Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Series: Claire de Lune #1
Published: May 18th, 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
336 pages (hardcover)
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: may include spoilers
Synopsis: 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?

Well…I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the concept and thought it was original – people know about werewolves, although their identities aren’t known except inside the packs. Only women are werewolves, and it’s passed down through the generations. Nice change from the whole 'Alpha male' thing. It was an interesting mix of paranormal, suspense, and romance.

That being said, Claire wasn’t my favorite character ever. Actually, to be honest, I didn’t really love any of the characters. I didn’t hate Claire by any means, but she spends a lot of time going over the same things – she’s not human anymore, she’s a werewolf, it’s so hard to keep it from people, she pushes away her best friend (who really annoyed me by the way – she was a stereotypical boy-crazy, self-absorbed teenager) because her friend's problems are insignificant in comparison and because Claire can’t talk to her about her own problems. I also found it a bit odd that Claire accepted things so easily – it was like 'happy birthday Claire, and hey, guess what, you’re a werewolf, surprise!' I would have freaked the hell out personally, even after seeing proof with my own eyes. But that’s just me. It also kind of bothered me that when Claire says ‘oh my god’ her mother corrects her and says ‘goddess’, and even though that happens several times, she never explains why, but Claire just accepts it without question. Sorry, but if I'd been taught to believe something my entire life, and then was told 'no, believe this' I'd question it. Plus, I think it could have added more to the story.

Claire’s mother was an extremely unlikable character. She definitely gets the worst mother of the year award. She’s so self-absorbed that she barely seems to care about Claire at all, and Claire basically can’t do anything right. But, I kind of enjoy characters who are genuinely unlikable because it’s a sign that the author did something right – when a character evokes genuine emotion from a reader, whether it’s love or hate, it shows a well-written and well-formed character. Does that make sense?

Anyway, all that being said, the romance junkie in me enjoyed the budding relationship between Claire and Matthew. It was all very innocent and sweet. To me, that’s how first love feels – you’re awkward and unsure, but have these sweet little moments. And Matthew was a great guy, just what Claire needs. It always felt like there was a little something missing between them, and Matthew was kind of freakishly perfect, but it worked.

Overall, I think that if this book had been about 100 pages shorter and had cut out a lot of the filler, it would have been more enjoyable. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I’m sure there are many, many people who will enjoy it though, so it’s worth a read, especially if you enjoy books about werewolves and teenage angst. I’m not 100% if I’ll read the next book, Nocturne, but I’ll admit to being just curious enough that I might eventually read it.


  1. I read this book about a year ago and felt the same way. It's such a cool concept but the execution is just the slightest bit off.

    Also I don't know why her mom didn't just raise Claire as some sort of pagan so the goddess thing was a given. It would have made more sense!

    But I did really like the whole 'people are finding out about werewolves, now what do we do?' aspect. It was a little like Peterfreund's Rampant that way.

  2. Re: A Discovery of Witches Absolutely! Diana sure managed to do a LOT of yoga and sleeping....over and over and over again.....

    Claire de Lune {love that title} sounds interesting. Was the teen angst really that bad?? That's one of my least favorite parts about YA.

  3. Yeah... it was a pretty disappointing effort, honestly. The sequel is an improvement, but still not a book worth recommending. It's rather obvious Johnson is very new to this. Still in all, she's improving, and will get to the point where she writes something good someday.

    Shooting for the Moon


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