Friday, December 09, 2011

Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

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Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié
Released November 22nd, 2011
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Goodreads / Purchase

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.

*A copy was provided by Random House Children’s Books for review purposes*  
If I would rate Unleashed on the story itself it would have gotten more praise, but I can’t do that now can I? I had my share of problems with the characters and their actions that inadvertently caused me to get a bit of a mixed feeling about the book as a whole.

It all starts with Katelyn. Katelyn’s mom has just died and, with her dad not in the picture, she is forced to move to Wolf Springs: A middle of nowhere town with no cell phone service or internet connection (can you believe?). She soon learns that there is something in the woods that has been killing people. Classmates to be exact. What does she do with this information? She goes on a motorcycle ride in the woods at night with a guy she just met, and then when she gets a flat miles into a deserted road, she doesn’t think twice about going out and changing the tire herself. We’ve all seen our shares of horror movies, Katelyn- she would definitely be the girl who runs up the stairs. As a reader who likes her characters intelligent and strong, I was never able to connect with her and often found myself shaking my head at the decisions she took.

The romance in the book is cute and helps fill up the slow pace, however I didn’t feel any sort of chemistry between the characters. We have the pre-requisite love triangle with Justin and Trick, though I didn’t want to root for either of them. For one, Justin has a girlfriend (o_O) and Trick I don’t trust. There seems to be something off with him. He definitely has secrets. In that sense, he does make a good mysterious character that I can’t help but want to find out more about.

When you read the book/series title, it’s no mystery what kind of paranormal story we’re getting into. Nonetheless, there are still a few interesting twists that I didn’t see coming. Unleashed is more of an introduction and setup for the series. We only get a glimpse of the main plot and most of our questions are left unanswered which some may find underwhelming. Regardless of the issues I have with the characters, I find myself curious enough to give next installment a try, especially after that cliffhanger ending!

2 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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22 Responses to “Review: Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié”

  1. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    Dear, thank you for the honest review. I totally understand when a book feels more like a setting for the rest of the series to come. This is what I felt with The Pledge, however I still enjoyed the book a lot and gave it a 3 stars. Im glad there were still some twists and unanswered question so it gives a chance to think that what lies ahead is better then what we read. =) Love your review! even though is not really a positive one, it still says the good things about this book =)
    thank you my sweet! ^.^ great review!

    Dazzling Reads

  2. Giselle

    Thanks Natalia! I try to mention the positives even when I didn’t really like the book – maybe others will enjoy it more. I’m with you on The Pledge that was another 2-star for me.

  3. BookJunkie

    I’ve been on the fence about reading this one. As a team of writers, I really like Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie. I loved their Wicked series, and have read it many times. But this book just wasn’t all that appealing to me from the summary. Thanks for the great, honest review, and for helping me make up my mind about it.

    Courtney @ Fuzzy.Coffee.Books

  4. Ari (Reading After Midnight)

    I feel like there are just too many series out there and they have all this silly excuse for not being good enough: ‘it’s only the first book in the series’.
    I miss reading a good book, part of a series (and even more a standalone). It is not impossible, right?.. right?! 😐
    Anyways, great review. You have this way of telling nice honest things even about the books you didn’t like that much. I envy you ;))

  5. Jenny

    “She goes on a motorcycle ride in the woods at night with a guy she just met, and then when she gets a flat miles into a deserted road, she doesn’t think twice about going out and changing the tire herself.”

    Hm. Clearly, that’s what I would do too if my classmates were randomly getting killed. Makes all kinds of sense 😉 I tire of love triangles as well, sometimes I think they really work, but it doesn’t sound like this is one of those times, especially since one already has a girlfriend. Thanks for the review Giselle, I’m going to hold off on this one I think!

  6. A Canadian Girl

    This one sounds kind of interesting but I haven’t really liked any of Holder and Viguie’s books so I’ll obviously be skipping this one. I really don’t like TSTL characters and it’s disappointing that you didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters. Thanks for the honest review, Giselle!

  7. Carina

    This is a great review, thank you. When I first saw this book, I desperately wanted it, but now I’m happy I didn’t order it. I really need characters to relate to, who make decisions I can understand, and a book with an unrelatable main character just isn’t for me.

    Thanks for sharing, Giselle!

    Fictional Distraction

  8. Sandy

    I thought this story was OK, as you say its definitely a set up for the series because we get almost no answers and what answers we did get I already knew. I can’t say I agree with your assessment of Katelyn and I am quite unforgiving of characters who take “too stupid to live” risks but Katelyn rarely did anything idiotic. The part where she took off with Justin to the woods wasn’t her fault because it was obvious that something supernatural was going on whenever those two were around each other and she had virtually no control over herself when she was near him. The time when she went home alone I would say was an idiotic move but it was basically the only one she made.

    Thanks for sharing your review!


  9. Giselle

    Thanks guys! You never know maybe you’ll enjoy it more.

    @Sandy: We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. 😉 Those I mentioned were only an example of what I, personally, didn’t find smart but we all perceive differently. I also found it strange that after she got bit by the wolf she could drive home, take a shower and then pace around the house all night. My sister got bit by a dog and she was on crutches for 2 weeks. Unrealistic scenes like that also factored in my rating, it wasn’t just Katelyn. I’m glad you enjoyed it more than I did, though. We can’t all like the same things, right? =)

  10. Savannah

    I have been eyeing this book for a while now. Thanks for the review! I loved that you are honest ans say how the book is being setup rather than the whole book.

  11. Rebecca

    Aww, that sucks you didn’t like it too much, but being curious enough for the next installment is good! I know that’s how the beginning of Fever was for me and after Bloodfever I was completely hooked. I hope it improves as the series goes! Great review though. 🙂

  12. Book Sake

    I can’t make it through set-up books that don’t have enough heft to keep me interested. And the love triangle with a non-trusted character and one with a GF is the type that I tend to yell at when I’m reading!

  13. Giselle

    Thanks for the comment love! <3

    I usually really dislike set-up books too but this one had a really intriguing ending which is why I want to know how that’s going to work out. We’ll see how busy I am when it comes out.

  14. Shirley

    Oh, I was looking forward to this! I’m already starting to dislike Katelyn’s character and the romance sounds like the main focus of the story :S But I’m glad there were some unexpected twists! Thank you for the honest review!

  15. Heather

    It’s a shame when something from an author that’s usually quite good ends up being disappointing. Good to know about this one though because I would have probably picked it up. I still might, but at least now I’ll know what to expect.

  16. Heidi

    Ummm I am still shaking my head at going out in the woods on a motorcycle at night. Hmm sounds like perfect killer bait to me. I think I will pass on this one. Thanks for the heads up Giselle!

  17. Hazal

    I agree with you whole-heartedly on the rating you have given this book because overall, it just didn’t measure up. I’ve also reviewed the book and mentioned how the answers to questions most readers want answered aren’t given by the end. I too, am going to give the next installment a try because there are definitely more things I want to know!

    Hazal x