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Friday, January 21, 2011

Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber

Released January 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

My daughter (she's 14) loved Once in a Full Moon. Me... I liked it, but I'm not raving about it like she did. My daughter is also head over heels with Taylor Lautner and werewolves in general, so that is likely a good portion of why she loved this book so much.

In Ellen Shreiber's latest, Celeste Parker is happy with her boyfriend, friends and life in general.The story starts off with Celeste's boyfriend spooking Celeste and her friends with a legend regarding werewolves in their town. Celeste later hears more of this legend from one of the men at a nursing home where she volunteers.

Her curiosity is piqued so she decides to write about the legend for her English paper. For "research," she and her friends head to the other part of town to have a reading by a psychic. The psychic tells Celeste: "Beware of a kiss under a full moon. It will change your life forever." On the walk home, Celeste is attacked by a pack of wolves but rescued by a new boy in her school. Brandon's bitten by the wolves, and Celeste sees him as her hero. Yet, she's hesitant to tell her friends that she's falling for him because he's from the wrong side of town.

Soon, Celeste begins to fear that Brandon is a werewolf. She can't stop her attraction to him, but she wonders if what she saw was simply her eyes playing tricks on her or if the legend is true.

There's a touch of Romeo and Juliet to this story. I liked that aspect. The author seems to tap into old werewolf movies where the transformed version is still a man on two feet with wolf-like features. I'm fine with that. The romance between Brandon and Celeste is tender and at times heated.

What I wasn't as impressed with was Celeste's wishy-washy nature. She comes off as very strong and determined, yet the entire time she didn't have the guts to tell her friends that she'd fallen for a boy from the wrong side of town. When she learns something about her ex-boyfriend, I really expected more of a reaction than she gave. I expected fury and there was nothing.

Given that, I also have to remember I'm an adult. Teens can be extremely hesitant. Given that, I can see where Once in a Full Moon would grab the younger teen reader. I'm not certain those in the 17 - 18 year range will find it as appealing, but I know my 14-year-old loved every second of it!

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