Title: Raised by Wolves
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Adopted by the Alpha of a werewolf pack after a rogue wolf brutally killed her parents right before her eyes, fifteen-year-old Bryn knows only pack life, and the rigid social hierarchy that controls it. That doesn’t mean that she’s averse to breaking a rule or two.
But when her curiosity gets the better of her and she discovers Chase, a new teen locked in a cage in her guardian’s basement, and witnesses him turn into a wolf before her eyes, the horrific memories of her parents’ murders return. Bryn becomes obsessed with getting her questions answered, and Chase is the only one who can provide the information she needs.
But in her drive to find the truth, will Bryn push too far beyond the constraints of the pack, forcing her to leave behind her friends, her family, and the identity that she’s shaped?
I wasn’t sure what to think of this book by the end. The story itself was really, really interesting, especially getting the chance to see the hierarchy of the werewolves and figuring out what was going on along with Bryn. What kept me from really loving this book, though, was the romance. Most of the characters I liked (although I enjoyed reading about some of the secondary characters more than Bryn) but I had trouble getting interested in the romance.
First the good stuff, though. This is a mixture of mystery and exploring the inner workings of a close-knit group that’s its own nation. Although it can be a bit confusing, since there’s a lot of ‘pack speak’ or whatever mixed into the writing, but it adds a layer of tension and makes me understand Bryn a bit more, as well as the pack itself. I was also interested to learn more about the lone wolf who’s causing plenty of problems for Bryn. Barnes didn’t even shy away from the brutality of living as a human in a werewolf pack. When Bryn encounters this violence, she looks at it differently – she understands that it’s practically necessary in a wolf pack, but she doesn’t take it lying down, something that some YA books take the wrong way. And, there’s humor to offset the seriousness of the book.
The romance kept me from really enjoying this book, though. The love interest seems fairly one-dimensional and I really don’t care whether they end up together or not. Because one half of the relationship is a werewolf, there’s plenty of rambling on and on about how they ‘belong to each other,’ but ‘in an independent’ kind of way that isn’t too creepy. Regardless of that, I find it kind of creepy and really don’t want to listen to how much they love each other. And, I don’t care if they have a ‘special’ relationship, there’s no way you can love someone before you even met them, which is what Chase claims. (I guess that could be a tiny spoiler, but you kind of figure that he’s going to be the love interest just based on the synopsis)
Despite the romance part, I was able to get over it and enjoyed the rest of the book. I liked it enough to read the next book anyway (since then, I’ve read it and will have a review up as soon as possible).
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars