Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Title: Claire de Lune
Series: Claire de Lune #1
Author: Christine Johnson
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: April 2010
My Copy: Won from Lost in the Library
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?
I really wanted to like Claire de Lune in spite of all of the mixed reviews that I read. Being a werewolf fanatic, I decided that I just had to give-it-a-go anyway. The book introduces a couple of interesting deviations on shapeshifter lore that I was hoping to explore in greater detail as the story progressed. However, aside from a few faster paced action-y parts this novel focuses mainly on Claire’s coming of age story rather than on the furrier aspects. Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re a fan of Young Adult fiction but personally, I only read YA if there’s also a supernatural element. I’m not a fan of teenage angst unless the main character has a tail or fangs.
I did enjoy Christine Johnson’s interpretation of werewolves. Traditionally, wolf packs revolve around the alpha male but in this instance male werewolves don’t exist. This little tidbit created a whole new dynamic to pack life. New wolves can only be born instead of made and they have different rituals including how their leaders are chosen. That’s basically Johnson’s werewolves in a nutshell. Their history, origins and such are not covered whatsoever. These elements aren’t crucial to the plot line but I think a little more back story would have been a welcomed addition. At least from my perspective because after all, I’m all about the wolves!
Claire’s mother annoyed me to no end! She’s a horrible parent, a lousy werewolf role model and very hard to relate to. I’m not sure if it was because she’s French and the author wanted to portray some sort of language barrier or if she just likes being a wolf way too much. Either way, Marie really cramped this book’s style.
On the upside, Claire’s an incredibly lovable character! All of a sudden she turns sixteen and instead of getting a car she finds out that she’s a werewolf. Talk about a life changer! She manages to cope pretty well while juggling her best friend and Matthew. The budding relationship between Claire and her new boy toy is just so adorable. It has that innocent “first love” feel.
I didn’t get what I was hoping for out of Claire de Lune. The story is so-so, there’s next to no werewolf intrigue and Marie is a real… pain in the butt. Avid readers of YA might enjoy this one but other than that, I wouldn’t bump this one up on your to-read list if I were you.
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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada