Review: Once in a Full Moon

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Once in a Full MoonOnce in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
Series: Full Moon #1
Published by Katherine Tegen on December 28, 2010
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 292
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

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.

Celeste does not actually like Nash at all. She mentions that when he first asked her out, she truly thought it was a joke, because he “was known for pranks around school- gum on chairs, funny sayings on blackboards, sticking naughty pictures in textbooks—and I’d yet to be picked as his victim” (22). When Nash tells jokes, everyone laughs, except for Celeste, who finds them to be in bad taste (34). When he runs away from howling wolves, she has to “put on a brave face to mask [her] disappointment in [her] boyfriend’s cowardice” (18). Despite her rather obvious lack of connection to Nash, even after the break up, Celeste continues to allow him to escort her to classes and buy her lunch every day.

Schreiber wants the audience to believe that Celeste and her best friends, Ivy and Abby, really love one another. But they totally don’t. There is no evidence of it; these girls are as catty as popular girls tend to be. She describes their lunch time conversation as “wonderfully inane,” (28) complains that they will not do any of the things that she is interested in, like spending time outdoors, and hates their disdain of Westsiders (the kids from the poor side of town, of which Brandon is one). The fact that she really does not like her friends matters quite a bit, since she refuses to acknowledge Brandon publicly because she is afraid of losing their friendship…

After Brandon saves her life, she feels drawn to him, so attracted that she cannot resist his pull. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s model gorgeous (are they ever not?). She talks to him only in private and never tells her friends that she likes him or hangs out with him. Even at the end of the novel when she is entirely convinced of her love for Brandon, she still thinks of him like this (in incomplete sentences): “But I wasn’t going to commit to Nash. Even if it were the smart thing to do, even if it didn’t make sense to love a guy who I couldn’t see at night and couldn’t be embraced in front of my friends by day” (180). There are a couple of glaring problems here: 1) In what world is it logical to date a guy you hate who also happens to be a dipwad? and 2)How can you consider yourself to be in true, everlasting love with a guy that you will snub to hang out with your friends who, again, you don’t actually like?

Celeste, because of the above, is an entirely unlikeable narrator. She is also stupid, as she never sees even the most glaringly obvious things coming. And it does not help matters that her friends all think she is the most observant and intelligent person (standards are low in Legend’s Run).

Schreiber’s take on werewolves is also pretty awful. I gave her props at first for having werewolves that are actually werewolves and not shifters that become wolves. Props end there. When people change into Werewolves here, they apparently become a cross between Fabio and Robin Williams; in other words, they get long hair on their head, neat facial hair, thick chest hair and ripped muscles. Werewolves are not supposed to be hot; they are hairy, and not just in the places where Ellen Schreiber happens to find hairiness attractive.

Yuck, yuck, yuck. This book is poorly written and poorly plotted. It at least has the advantage of being short.

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