legs apart while she is pleading and telling him no. *Pause again* Gee, Ren sure is great. That's real love right there, that's what that is.
Granted I did like Ren up until that happened, though him also forcing Calla to submit to him on the mountain rather than just verbally call her out for lying started to cool me a little towards him already. He sleeps with half the female population in the school (despite knowing that he is supposed to marry/union with her later on and also claiming that he loves her), gets her in trouble and doesn't even act like he cares when they get caught, not carrying about her reputation as far as the elders are concerned, and takes over the pack to the point where Calla doesn't feel like a partner. Yea he was so totally deserving at that point. Is Ren evil? No. I think he has flaws like many other characters, including Shay. Ren did try to get her approval on calling the pack that one time. I think he does genuinely love her in his own way. I think there is a bound and clear chemistry between the two that is very different from what she has from Shay. Ren has been her sort of friend since childhood; they have a deep connection for sure. But I don't think the two of them belong together. They are a lot alike, too much alike. I personally don't believe they balance each other out.
For those who get agitated with Shay getting possessive over Calla I'd like to point out Ren was too. Both are also very protective and trying to look out for her when they feel she's threatened/in danger. Shay was just barely turned in the first book, he's starting to act like an alpha male in the second. Both he and Ren have feelings for her and she has been running them both around in circles because she basically wants both of them. I think if she told either boy, 'Hey I'm with him and you and I are done' and then walked away (no more kisses, no seeing the guy again) this possessiveness both boys show would disappear because they wouldn't have competition. But Calla doesn't do that, instead she's kissing both and doesn't know what she wants. Also for those who get upset over Shay coming on strongly to her, he was no worse than Ren. And I don't entirely blame him for getting a little pissed at her about the ring. She sits there and tells Shay she loves him, rescues him, acts all jealous and protective, and then makes out with him. I'd be annoyed too if someone was doing that to me and then admits they still have feelings for their ex. It's emotional whiplash. I think he does realize her and Ren's history and what she grew up believing, in my opinion that's why he feels bad for fighting with her.
Protective/Possessiveness aside I personally like Shay more for a variety of reasons. Calla is too serious and Shay's able to get her to lighten up and laugh a little. He stands up to her without trying to force her to see things his way. He's completely loyal to her. Yea he lied to the Seekers in the beginning, but did it because he wasn't going to trust and move forward with them until Calla was on board. He treats her like an equal - I have never felt like Ren has treated her the same way. I also feel, character wise, Shay is a lot more fleshed out and developed. And personally, I see plenty of chemistry between him and Calla, it's just different from what she has with Ren. Ren's the hott bad-boy and Shay is more happy go lucky boy-next-door. I could keep going, but I won't.
It will be interesting to see what Cremer does in the last book, I think she could go either way (though I am hoping for Shay). Cremer has me wary as she's built cases for both boys in Calla's head. Granted I'm going to be disappointed if it is Ren (go back to the first two paragraphs if you don't know why). But I'm pretty freakin' positive that Shay and Ren are going to be fighting over the indecisive Calla for a good chunk of the last book. Her mother warned her about this in the first book. Everything's about to hit the fan.
Personally, I don't like either. I am leaning more towards Ren, because Shay utterly annoys me, but I still cannot seem to really like either. And as for Calla, she is just, and pardon the language, kinda a slut. She is just so fickle with her feelings and doesn't know what she wants. Cremer tries to portray Calla as this strong, independent woman, but she is so willing to give her self to either of these boys. That is the opposite of "strong" to me.
My thoughts exactly! I hate Shay! I was so team Ren! I hate that Calla didn't even give Ren a chance. She spent so much of her time and energy pushing him away and trying not to like him that she never even got to know him enough to decide whether or not she liked him. Even after Ren made it clear that he truly liked her arranged marriage aside. I'm even more annoyed that Calla and Shay had sex again in Bloodrose. She must not have been to broken up over what happened with Ren seeing as how as soon as she left him behind she spread her legs to Shay (after years of saying no to Ren). I couldn't believe she mated with Shay. It was so unrealistic. What girl is in the mood for sex after almost being raped?