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Book Review: River by Skyla Dawn Cameron

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River is a young adult werewolf novel with an interesting twist…

River used to be the alpha female of her pack, that is, until one night a human bit her and she was transformed into a werewolf. Unable to trace her back to any relative, the authorities named her "River" and placed her with foster parents. Her foster parents aren't so bad, but it's very hard for River to fit in. She's forever moody and temperamental, dreaming day and night of the day when she'll be able to turn back into a wolf and be with her mate.

Then, when she's placed in high school, she meets Daryl. Daryl is not the typical teenager, to say the least, and he takes an unusual interest in River. But she resents his protection, sensing that there's something not quite right about him… Why is he so interested in River? What is he hiding?

On the other front is high school itself, where other students forever remind her of her uniqueness and her difference from "normal" people. She must put up with cruel name-calling and abusive behavior. Fortunately, River is not the kind of girl to sit down and resign herself, thus causing her share of trouble at school.

Will River find a way to go back to her pack? Will she survive high school?

I enjoyed reading River. It was an interesting story. What I liked most about it is the way the author crafted the protagonist. I feel that River, while not altogether sympathetic, stays true to her character and feels realistic in the context of the story. Even though she's human, all the wilderness is inside of her, which is why she's so moody and temperamental all the time. I like the way the author didn't compromise the authenticity of the character to create a "lovable" werewolf heroine. That's not to say that River is not likable at times — she is, but the reason lies in her genuineness. It was also refreshing to read a werewolf story were the wolf is bitten by a human, and not the other way around. River will be enjoyed by teen readers who love a good paranormal story. The high school angle will certainly be appreciated by this age group.

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.