Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

GoodReads Description:
Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.
Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.
Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.

My Review:
Pardon my being so blunt....but I have removed my "socially acceptable" filter and now let any words that hit my brain to immediately leak out of my mouth as soon as I think them...that being said...I absolutely abhor the name that the author gave the main character: Celeste. Why doesn't she just call herself Luna? Or Lycana or "Dances with Wolves"...or something equally as obvious...Though the name does kind of conjure up moon imagery and all of that, it was frighteningly cliche...It was almost as bad as naming a vampire character Vlad, Bram, or something resembling Dracula. There are books where this type of cliche naming works. They tend to be comedic, or satirical, but in no way take themselves seriously...Once in a Full Moon however was obviously NOT a funny book. It attempted to take the concept of werewolves too seriously for the level at which it was written.

Overall, this book really threw me. The dialogue, especially between minor characters was immature and sparse. I felt that ALL of Celeste's friendships, save with Brandon, were superficial and very poorly created. Her friends offer Celeste no reason to be friends with them: They don't seem to care about her, they are bratty, mean , and prejudiced towards anyone not in their group, they try to force her to get together with a guy that she obviously doesn’t want to be with. Celeste is terrified that her friends will abandon her half the time...all because she is talking to a guy that they don't like? Friends don’t DO that...especially friends who have been together from elementary school like these friends are supposed to be. Celeste often considers dating her ex-boyfriend Nash just to please her friends, despite the fact that she really loves Brandon...I'm sorry, but if my friends behaved that way in high school, we would NOT have been friends. There is also a disproportionate view of problems in the story. Celeste was deadly serious about things that I wouldn't take issue with at all and things that I would have found hard to handle are just casually accepted. There was one point when she was doubting her relationship with Brandon and said "I'm not sure I could be with a guy who is scaring my friends." Um...what? Replace scaring with "eating" and THEN we would have a real problem. And then there was the Psychic...Celeste and her friends automatically believe in her cheesy predictions. Naively Celeste allows them to color her love life and trusts this random woman that she had never met before. We find out later that the psychic was a fake and here I am

Most of the characters, including the most important, Celeste and Brandon, are all talk and no action. You don't get to clearly see who they are...more like their characters and morals are roughly crammed down your throat...Even when you are supposed to be picking up Brandon's goodness and courage on your own, you are later blatantly informed of it by Celeste, making you feel like an infant who can't understand that when a boy selflessly defends you from wolves at great personal risk, he is being brave. Mostly this lack of action and unrealistic behavior made the characters seem like simple cardboard cutouts of the characters that the could be. They are stereotypical, dull, carbon copies of other characters in the genre, and leave you without a sense of attachment to who they are. I absolutely LOVE it when I find a character that I can relate to, who seems to just jump out of the pages into my life. This was NOT one of those books...

I know,I know...I'm coming off like a total hater on this book, but the truth is I did enjoy it. I wouldn't re-read the series over and over again like some books, but I would read the sequel if I happened to see it on sale or in the library somewhere. The book is kind of light and fluffy...I would say it is a good beach read, or something to take you away from yourself for an afternoon. One thing I really thought was interesting was the fact that you get no actual were-wolf perspective. Sure Brandon gets bitten and we get to experience his transition into werewolf-hood, but there is no guide for him, no one to show him all that is good and furry in the world. Usually with paranormal books, you get this long slow drivel explaining away werewolf (or whatever creature the character is) history and myth. Though interesting sometimes, the histories can get repetitive and dull, especially for a reader like me who goes through paranormal books like Buffy goes through stakes, or Barney Stinson goes through the ladies, or Edward Cullen goes through bottles of glittery body lotion...hehe (sorry if any of you are Twi-hards lol) But my point is...Brandon is figuring out this werewolf stuff at the same time you are. You aren't being told what is, but are experiencing the newness and bizarrity of his experience right along with him.

Altogether I give the book a
3/5 review...maybe a 2.5/5

That's it for me :)



  1. I have to say I LOVE this review and agree with almost every word you wrote! Only difference is I did not enjoy and was mad that I made myself finish(lol talk about harsh huh?) I am new to your blog and really enjoy what I have read so far from you! Keep it up!!!

  2. I can't decide how I felt about this book...I think you summed it up perfectly