Review: Once in a Full Moon (Ellen Schreiber)

Product Details
Reading Level: YA
Pages: 292
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780061986505
Source: ARC from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.
Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.
Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.

Where to begin with this one? Yikes… I knew pretty early on that this was going to be a big, steamy pile of werewolf poo. It was an easy read, so I was able to fly through it, but the story never got better. By the end of the first chapter, my mind was made up. Unfortunately, I read the remainder of the book because I was hoping that it would get better and I would have an awesome werewolf tale to push for a meme in a few weeks. That did not happen.
My first complaint: the characters. I loved Brandon. He was mysterious, caring, and overall sizzling. He was the only one, however. This story was told from Celeste’s point of view, which added to my annoyance. I have a MAJOR issue with whiny, wishy-washy female characters. She couldn’t make up her mind as to what she wanted. It was a constant flipping back and forth between her feelings for one guy or another. Gag me. Please. Then she was trying to be the peace keeper between the rich “Eastsiders” and the poor “Riversiders.” What-ever (insert annoyed Buffy voice here). The stereotypes were just too much! It was ridiculous. “Oh, I don’t like you because you wear gloves with cutout fingers and I’m an awesome jock.” LAME! That could seriously be a line from the book—that’s how badly written these characters were. Oh, I also couldn’t stand how every time Brandon was mentioned, Celeste was drooling over him. I kept wondering if she was in heat or not. It was overkill.
Then there was the issue of the plot itself. WTH?! So much randomness. The story starts with three couples telling spooky stories in the woods. (Um, can we say Blair Witch Project?) The uber-jock, Nash, gets freaked out because he hears a wolf. Why? Who knows! There is so much talk about his fear of wolves and canines, but no insight as to why. Chased by a dog at a young age? Maybe. Part werewolf? Could be. Lame as a three legged cat character? BINGO. And then there was the issue with the gullible nature of the characters, which added to the nonsense of the plot. Am I really supposed to believe that a group of high school kids instantly believe in werewolves because one prankster tells a werewolf story in the middle of the woods at night at the same time wolves howl? Seriously? I understand that I am supposed to suspend my understanding of reality when I read fantasy. However, I expect the book to make that possible. If it’s fantasy, it needs to read like fantasy. If I’m supposed to believe this crap could really happen, make me believe it. Don’t jump back and forth between contemporary and fantasy elements. Oh, and do I even need to mention my annoyance with how neatly the plot is wrapped up with a little sparkling bow? Ugh.
Obviously, this one falls short for me. I really hope it’s not the first in a series. I can’t imagine this story continuing on without being dreadfully painful. Maybe if the wolves eat most of the characters (except Brandon of course) it would improve. I am so disappointed that I wasted 3.25 hours reading this mess. Now I have to continue my search for a great werewolf book. Consider yourself warned: reading this book is equivalent to pouring salt in an open wound.



Jessi said... .

I haven't finished this one yet, but I had a lot of trouble getting into it. Guess I'm glad to see that someone else felt the same way!

Happy Friday!

December 2, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Cozy in Texas said... .

I have read so many disappointing books lately that I haven't got past the first 70 pages. I think I've finally found a gem though so will have a fun week-end of reading. Hope you find one too.

December 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM

You are not the first reviewer that has said this one wasn't very good. I decided to skip this one because there are so many other werewolf stories out there to read. Kudos for finishing it! Great review for a book you didn't enjoy.


December 3, 2011 at 2:46 PM

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