Avoiding Alpha by Aileen Erin
Series: Alpha Girl #2
Published by Ink Monster
Published on: May 13, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Werewolves
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Seventeen-year-old Tessa McCaide has come a long way since her abrupt entrance into the world of werewolves, but she still has just as far to go before she’s comfortable with turning full wolf. In the meantime, she’s avoiding the topic of shifting to four legs any way she can. Thankfully her mate, Dastien Laurent, is quite the distraction.
When she finds her best friend, Meredith, getting sick in the bathroom, Tessa knows something’s majorly wrong. Meredith was cursed years ago, and the dark magic kept her wolf dormant—only now the wolf is awake, and that same spell is killing her.
Tessa has no intention of sitting around while Meredith wastes away. Even if it means playing with magic she doesn’t understand, she’ll do anything to save Meredith’s life. Including bargaining with the local coven of witches and its crazed leader, whose only goal is getting Tessa to join the witchy ranks.
Can Tessa save her friend without losing herself?
This is a cute story about what lengths Tessa is willing to go to in order to save Meredith, her BFF, but calling it book 2 in the ALPHA GIRL series is a bit of stretch in my opinion. This installment doesn’t even have half of the pages that BECOMING ALPHA did (145 vs. 406) which was a bit misleading, and many of the elements that I enjoyed the first time around were practically non-existent in AVOIDING ALPHA. The blurb suggests that McCaide’s bruja half was going to be at the forefront of this story, and I was looking forward to learning more about Aileen Erin’s witchy mythology, but unfortunately the lore fell flat. And, that’s not the only area in which this novella failed to deliver; the werewolves are barely a blip on the radar, and there’s not much going on in the romance department either.
After such a strong debut, I had high hopes for this installment that were slowly snuffed out with every new chapter I read. The world-building was one of the main strengths of book 1, so I was surprised by how sparse it was in this story. I’ve been dying to learn more about Erin’s werewolves, and the magical elements that make up her universe, but sadly this tale had very little in the way of details. It was strictly business: save Meredith. Period. The character growth was practically nil, and this novel did very little if anything to advance this series’ overall plot arc. The whole thing just kinda left me scratching my head wondering what the point of it all was.
Tessa and Dastien’s relationship got off to a rocky start, and I expected there to be some growing pains in AVOIDING ALPHA, but again there was nothing of the sort. They are supposed to “mate” during the upcoming Full Moon Ceremony, and yet they both seem totally ok with this which is weird because 1) McCaide’s only seventeen and 2) they’ve known each other for a mere two months. Their whole romance just rubbed me the wrong way; it was insta-love to the nth degree, and even though I’ve come to expect as much from werewolf books, I just wasn’t feeling their bond. It was missing something.
The secondary characters fell short as well. Axle barely makes an appearance, we learn nothing new about Tessa’s witch cousins, and Meredith is unconscious for the bulk of this tale. Heck, McCaide doesn’t even really grow in this installment either. She’s still scared of her wolf and refuses to change. I couldn’t help but wonder where the meat of this story was because I found it to be very “bare bones”. This novella could have easily been a full length book, and would have been a decent read too had some (or all) of the elements I mentioned been incorporated, but instead it felt like bonus material. It’s as though the author used only her outline to write this installment, and forgot to include all of the little details that turn an idea into a fully fleshed-out story.
I call ’em like I see ’em, and AVOIDING ALPHA is a novella, and a disappointing one at that. I can’t help but be concerned that Aileen Erin’s ALPHA GIRL tank is already running on empty.
Dang, Carmel! I’m sorry this was such a disappointment. I haven’t heard of this series but I was kinda excited with the blurb. It seems it all fell flat for you and that’s a shame because I can tell you really liked book 1. Maybe the next installment will restore your faith in the series?!? Great review! I like that you call ’em like you see ’em. 🙂
I try. 🙂 If they’d labeled this one book #1.5 my thoughts might have been a bit different.
Yikes! Sorry this one didn’t work out for you. It’s sad when a book in a series you love let’s you down. I hope the next one is better.
Such a pretty cover too; what a shame. o_O
That is one of the prettiest covers I have seen. Too bad it was wasted on a forgettable novella.
They just revealed the cover of book 3 earlier this week. It’s beautiful too. Now, here’s hoping that the story will be more on par with Becoming Alpha.
Wow. That book is SO much shorter than the first one. No wonder it was missing all the lovely worldbuilding and elements you enjoyed in the first one. No room. Wonder what happened?
I’m not sure… maybe the author rushed it, and should have postponed the release date a bit?
I totally agree with most of your points and have the same rating. I was completely wowed by Becoming Alpha and hoped for much more this time round. I would have liked a scene or two with Dastien & Tessa before diving into the whole ‘save meredith’ plot. I do hope that the next book makes up for it and definitely has more meat! If you can check out Angel bound & Scala by Christina Bauer. Same publisher.. I loved it!
Great review Carmel!
Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.
I’m relieved to hear you say that Chene, especially given you’ve read book 1 too. I was looking over all of the 5 star reviews on GoodReads, and wondering if maybe 200 pages were missing from my eARC? Because we obviously didn’t read the same novel.
Awww bummer, so many disappointments it seems with this one.
I’m disappointed that it’s a novella when I was expecting a full length book. It messed with my expectations going in.
I’m sorry this sequel novel wasn’t as good as the first one. It sounds cute but true that when you expect something it’s difficult. I just hope the next one will be a little better. And I hope you’ll have all the things you wanted there.
Thanks Melliane! Me too! Otherwise, I might be quitting this series after book 3.
Well that’s too bad Carmel! It’s always extra disappointing when the sequel to a book you loved just doesn’t quite meet the bar set by its predecessor. I wonder why the enormous difference in page length and world building? Hopefully, if there’s another book in the works, that it returns to the strength of Becoming Alpha!
This series has been very inconsistent so far which doesn’t bode well long-term; hopefully the author gets her groove back soon.
That’s too bad that this one fell a bit short. That is weird that it’s SO much shorter!
It does say in the blurb that it’s a 52k novella, but then why call it book 2? I’m confused.
Very filler volume, I hate it when this happens and makes me ask WHERE ARE THE BETA READERS?!
Book 1 came out in December, so I think the author might have rushed it a bit with this one, and this is the result. Unfortunately.
I can always trust you to vet my werewolf reads for me 🙂
The gorgeous cover caught my eye on NG, but I passed on this. Now I’m not feeling too bad, though the idea of it being a New Adult novel appealed to me. I’ve not read a lot of books in this in-between category.
Glad you weren’t fooled by the pretty cover, like I was. LOL
To be honest, that cover belongs on a children’s book, certainly not NA. She is 17, shouldn’t that be YA instead? Thanks for the review Carmel, this series is certainly not for my wishlist.
I think it’s borderline YA/NA. No sex yet, so time will tell for sure I guess.
Sounds like this might be a filler novella instead of a sequel. Sorry it wasn’t a great read, I have the first book in the series and hope to read it soon.
I hate filler! *grumbles*
Insta love bleh
It happens. 😉
This sounds like something I would not enjoy, but I can admire the beautiful cover! Pretty!!
Pretty on the outside… less so on the inside.
Besides the fact that everything is stretched out longer than it needs to be and the instalove, everything else sounds really good here! Definitely going to have to check this one out. Thanks for sharing Carmel, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
Thanks Zoe! Hopefully you enjoy this one more than I did.
Hmm it sounds like she decided there was no more world building needed in a sequel, but I totally disagree I love to see even more of the world as well as character and relationship growth. Seems like it fell flat in all those aspects. It sounds like sequels this year are not that strong me and my co-blogger have been disappointed by a few lately as well.
I felt like many of the key components that make a book good were missing.
This series is new to me and it sounds so good. I’m surprised with the number of pages. I mean I never expect paranormal books to be that short. This sounds great but I think it would be better if it was longer and more detailed. Great review, Carmel 🙂
My thoughts exactly!
Sounds like this sequel was kind of half assed, especially when you compare the pages in the story! The insta love and the needing to mate doesn’t really sound right either, so I can see how that rubbed you the wrong way. I haven’t been a fan of shifter stories because of that weird dynamic of mating in it. Lovely review!
I don’t mind the mating thing, just so long as it’s well-done, which in this case it wasn’t.
I can do instant love, it’s up to the author to make me believe it, and to stop me from rolling my eyes, but to be honest, at that age everything is instant love…LOL, and it was silly, I can roll my eyes at the things I felt and did back then…LOL Since my of TBR is so huge, I’m only adding books that you absolutely loved.
I don’t mind insta-love either, but I hear ya about the towering TBR pile. LOL
It is true that I’m more accepting of insta-love in PNR because of the mate things but the relationship still has to have proper development even after the fact that they’ve accepted that they are each other’s mate.
I’m sorry this was a disappointing read for you Carmel, especially when you enjoyed the first book. It really is misleading that this is categorized as book 2 when it’s so short. It feels more like a 1.5, actually.
Exactly! If there’d be a .5 next to the installment number my expectations would have been different, and probably my review as well.
Insta-love is killing my will to read. :/ Skipping this one.
I am really picky with paranormal reads lately, I don’t enjoy them as much as I did before. 🙁
I tend to go through genre phases because sometimes I just can’t take any more insta-love and need a change.
Well, that’s just disappointing! But I agree, if the book is only about 145 pages then it really should be a novella. And even if it’s a novella, I still like to see character growth. 🙁
This one was all-around disappointing. I’m going to give this series one more try, but I might be calling it quits soon.
er yeah the romance in this one sounds kinda…. scary
It definitely doesn’t promote healthy relationships, especially in youths.
It’s a shame that you didn’t enjoy this as much as you hoped. It seems to be novella size, especially if it was lacking in expanding the details in the series. It sounds like a good series and I hope the next book lifts the series back up. Great honest review Carmel.
Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace
I’ve read some excellent novellas with great details, so that’s not an acceptable excuse IMO.