I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for Weregirl by C. D. Bell because that’s a really good book and also, I’m hosting my first giveaway – let’s hope everything goes smoothly!
I’ll include here my review, a few questions that I had the opportunity to ask the author and – the most exciting thing- the giveaway! 😛
Author: C. D. Bell
Number of Pages: 400
Nessa Kurland is running for her life.
D. Bell’s WEREGIRLis a fast-paced teen thriller set in Tether, Michigan, a town on the brink of shutdown since it was stripped of its resources by corporate polluter Dutch Chemical.
High school junior, Nessa Kurland, is a cross-country runner with her eyes set on one thing: a college scholarship as her one-way ticket out of Tether.
Talented teammate Cynthia Sinise invites Nessa on a nighttime run through Tether’s overgrown forest trails. But she speeds ahead, leaving Nessa alone to discover a trapped wolf. Nessa tries to free the animal but is badly bitten, seemingly ruining her hopes for a strong fall season with the cross-country team.
Instead, Nessa’s freakishly quick recovery is followed by improved running times. All her senses are heightened. Nessa has transformed.
She has become a werewolf.
In her new state, Nessa learns there are things about Tether that powerful people want to keep hidden. Why does a Nobel Laureate work at the small-town medical clinic? Are top college athletic scouts really interested in her emerging talent? Can she trust Chayton, the motorcycle-riding guide her friends have faith in? WEREGIRL‘s Nessa must navigate her junior year and true human darkness, while making peace with her new, wild nature.
I received a copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I always try to keep my reviews spoiler-free. In this case, the only thing I can consider as a spoiler is written in the last paragraph. It’s marked with [*], in case you don’t want to read.
Weregirl was a really nice surprise! I’ve seriously thought about giving 5 full stars, but there’s something putting me off, so let’s stick with 4 and see what happens from here.
This book is about a girl, Nessa, who’s a junior in high school and is trying to get a full scholarship for college. Because of that, she joined the running team at school, but she’s not good enough, so she asks one of the best (and most popular) runners in the team, Cynthia, to help her. They decided to run together at night in the woods, but as Nessa gets in there late, Cynthia went without her. And so Nessa ran alone that night in the woods, she found a wolf and without getting deep into details, we all know what happened next.
Suddenly, Nessa became very good; not only she started to run faster, but also got better at school. The changings in her body helped her with the scholarship thing, and people started to notice her. Even Cassian, the “hottest guy in school” (quoting Nessa’s best friend) and her crush for years, noticed her.
But not everything is this easy for Nessa. The wolves chose her for a reason, and is Nessa’s job to find out why and what should she do. Of course that transforming into a wolf every time there’s a full or new moon doesn’t help at all – she needs to keep the secret. The only people that know what she’s capable of are her best friend, Bree, and Chayton – one of the most useless characters in this story. I mean, where are you when Nessa needs you?
So, basically, Nessa is trapped between her duty as a teenager/daughter/sister and her duty as a wolf. And things complicate when both are mixed.
“Maybe it’s more like I’m missing out the entire teenage experience.”
The author’s writing was definitely a positive surprise. It’s very detailed, which helps a lot when our main character is in wolf form. Actually, when Nessa transforms, she thinks just like the same, so those tiny details – scents, etc – are essential.
One of the things I liked most about Nessa was how she organized her priorities. Before everything happened, she was just a normal girl, who helped her mother with work (her mom’s a vet), helped taking care of her little brother (who happens to have autism), had to deal with her older sister and her only worries were only around Cassian. Besides getting that scholarship. Then things changed so fast! There’s nothing wrong in choosing what’s best for you, and Nessa realized she didn’t want certain things anymore.
Bree was one of my favorite characters too. As Nessa’s best friend, she was there every time she was required and supported Nessa through all that wolf thing. She’s the kind of best friend everyone wants to have! She’s a bit crazy, okay, but extremely funny to read about. She helped Nessa finding out what the wolves wanted from her, and she loved all that spy stuff.
And the only character I didn’t like at all was Delphine, Nessa’s sister. She may be older but is certainly more immature.
The plot was good. I liked it, although I already had some correct guesses about who was going to be a “villain”, so it was quite predictable. I’m also waiting to find out more of my new guesses! There’s this mix of teen drama and fantasy that I liked too: you know, when the main character needs to deal with (in this case) the wolf stuff, but keep the secret at the same time that deals with mean girls and gossips at school and family duties and all that.
[*] What I didn’t find particularly interesting was the romance. I loved that Nessa figured out that she didn’t need Cassian anymore, she didn’t need all that drama around childish crushes, but then, I sensed that a new love interest was coming (towards the end). I mean, I can be completely wrong, but that’s what I felt. And if it’s true, I don’t know what to say about them, because I didn’t care much about him throughout the book (I have some suspicious about him, though!), and I need to read the rest of the story to build my opinion.
About the Author
When she’s not biking the streets of Brooklyn, NY, you can find C. D. Bell writing in a decrepit RV clinging to the side of a hill in upstate New York, trying to teach herself to watercolor, or inventing her own recipes. She is a voracious reader of anything and everything fantasy, supernatural, or romance. And she swears that the monsters she often writes about are not real– at least she hopes not.
Created by a talented team of six female writers and inspired by the working tradition of television writers, C. D. Bell is a Chooseco author pseudonym developed with teen author Cathleen Davitt Bell, who has written I Remember You [Knopf 2015], among other novels for young adults.
The second installment of the WEREGIRL trilogy is already in the works.
Hi, Cathleen! Thank you so much for your time to answer my questions. I really enjoyed your book “Weregirl” and I’m very excited to get to know you better 🙂
Me too. Thanks for inviting me to your blog.
When and why did you start writing? Did you always know that you’d be doing this for a living?
I’ve been writing since I was little. I thought books were beautiful, I loved getting lost in them, and the dream of making my own was both far away and something I loved thinking about. I didn’t know I’d be doing this. I always assumed the practical side of my personality would win out.
What’s the first book you remember reading? What did you think of it?
I remember lots of picture books, but the first chapter book I read–and I remember the experience vividly–was Little House on the Prairie. It set off a years-long obsession with historical fiction. I learned to sew clothes, bake bread, I wore my hair in braids… All of that culminated in my 2010 novel Little Blog on the Prairie about a modern 13-year-old girl sent to frontier history camp against her will.
What’s your dream collab? (dead and/or alive authors)
Well, this is kind of embarrassing, but I think I always wanted to collaborate with Shannon Gilligan, the publisher of Chooseco and also an author, who is leading the Weregirl team. We tried to write a television pilot together before Chooseco was born and I think I’d been assuming all those years between that someday we’d get together again, so writing Weregirl has been super fun.
I’ve heard you love a good ghost story. What’s the scariest one anyone ever told you?
The scariest ghost story I’ve ever heard is not that scary, but it did happen to me, which makes it chilling. It involved my dad coming back after he died to take care of…a lost ring? A missing inheritance? The delivery of a message of love and forgiveness to all? No… not exactly. It involved the plumbing in his house. Which is the way I know it was really him–that was exactly what would have roused him from the dead. I’ll tell you one thing it taught me–there’s a lot more going on between the living and the dead than we can necessarily know. And you should always drain your pipes if you’re not living in your house during cold weather.
Tell us a bit about the Bree’s in your life: the most important people, the ones who you care about and love, and the ones who always support you no matter what. Who are they and how do they help you with your writing?
My husband Rick is totally my Bree! He’s likely to make a joke to get me laughing when I’m trying to be really intense and serious about something. He’s always got my back.
And, come to think of it, he actually drove a giant clunker of a car when I met him, just like the Monster that Bree drives. To create the Monster, I just described the sky blue Mercury Marquis Rick was driving when I met him–a hand-me-down from his Grandpa Max.
I’ve had other Brees in my life–lifelong friends who have been there for me as an author, reading early drafts, throwing book parties, arranging mother-daughter book clubs, writing me notes about how much they love the book, coming to book parties and readings.
What’s the best part about being an author?
Writing. When it’s going well, there’s no better feeling. It’s like working on a puzzle or creating a plan for world peace.
From where did you get the inspiration for “Weregirl”? Did you just know that you wanted those characters with those names and personalities? Did you change the plot a lot of times while writing? How long it took you to finish the book?
Weregirl wasn’t created out of the mind of one person but was the product of an amazing creative collaboration. It was conceived by a team of five writers and editors working at Chooseco, a small Vermont publisher known for the Choose Your Own Adventure series. They developed the idea of a teen athlete who gets bit on a training run and begins to transform into a werewolf. When I joined the project, most of the characters were established and the book was halfway plotted, and I was hooked!
And just out of curiosity: you could have chosen any other creature for Nessa, so why wolves?
I think Nessa was always meant to be a wolf. Maybe because I wrote her knowing she would transform, I thought of her as intense and quiet, the way a wolf is, but also fast and fierce. She’s beautiful too because she’s strong.
Wolves scare a lot of people–my daughter was afraid of the big bad wolf of fairy tales for years–but in reality, they share a lot of features with the best kind of humans. They’re loyal, smart, social, funny, and good at sharing.
Do you have other works? Do they have anything in common?
I’ve written three other novels that on their surface do not seem linked. A ghost story, Slipping, a tongue-in-cheek adventure, Little Blog on the Prairie, and a romance involving time travel, I Remember You.
While they span different genres, you’ll find my interest in mind-bending supernatural phenomena popping up, and you’ll find characters who do funny, outrageous things.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect from it?
Currently, I’m working with the team at Chooseco on Weregirl 2. We’ve started sketching out the next story. Get ready to meet new characters, see a lot more of Luc, and learn even more about wolves (and genetic science).
Thanks to the team behind this Blog Tour, I’m able to give you two copies of Weregirl: a paperback and an ebook copy. There are going to be two different winners, and they’re going to be chosen randomly through Rafflecopper.
Remember: you must be 18 or older or have your parents’ permission. This is open internationally! To enter, you just need to sign in with any of your social media, and then start filling my requests: the only one mandatory is your email so that I can contact you if you win; the others are just extra points.
The winners have 48 hours to answer me after I send them the email.
Disclaimer: I’m not responsible for sending the paperback copy, I’ll just redirect the email / address to the right person and they’ll send the book to the winner. I’m not responsible for sending the ebook copy either, for that matter.