Thursday, January 3, 2013

Willow by Amy Richie Review

Author: Amy Richie
Release Date: August 2012

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal,

“Being a werewolf is harder than it looks. Everyone thinks it’s just morph at the full moon, kill, morph back. That’s not true. It’s a lot harder than that. Especially if you are seventeen years old.”

Willow has the worst luck. First she has to deal with her narcissistic foster mother, Bella; then of course there’s her horrid little sister Ivy; not to mention the pack of werewolves that belong to Bella. Now, they have to move and start a new school - again.

Just when Willow thinks things can’t get any worse, Blake shows up from a council she never knew existed to name her leader of a pack she never knew existed. How was she supposed to teach a bunch of teenagers how to be wolves when she herself hated everything about her life?


This book started off strong, but it quickly went downhill. I usually love female pack leader stories, but Willow made me think that women should never lead.

The plot wasn't that great or original. I did like how the females in a pack were the leaders. Until we meet Willow, who I find to be an indecisive brat. Not a good trait for a leader. I could blame it on her youth, but I'm just not that fond of her character. Willow's pack is rather weakly written into the story. Half the characters are forgettable, and they make no impact on me to help me remember who's who. It took me a while to figure out who does what in the pack. Of the memorable characters, Gage makes the most impact to the plot line. That being said, his character is too predictable. The book itself takes place too quickly for details to make sense, and rather important parts aren't explained. I think that it was written too quickly, and the editor and author should have edited it longer before the book went to print.

The book takes place in Grover, but that's a rather minor detail. They're always moving from town to town, because that's apparently what werewolves do. Why do they move around? Basically, it's because of the werewolf female's paranoia. Yep, and they're in charge of the pack. Not all of them are, but Willow and her foster-mother Bella (who Willow was living with at first) sure are. They'll move their packs right away over the smallest of things. There was one incident that I can agree moving the pack over, but most of the reasons are rather foolish. With all this moving around, it makes me wonder how many small towns there are in the USA, and how many packs there are? Surely, someone would notice these people moving from place to place...

As the book starts, we learn right away that Willow is going to be the new leader of a young group of boys. She's not ready for being a leader, and I think she never will be. She's selfish and indecisive about many things. Not a leader you want for a bunch of boys. She's also possessive, and doesn't want her pack members to have a life outside of the pack. In one instant, she gets angry when the pack members want to be normal teens and date girls outside the pack. She says it’s dangerous, but I don’t see how when they haven't shown themselves to be dangerous. Maybe she knows something we don't? Willow wants be a cheerleader, then she doesn’t want to be a cheerleader. She doesn’t want to go to prom, but then she does want to go to. I think I would want to scream if I actually had to deal with a girl like that.

One character I find to be a useless main character is Carlie. She's supposed to be Willow's human friend. She's able to catch onto Willow and the boys being werewolves. I can see how she maybe made the connection to the boys, but not to Willow. It also seems that the author decided at the last minute to give Carlie some kind of powers, but it didn't seem well written. I think that Carlie was a rushed add-in, and the time wasn't taken to make sure her place made sense.

At first, I found that Gage was an interesting character, but his twist in this story really didn’t feel like a twist. He first appears as a dirty old man, but then transforms into a hot young guy. He's described as hairy, but since he's now supposed to be attractive, I can't think of how to imagine him anymore. The transformation was predictable though, but Willow's reaction to him was funny. I could not take their conversations seriously, because he never lied to her. The person who brought her to him lied, and he just upheld that lie for that person. There's no drama, no tension!

There are six members of Willow's pack, but only two of them were really memorable, Reuben and Jed. Reuben acts as the leader of the group, and stands up to everyone, including Willow. Jed the perverted one, and he tries to get close to her. He does because her 'boyfriend', but I wouldn't really call him a boyfriend... I know, it's confusing. The forgettable boys in the pack are Colby, Tyson, Rodney and Steven. Sure they each get their time to shine, but not long to make them memorable.

So, how does Willow react to her pack? Not well. As I mentioned before, Willow was thinking of kicking out Reuben because he wouldn’t listen to her. But when Rodney accidentally attacks her (still not sure how you can accidentally attack someone), she keeps him in the pack. Even though everyone else wanted him to be kicked out. She takes one look at him and announces that she wasn't going to kick him out. Uh, WHAT?! You want to keep the guy who attacks you, but not the guy who questions you and could make you a better leader? Sure, okay. I think those scenes were unnecessary to the book and would have been fine without it. They just make her seem like a poor leader, making unwise decisions. Sure, she's new to being a leader. She even said she's getting used to being a leader. But what frightens me is that all females are born to lead a pack. I think that a screening process is needed, because this girl is not ready!

In a related note, Willow loves to keep the pack members to herself. Her words were “My boys.” Hers, and no one else’s. Only she's allowed to 'date' (I wouldn't really call it dating, but it's the best way to describe it), but the pack members aren’t allowed. Because of a story Willow heard a long time ago, she wants complete control over her pack. It makes me feel that she wants the pack to revolve around her.

The romance in this book was pointless and annoying. After meeting her new pack, they all start to say she needs a boyfriend. Yes, that's right, the boys decide on a boyfriend for her. Willow has no say in the matter. Since Reuben is taken (but, I thought the boys weren't allowed to date...) Jed acts as her boyfriend. I don’t get why she didn’t just say no, and that she didn’t want a boyfriend. It's clear that she didn’t want one, and she's the LEADER! It's within her powers to say no. Jed takes it upon himself to then kiss her on the lips, basically stealing her first kiss. This it one of those moments that make me question the author and editor, since the next day, he disappears (I'm not saying why without giving spoilers). This leaves her free for another pack member to take the place of her boyfriend. Willow now starts getting jealous over over Reuben being with another girl. So, you don't want a boyfriend, therefore none of your pack should date... Okay... She still remains jealous when she falls for the hairy guy, Gage. Yep, she's crushing on him before he shaves and reveals himself to be young and attractive. Maybe the werewolves walk around with permanent beer goggles? Her flip-flopping gets even more painful when you realize that this takes place all in the first few pages!

My recommendation if you read this book? Grab your favourite drink and make a drinking game of it. It's just that bad.

2 out of 5 Howling

1 comment:

  1. I like the cover, but sorry that it went downhill for you.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog