Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson YA Novel Review


Title: Claire de Lune

Author: Christine Jonson

Publisher:  Simon Pulse

ISBN: 9781416991823


May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire’s new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?

Claire de Lune is a paranormal romance with my favorite slobbering beasties, werewolves.  I was really hyped to get into this book, but ultimately, it left me disappointed.  I love the premise and the setting, but the stilted, unconvincing dialog quickly grew wearying.  But I’m getting a little ahead myself, so let me back up a little here.

The story starts as Claire, a shy and quiet young woman, is celebrating her 16th birthday.  Everything is going perfectly, and she even gets her secret wish when Matthew, her handsome classmate, flirts with her, ignoring all of the other girls at her party.  When the news of a brutal werewolf attack brings her party to an abrupt end, Claire’s euphoric mood is hardly disturbed.  Matthew came to her party, and he even promised to call her later.  Score!

Claire’s happy mood quickly comes crashing down when she learns the awful truth her mother has been hiding from her.  Claire is a werewolf, and now that she’s attained the ripe old age of 16, she is going to transform into one of the furry critters.  Suddenly, the irritating and itchy rash that has been driving her crazy for the past few days is the least of her problems.  She’s soon going to be sprouting hair everywhere, and that is going to make hanging out at the beach with a boyfriend very, very embarrassing.  Not to mention that learning you aren’t human will really, really wreak your day.

I love the premise of Claire de Lune, and enjoyed Christine Johnson’s take on werewolf lore.  She adds some unique twists to the mythos, and ratchets up the tension by creating a very real sense of danger that is spiraling out of control.  There is a rogue werewolf preying on humans, and Matthew’s father is a scientist intent on ridding the world of the werewolf threat.  Claire and Matthew encounter one roadblock after another, and each new obstacle challenges their blossoming romance.

So, what didn’t I like?  The character interactions were very stiff and awkward, and the dialog didn’t feel real to me.  The tension between Claire and her mother felt especially flat, and it didn’t draw me in to the conflict between them.  The dialog didn’t move the story forward, and instead bogged it down.  It rendered Claire and her cast mates bland and dreary imitations of what should have been vibrant and fiery characters.

While Claire de Lune didn’t knock my socks off, it does offer up an interesting take on the werewolf mythos, and Claire is a refreshing heroine who learns to accept herself for who, and what, is she really is.

Grade: C+

Review copy provided by publisher

One thought on “Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson YA Novel Review

  • May 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Sounds like it could have been a lot of fun. Strong people in a story make such a difference. I have been reading snippets of this book, Minder , and it feels very real. The only reason I haven’t devoured it is because its not out yet.

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