Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Book Review & Giveaway: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie.

Product details:
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books.
Paperback, 383 pages.
Release date: December 8th 2011.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Slow burning paranormal romance meets Shakespeare’s King Lear in a town full of legends, secrets, lies and hot guys.

Welcome to Wolf Springs, the atmospheric small town setting of writing duo Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie’s latest venture, Unleashed which sees recently orphaned Katelyn McBride unceremoniously uprooted from sunny California to a place she sees as little more than Hicksville middle-of-nowhere USA. It just so happens though, that in a town where nothing much ever happens strange things have been going on in the weeks leading up to Katelyn’s arrival. A missing teenage girl has been found dead, and it looks as though there is something strange and mysterious lurking in the woods…could Katelyn be its next victim?

Well, not if she had actually listened to the advice given to her by her Grandfather and the other locals she encounters in Wolf Springs. But guess what? Katelyn, who suffers from Stupid Heroine Syndrome, decides that they are all pretty much inbred hicks, and so she decides to do whatever she damn well wants in those woods.  You’ve probably already guessed that this lands her in all sorts of trouble. Yep, Katelyn’s stay in Wolf Springs is going to be an eventful one, and although something of a vacuous character (she bemoans her lack of cell phone service at least a dozen times), she does at least try to make the best of her life in Wolf Springs.   She crushes on Trick, a hottie who chauffeurs her to school every morning, and is drawn to Justin, a hottie who practically pounces on her every time she’s within sniffing distance. Popular girl!  Katelyn also makes friends with Cordelia Fenner, a nervous, shifty girl who lives in fear of her domineering father and bitchy sisters.

The Fenners are a strange, strange bunch as Katelyn finds out when she meets Cordelia’s weird sisters, one of whom is called Regan and her father Lee who is a little odd to say the least. Are those names ringing a bell? The Fenner family story, integral to the plot of this book, follows the path of Shakespeare’s King Lear, so if you know how that all pans out, it looks like things could get very interesting indeed as this series progresses. Also staying at the Fenner household are Cordelia’s cousins, Jesse who is described as being ‘special’, and the aforementioned hottie, Justin, who thinks he’s something special.

I can’t say that either of the boys who caught Katelyn’s eye in this book appealed to me. Justin is the sort of guy who’s hot and knows it, does what he wants with who he wants and  doesn’t seem to care that he already has a girlfriend, while Trick is prone to extreme mood swings, and is obviously keeping secrets from Katelyn and everyone around him. He also decides that he’ll start calling Katelyn ‘Kat’ on her first day in Wolf Springs, even though she introduces herself by her full name, and even though nobody has ever called her Kat before. But Kat doesn’t object too much. She’s just not that kind of girl…

YA paranormal romance is what I love, but for die hard fans of books of this type, Unleashed doesn’t offer anything very new or different from anything you’ve read before. Following the new girl in a strange new town/love triangle formula Unleashed is also very much a first in a series book which asks a whole lot of questions, but doesn’t give very many answers. That said, while it took me while to warm to this book in terms of both plot and characters, and while my overall reaction to the story was lukewarm, I’ve still been left wanting more because of the almighty cliffhanger at the end of this book. In a way I was just starting to warm to the story when it all stopped, so I guess I’ll be back for more!

I somehow ended up with two copies of this book for review, so I'm giving away my extra copy!
Giveaway is International & ends December 31st 2011.
There are no extra entries for this one, but if you'd like to show your appreciation for the giveaway by following the blog or spreading the word about the giveaway via twitter etc, that would be very cool! :)



  1. I couldn't get into this one at all I didn't like either boys either and the stuff Katelyn did and thought got on my nerves. Did she really think her Granpa called him Trick because he was there to play a trick!? o_O

    Xpresso Reads

  2. I've heard that Katelyn has a few too stupid to live moments with those woods, I can tell that she and I will have a difficult relationship if I decide to pick this one up. YA paranormal romance is what I love as well, but I like there to either be a really unique and different premise or really great characters to make up for a lack of uniqueness, and this sounds like it's not quite up to par on either count. Thanks for the review Leanna!

  3. I saw this book in the shop today and was tempted but spotted another one I had been wanting for ages so I didn't get this but I really want to read it. Thanks for the chance to win. ;D

  4. Sorry you didn't love this one! I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for it - I don't know if I'll read it or not. Stupid heroines really get on my nerves! :P Thanks for the review :).

  5. thanks you for this opportunity to win, i really would like this book

  6. Really nice book! I've added it to my BD's wishlist :)

  7. Oh, man! I'm disappointed. I don't really like wolfie stories all that much anymore, but Holder and Viguie have always managed to surprise me. In a good way. I'm sad that this one didn't work out so great, but I'm still tempted to find out for myself.

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  8. Paranormal romance meets Shakespeare’s King Lear, that sounds very interesting! Thank you for the giveaway and Happy Holidays!!!


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