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Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

C l a i r e  d e  L u n e  by Christine Johnson
Release Date: May 18, 2010 (Hardcover)
Publisher: SimonPulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Sequel: Nocturne
Pages: 336
Source: Local Library
Go Buy It: AmazonBarnes&Noble

Word Blurb: Light and entertaining!
Synopsis- "Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?"

Quick Thinking: Claire de Lune was light and exciting, but not entirely satisfying. I delighted in the heartwarming true teenage romance that blossomed between Claire, the heroine, and her crush Matt, the wonderful twist on werewolves, and the some of the conflict that revolved around the story. The characters were authentic, the plot intriguing but not as engaging as I thought it'd be. Very entertaining and filled with awesome female werewolf action as well as a cute, blossoming romance, Claire de Lune makes for a likable read.

My Thoughts In-Depth: *Note: May not be spoiler-free.*  I think the parts I'm most fond of in this book, would be Claire's transition from seemingly human girl to werewolf not just emotionally but physically. It was very realistic, how Claire's body began changing and indicating signs of something unnatural. Yet it wasn't too obvious. But Claire's development as a werewolf was what kept me interested in this novel the most.

Claire as a character was pretty neat. I felt an instant connection with her because of her personality, her angst at all the common teenage drama. It just felt so very real to me. I kept thinking, Now this, this is how a teenager would act in this kind of situation. Whether good or bad. And that made Claire fun and likeable, and it's easy to sympathize with her when her life get's shot to hell as soon as she finds out her lineage and what's in her genes. I mean, first, you're trying to deal with having a huge crush on this really cute guy, you're just starting to break out of your shell that makes you shy around others and making friends, when out of the blue, you really aren't comfortable in your own skin. Because guess what? You have werewolf skin/fur to deal with now. I felt pretty bad for Claire, all the struggles she had to deal with as far as her distant mom and then being shocked with the news that she's going to become a werewolf after three full moons.

That can put a lot of pressure on a kid, you know?

As for the other characters, I didn't care too much for them. Claire's mother's distance bugged me, no matter what kind of excuses/reasons she tried to give for her behavior toward her daughter. Claire's crush, Matt, he seemed nice and genuine, and I did get to know him a bit better than most of the other characters besides Claire. Claire's best friend wouldn't have been my best friend. She's too self-absorbed in my opinion, and a little on the selfish side, though she remains a pretty good friend to Claire. Still, if I were Claire, I'd be sure to remain tight-lipped about my new abilities. What disappointed me about the cast, though, was the pack. When I think werewolves and a pack, I think awesome! So I expect for the pack members to be awesome, quirky and irresistible.

The first problem with the pack, for me, was the total lack of males. I get the whole female empowerment, blessed by the Goddess to be what we are, and yeah yeah yeah. But, I really would've enjoyed it better if there had been some diversity here. Not only for the eye-candy, but also for the kind of personalities and viewpoints guys bring to the table. It would've been more fun for me that way. And then to top it off, the pack members were boring to me. There wasn't anything particularly special about their personalities that made me feel a connection with him, or like reading about them. Which is no fun, considering they dominate about half of the book.

The plot itself didn't captivate me. There's a killer werewolf running around, so what? And you're probably looking at me with that expression that says, So what? What do you mean so what, Asher?! But that's how I felt. The novel didn't convey that urgency or make me interested enough to care.

What helped make the reading go along more smoothly was the light and sweet romance. As I mentioned before, Matt is adorable, so his relationship with Claire was too. I thought it cute how they were moving through the motions of dating as teenagers. Talk about pressure! But, though they were awkward at some points, they were just cute on the flip side. I couldn't help but thinking that this sweet relationship was just perfect for this book. And Matt was definitely a nice change from all the darker, more intimidating heroes we YA book fiends have been reading about. And  I found it refreshing that when Matt finally discovered Claire's little secret, he didn't just fall into her arms and suddenly be okay with it. He was angry that she lied, scared of her and this change. Totally normal, human reaction. Loved that! And added to the adorableness, he indeed stays with her in the end. That spoke volumes. How would you react if you found out your boyfriend/girlfriend was a freakin' werewolf?

And the ending was... eh, so so. Nothing abracadabra, super magically awesome about it, sadly. But, even with that being said, I may still take up the sequel, Nocturne, just for Matt and Claire as I really do like them.

& Instead of quotes, I've got the first line in the book for you:
"She killed him in the darkest part of the night, before the dew had settled on the grass."

Thanks for reading!