Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
publisher: Egmont USA
released: June 8th, 2010
hardcover, 418 pages
intended audience: Young adult
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?
Review: Jennifer Lynn Barnes says in her Acknowledgments in the back of Raised by Wolves that before the book was titled, she referred to is as the "love book" because she wrote it for the sheer love of storytelling. I believe this one hundred percent! This was a very full, complicated story, full of twists and turns, highs and lows, layer upon layer. Very well written, and despite a small section somewhere in the middle where I felt a little bit of a drag in the story, it was a story that I really enjoyed.
The main character Bryn was very courageous, confident, and spirited. She is like a daughter to the Alpha of the werewolves, the man who saved her from a rabid werewolf that killed her family, Callum. He marked her as his own, which kept her protected as a human among the pack and gave her the power to mentally "connect" with the pack, a power which she resisted for most of her life. Her whole attitude toward the pack and boys in general can be summed up in this quote from the book:
"I spent enough time resisting testosterone-driven dominance maneuvers in my day-to-day life. The last thing I needed was a human boyfriend who wanted me to play the simpering miss."
Needless to say, the girl can hold her own, and was trained by Callum to do just that.
I loved her two best friends in this book! Devon is a riot, but a steadfast trustworthy friend to Bryn. When he kind of drops out of the story for awhile, I was so glad to see him thrown back into the mix toward the end! Lake, a werewolf that doesn't live with the pack, has a lot of the same spunk as Bryn, but magnified by about ten! She was tough and funny, loved her weapons, didn't take crap from anyone! I hope to see more of her in the sequel.
At the heart of the book is not a plot based on werewolves or even the intermingled love story (which was just okay for me, it happened a little too fast and conveniently, and the reason for their immediate bond to each other was not explained until the very end)---these two things were more like catapults for the real story here. It was more about Bryn finding her way..figuring out if she wanted to be part of the strict hierarchy of the pack because it was the only "family" she had ever known or if she wanted something else for herself. It definitely went a little deeper than most werewolf stories. I loved the ending, it was fantastic!! A good, entertaining read!
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