tl;dr |✭✭½✩✩| So, I don't think I can do full on teen romance books. I still have Anna and the French Kiss, and I'll give it a shot, but paranormal teen romance is not really up my alley. As such, I wasn't really impressed with this story.
Description: Grace lives in Minnesota, her house backs up to an expansive forest area. As a little girl, Grace was attacked by some wolves that live in the woods, but then one of the wolves in the pack steps up and saves her from being killed. The wolf with the yellow eyes. Ever since then, grace has always watched the woods and looked for her wolf, inexplicably drawn to him.... .:. Sam lives two lives, his winter life and his summer life. He wishes he could stay in the summer, and with his summer girl. But when winter comes, he has no choice but to switch to his winter life and leave all hopes of being with her behind. .:. One day, a yellow eyed boy comes into the life of Grace and she knows he has to somehow be her wolf. As she learns the truth, its a race against winter to keep Sam human before he loses Grace forever.
Sigh. So, I've heard rave reviews of this series. So when I saw it was available as an audiobook from my library, I was like Hey! Why not?! I kind of love the covers, and people say they're good, so even though I don't really know much about this story lets give it a shot! I actually almost bought the book at work because I like the cover so much. I think I'm kind of glad I didn't buy it.
So, I don't know if its because its a teen romance book, but if I'm gonna get into romance I think I prefer the ridiculous adult versions full of sex. I love paranormal/fantasy stories, and at my work Vampire Academy is shelved in teen romance (even though I disagree with that location for that series), so it seems like it shouldn't be bad. Or maybe it would've been better had I not listened to it as an audiobook. I mean, the cheesy/corny lyrics and poems, and the horrendous way they talk to each other: "Sam: She's obsessed with me Grace: well, I'm obsessed with you." UGHSJIODAS. SAY IT WITH ME TEENAGERS: OBSESSION DOES NOT EQUAL LOVE. Obsession =/= Love. EVER. But I just couldn't get into this story.
I was kind of annoyed with the characters. Grace has the most forgetful and irresponsible parents ever, but shes also super judge mental. At one point in the book, she berates one of her best friends for having a crush on a guy (or having a boyfriend?). They're 17 years old. Its totally and completely average for a 17 year old girl to start developing feelings for people. This is not something new, nor is it gross. And I mean, it would've been fine had Grace ended up being asexual and unable to understand those feelings, because as a teen it can be confusing if your friends are getting romantic feelings for people but you are not at all. That would've made a much more interesting story for Grace to have. But no, its because apparently since that day like 10 years ago when she got attacked by wolves but saved by the yellow eyed wolf, she fell in love with an animal and was unable to have any sort of feelings for anyone else ever.
I get teenagers are ass holes to each other. I've been there. I was one (both a teen, and an ass hole to some friends). But the fact that Grace goes from being disappointed in her friends for wanting to date guys, to all the sudden meeting human-Sam and is instantly this suave seductive girl..... ugh. No. I feel like sexuality isn't a switch you flip on in a moment of epiphany. Shoot, I've been unsocial lately and feel as though I've lost any and all seductive flirty techniques, so for a 17 year old to have no experience flirting with someone then all the sudden she meets this ONE dude and is able to have the most smooth lines ever.... no. That part bugged me a lot.
I must say the pack dynamic was interesting here though. I've read a few werewolf stories (i prefer vampires tbh), and I did like the unique take on their shifting and the way their packs work. I felt as though the explanations given were a bit of a cop-out (re: warmer climates), but I did find it intriguing that they only had so many shifts before they permanently stay in their wolf form.
I know I've done a lot of ranting so far, and how that looks. I didn't hate the book, and there definitely were some parts that I really liked about this book. For instance: NO LOVE TRIANGLE!! Hurray!! I really don't know that I would finish this series though personally. If I do continue on with the series, it will not be through audiobook. I wasn't impressed with the readers... the girl who reads for Grace was ok, except when she was doing a valley girl type voice for any girl that wasn't Grace or her photographer friend. The guy at first sounded too old to read Sam's parts, but then I just really didn't like his reading style at all. I cant pin it down, but I just didn't really enjoy any chapters he read.
Overall, I didn't particularly get into it. I would suggest it for people who are into the teen paranormal romance genre, or who want an intriguing take on werewolf dynamics. Maybe if I ever finish my giant shelf full of to-read books, I will go back and give the next book (in book format) a try.