A sympathetic protagonist & sweet love story make this YA Fantasy shine.
Cody Forester plans to become a doctor. Instead, he becomes a werewolf. The first time Cody shows fang and fur, his parents ship him off to podunkville to live with his black sheep uncle. His revised career choice is social hermit. As the new kid, he makes more enemies than friends. His high school teachers label him a troublemaker. The whole town hates him. Except Brittany. She's beautiful, with her eyes painted black and her lips dark purple.
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Source: I received this book for free from the author. My opinions are my own.
The Amazing Wolf Boy by Roxanne Smolen, read by Danny Randerson, published 2016 / Length: 10 hrs 13 min
This is Book #1 of 4 in the "Amazing Wolf Boy" series. So far it is the only one on audio.
Although there were a number of things I didn't like in this book (it starts off with one of my most disliked tropes, see below), I was nevertheless drawn in from the beginning and really enjoyed it. It was well written, with characters I liked, and I especially enjoyed the realistic progression of the teenage romance. I am looking forward to when the next book becomes available on audio.
Cody: He is a good kid (he even looks away when Brittany's skirt rides up). But he isn't perfect; for example, he had occasionally sent new students at his old school to the wrong place as a prank.
I wish that the book hadn't gone the too typical route of given him special abilities that few/no other werewolves have. I think I would have been OK with it, if it had been pointed out that he could only do these things because nobody told him he couldn't (i.e. a result of him being kept in the dark so long).
Brittany: She leans towards goth in her clothing, but without the stereotypical (in fiction at least) interest in dark kinds of things. Her New Age interests seem to be firmly in a positive vein.
I liked her family. Her single mother has to work 2 jobs, but does her best to be sure her kids have a good dinner and "family time."
Cody & Brittany: Their relationship begins with a very real world sort of InstaLove. The kind were a guy sees a girl and is instantly intrigued & seeks out opportunities to be closer to her and get to know her better. From there things proceed very much like real relationships I actually witnessed in High School. There is also mention that wolves mate for life, and his being sure she is his mate, but it isn't presented as a mystical bond they have no choice about.
I could have done without the jocks = bullies characters. But, I really like that the gym/football coach is one of the people who are nice to him, and that he see's his players clearly and is willing to do the right thing. / I would have liked a few more females in larger roles.
The book takes place in small town Florida. Shifters are real (obviously), but no other supernatural creatures are mentioned. One of the main side characters is Native American, and there are a couple of sections that discuss their remedies & beliefs. I don't know how accurate they are. There are also sections regarding New Age & tarot subjects that were consistent with what I've read in other books.
The beginning was particularly well done. I was able to immediately connect emotionally with his horror at what was happening to him. And the descriptions of all the sensory input was good.
The secrets were drawn out way too long, however. Since they were obvious to the reader, it made it extra frustrating.
There was a complete ending with no major threads left dangling.
- Brittany's opinion on tattoos
- The Valentine's Day dinner
- The scene where he is very upset and the unknown other wolf flips him a fish.
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: Parents who keep secrets, fail to prepare their child for potential life altering changes, and emotionally abandon said child. (I've actually written a post on how much I dislike this trope.) / A really brutal bullying scene involving a severe assault / The nudist colony and everything involved with it. / The constant repetition of Brittany's nickname for her brother, it ceased being funny really quickly on audio.
CONTENT NOTES: This is a book about a teenage boy in love. There are a couple of comments about the fact that his body responds to her, but they are all very tastefully done. / Werewolves returning to human shape are naked, which leads to some awkwardness.
Character voices differentiated = Yes / Opposite sex voices acceptable = Yes, not very feminine but not fakey / Accents = Good. I have no idea how authentic they were though. / Phrasing, Pacing & Pronunciation = Good. / Emoting = Good. I like the way he avoided going over the top yet still captured what Cody was feeling. / Speed = Slow. I listened on 1.5, rather than my usual 1.25 (although that was a touch fast)
Talk to Me (pretty please)
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