Friday, December 09, 2011

Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié
Released November 22nd, 2011
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase
Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.
*A copy was provided by Random House Children's Books for review purposes*  

If I would rate Unleashed on the story itself it would have gotten more praise, but I can't do that now can I? I had my share of problems with the characters and their actions that inadvertently caused me to get a bit of a mixed feeling about the book as a whole.

It all starts with Katelyn. Katelyn's mom has just died and, with her dad not in the picture, she is forced to move to Wolf Springs: A middle of nowhere town with no cell phone service or internet connection (can you believe?). She soon learns that there is something in the woods that has been killing people. Classmates to be exact. What does she do with this information? She goes on a motorcycle ride in the woods at night with a guy she just met, and then when she gets a flat miles into a deserted road, she doesn't think twice about going out and changing the tire herself. We've all seen our shares of horror movies, Katelyn- she would definitely be the girl who runs up the stairs. As a reader who likes her characters intelligent and strong, I was never able to connect with her and often found myself shaking my head at the decisions she took.

The romance in the book is cute and helps fill up the slow pace, however I didn't feel any sort of chemistry between the characters. We have the pre-requisite love triangle with Justin and Trick, though I didn't want to root for either of them. For one, Justin has a girlfriend (o_O) and Trick I don't trust. There seems to be something off with him. He definitely has secrets. In that sense, he does make a good mysterious character that I can't help but want to find out more about.

When you read the book/series title, it's no mystery what kind of paranormal story we're getting into. Nonetheless, there are still a few interesting twists that I didn't see coming. Unleashed is more of an introduction and setup for the series. We only get a glimpse of the main plot and most of our questions are left unanswered which some may find underwhelming. Regardless of the issues I have with the characters, I find myself curious enough to give next installment a try, especially after that cliffhanger ending!

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