This weeks read was provided by YA Book Bound in exchange for an honest review.
As a little girl of only six, Marlena loved to roam the woods of her secluded home, using her vivid imagination to create wonderful fantasies and games. Befriending two wild wolves while on one of her adventures therefor seemed nothing out of the ordinary for the pint sized tomboy. When the wolves had a little pup, Marlena and "Romy" were fast friends. The two were thick as thieves, her secret friend who she was heartbroken to leave every night when she reluctantly made her way home to the civilized world of dinners, baths, and beds. One day, Romys parents are tragically killed, but before her death, his mother transforms into a human woman, and with her dying breath begs Marlena to take care of her son, Sebastian she calls him, and help him when the time comes for his change. So begins the decade long friendship between the two. Marlenas parents grow to love and adore Romy. The memory of the mystical encounter eventually fades from memory as Marlena grows into adolescence and throughout high-school. That is until Romy falls ill and the memories of that night bubble to the surface. Marlena realizes what Romy is, who Romy is. Sebastian. Helping him through his transition, Marlena must keep Romys secret safe, while helping him navigate his life alternating between his human and wolf form. The deep love Marlena has for her furry friend Romy, morphs into something more complicated with his human form, Sebastian. Things take a turn for the worse when their secret is discovered and the two are ambushed and kidnapped, whisked away to a secret testing facility housing dozens of other wolves, Lupans they are called. Can they survive their capture? Can the Lupan and the human truly ever be together, or is their romance doomed?
I was really excited to get my hands on this read (we all know I love a fantasy read, shapeshiftery-werewolf love story- yes please!) and I was definitely sucked in from the first chapter. Watching the love and friendship grow and thrive as Marlena grew up with Romy was so enjoyable and heartwarming to read. The way he was so protective and loyal was endearing, and I'm not gonna lie people, I may have shed a tear or two at some pretty emotionally charged scenes (Romys mother dying- I need a tissue just thinking about it!). As Romy transitioned into Sebastian, the change in the dynamic of the relationship was very natural and well written. I enjoyed the way Adams brought humor and light to Sebastian learning to navigate the human world, all of the nuances and colloquialisms we take for granted. I found myself giggling out loud numerous times. Their capture and imprisonment was nail biting and tense, I literally could not put this down until I finished it. I was really satisfied with the ending and felt Adams really did the characters justice by how she chose to play out the ending.
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Until next week my book loving friends!