I’ll be the first to admit that when I picked up this book I immediately assumed that it would be yet another girl falls in love with mysterious boy who ends up being supernatural in some way (in this case, a werewolf.) I am happy to say that I was very wrong.
Kristen Chandler’s debut novel is the story of KJ — a little-bit nerdy, little-bit of a tomboy, 16-year-old girl who lives in the small town of West End, Montana-right on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. Her dad is a fishing guide and works in the local fly shop, and KJ spends her free time helping out in the store and on his guided fishing trips. At school, KJ is the lovable, self-deprecating, clumsy nerd, and in her journalism class she meets the new (cute) boy at school, Virgil. When KJ suggests Virgil use his photography of the wolves in article for the newspaper, she is assigned to write a column to accompany it. As KJ and Virgil start their column, they are sucked into a controversy surrounding the wolves that engulfs the whole town. As KJ and Virgil learn more about the wolves, and the anti- and pro- wolf sentiment is stirred up in the town, KJ must figure out where she stands on the issues (and with Virgil…who is of course very cute, interesting, and sometimes more confusing and mysterious than the wolves).
Having expected a werewolf-with-a-heart-of-gold story, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Chandler weaves her tale in a rich natural setting, and ties the weather and wilderness into the plot lines. As KJ learns about the real world and what people are capable of, she learns to stand up for what she believes in and gains self-confidence. Chandler also weaves the wolves into the story in a curious and interesting way. This is a books where you can find several characters to root for, and it is a fun read that will keep you entertained and interested all the way to the end. It is also a lovely right-of-passage/coming-of-age tale that would be perfect for anyone who loves nature.
- Posted by Erin