Best Book Ever Week 3: Werewolves

Welcome to the Best Book Ever feature on Short and Sweet Reviews.  Last week we mulled over which Vampire rules the night... this week we are howling at the moon and taking a look at

Week 3:  Werewolves

So which Werewolf book reigns supreme? 
(Ha ha ha.... did anyone just catch that Iron Chef shout out?)

Ah werewolf was a tough one cause I was really stuck between two series that I LOVE..but in the end I decided to go with the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer, the romance, the action everything about this series is pure epic-ness!
- Haley @ YA-Aholic

My favorite, favorite, FAVORITE WOLF series is Andrea Cremer's NIGHTSHADE series. I LOVE that her series is unique in the fact that her wolves are more like wild wolves and not the Hollywood werewolves. The entire series is full of action, romance, suspense, and of course some of my favorite, a little bit of snark. Plus I love a tough, butt kicking heroine who has flaws that makes her relatable, which Calla has. AND this series has REN!!! Okay, and Shay. Shay for me has really evolved over the course of this series and I love it when characters who I don't start out liking, make me fall for them. In a nut shell, if you're a paranormal fan or a wolfgirl (or boy), then pick up this series!
-Katie @ MundieMoms

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater I wasn't a fan of werewolves or shapeshifters in general--I was definitely team vampire--until I read Shiver. I love how the story manages to take the idea and the legend of werewolves and make it something that I completely bought into. I love that the werewolves here don't shift at the full moon and become man-beasts, they spend warm weather as people and cold weather as wolves, until the day that they stay wolves forever. It was unique, different, and written in such a way that I believed it whole heartedly. The writing--and the descriptions! especially the setting--was fantastic. I remember reading it and feeling like I needed a sweater and hot chocolate to keep warm. But what I love most about Shiver is the tragic but real romance between Sam and Grace. I loved that they talked and went on a date and did things real teenagers do, and I read the whole book on edge because I couldn't see how they were every going to manage to stay together.
-Elizabeth Norris, author of Unraveling (2012, Baltzer and Bray)

My favorite series dealing with something close to a werewolf is Nightshade Series by Andrea Cremer. The only thing about this series is that they wolves are just wolves and not werewolves. The wolves Andrea created are Guardians and are able to magically change into human form. Its all a simple yet magical process. No cloths ripping or strange facial hairs. Then once you are engrossed in these books you are entranced with the scenery and story-telling that Andrea does. I have now read all 3 books in the series, Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. Its a series i will speak about for a long long time. 

My favourite Werewolf book would have to actually be a trilogy. The Wolves of Mercy Falls. But if asked to choose 1 of those 3, it would be Shiver, where it all began.  Shiver was recommended to me by my best friend and was the first thing I had read by Maggie Stiefvater.  I picked up this book and settled in with a cup of cocoa and a warm blanket. Thank goodness my friend recommended it. I was instantly hooked. I can't actually put my finger on any one reason for this, instead there are a few.  The way Stiefvater creates her characters had me in love with Grace and Sam from the off. 
Shiver was a light, easy read. It was fast-paced, beautifully written and kept me up until all hours so that I could discover what happened. I felt the same way about the whole trilogy to be honest. I loved not only the 2 main characters, but also those that played smaller, yet no less pivotal, roles. I adored Cole and Isabelle. They brought something to the story that it would have otherwise lacked without their personalities.
All in all, The Wolves of Mercy Falls and especially Shiver, will stay with me as some of my favourite ever books. I have yet to read another werewolf book that I am so passionate about.

This might seem like a bit of a stretch. In fact, Michael Buckley would probably be surprised to see a book from his middle grade fairy tale series show up on a list of best werewolf books, but when I think of wolf characters, my favorite is Mr. Canis -- aka The Big Bad Wolf -- from The Sisters Grimm series. Of these books, my favorite wolf-book is #6, Tales From The Hood, in which Mr. Canis is put on trial for his past wolfish-crimes. But, if you haven't read the series, don't start there --- go back to the beginning and read The Fairy Tale Detectives.  
- Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of "Send Me a Sign" (2012, Walker - Bloomsbury)

For whatever reason, werewolves haven’t managed to gain the popularity that vampires, or even zombies, enjoy in fiction. Maybe they seem more monstrous or less sexy than their seductive fanged colleagues, but what could be sexier than giving into the animal passions of a wolf?

There have been a lot of werewolf books in the past few years, some in YA, many in urban fantasy, and at least one in the “literary mainstream” — but I haven’t read most of them. My recommendation this week was a bit ahead of the curve: Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz. (Not to be confused with the more recent Unleashed by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, which is also a werewolf novel.)

I picked up Unleashed on the strength of Reisz’s excellent first novel, Tripping to Somewhere, and I’m glad I did. His YA take on werewolves is not only sexy, it’s fresh; here, teens acquire the ability to shapeshift into wolf form after they ingest some mushrooms they find. Kids, don’t try this at home. Self-medicating through “Amanita muscaria” should have landed them in the emergency room instead of giving them superhuman abilities, but it all works out, more or less: these outcasts form a stronger bond through their wolf pack, and their late night escapades in wolf form bring the two POV characters, Daniel Morning (is there a more perfect name for a paranormal book?) and Misty together, proof that opposites do attract.

It’s really these two characters and how they figure out who they are, where they belong, and whether they belong with each other that make this such a compelling read. There’s also the unique basis for their transformations; as long as you don’t think too hard about where their clothes go when they change into wolves, the premise holds up nicely, and the whole book is witty, edgy, and provocative. If you’re looking to break away from sparkly or squishy creatures in fiction, check out Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz.
-E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)

So what do you think?  Do you agree? Disagree?  Leave your comments below!

Check back with us next week as we tackle "Boarding Schools"

Would you like to be a part of the Best Book Ever Feature?  Please email Coranne at oneminutebooks at gmail dot com!

*****On a side note to our readers, we will be back to regular posting soon.  Both Mandi and Coranne have been dealing with houses full of sick babies and families!  We promise we will be back on track this weekend!  Thank you for sticking with us as we deal with the Winter Ickies!****

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