Sunday, November 4, 2012

Novel Review: Once in a Full Moon (Full Moon, #1) by Ellen Schreiber

Genre: YA Supernatural Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~2 (actually, probably less)
Publisher: HarperTeen (Katherine Tegen Books)
Spoilers?: Yes. Majorly.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

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.

Available on Amazon.


I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf since it came out, as at that time I was quite a big fan of Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses series, but I think maybe I’m a bit too old for it now. For Schreiber’s type of storytelling in general, really. But even taking that into consideration, I still had a lot of problems with this book (and the Vampire Kisses book that I read right before this one, but that will be getting its own review).
This series is very different from Schreiber’s vampire one, which I am glad for, but not particularly in a good way. Once in a Full Moon is about Celeste, who is dating a boy named Nash (whose name, I’m sorry, I keep relating to the Nash from the Soul Screamers series, but that Nash is much better), but really only to keep her friends happy, since she is totally not in love with him. But, really, she doesn’t see why she’s not, because he’s so hot, you guys. Instead, though, there’s Brandon, the new boy in her small town, who’s caught her attention, and saves her, and gives her all these tingly feelings upon first sight. And he’s such a nice guy, plus he’s totally hot, too. The only problem is that he’s from the wrong side of town, and her friends would never accept it, because, you guys, he’s from the Westside of town. But she doesn’t care about that, no, of course not, it’s just everyone else that cares. Totally.
I don’t like Celeste. She’s supposedly very practical and nice and doesn’t care for the Eastside/Westside rivalry, but I didn’t really believe that. I didn't believe her. I believe that she’s nice, because we are actually shown some nice things she does, even if they aren’t all that backed up with selfless feelings. But we’re told, about, three times that she practical and pragmatic, but are never really shown that it’s part of her personality. And if she really didn’t care about the rivalry thing, then why does she bring it up all the time? And why doesn’t she ever show us that she doesn’t care? She only ever says she doesn’t, but then never tries to show her friends that she likes the people on the other side, or hang out with them or anything. She sticks up for Brandon a couple of times, weakly, but won’t tell them that she likes him. And she is so superficial. Every time she describes the boys, and why she likes them, and why she should like Nash, it’s about their looks. They’re both so hot, and sexy, and they have chiseled abs, and Nash is on some sports team and everyone likes him. Nash is confident, and Brandon is nice; that’s pretty much the only personality descriptions we get about them, ever, which tells us nothing, really.
And her friends. My god, was I annoyed with them. They’re supposedly there for her, and yet are constantly pushing her toward Nash, who is a jerk. They don’t care that she doesn’t like them, but tell her that she’s happier around him and that she should just forgive him already. Nash is just a pissy jerk who needs to get over himself.
I didn’t mind Brandon, but I didn’t really have any strong feelings for him, either. He likes Celeste for some reason, and he worries about her safety, but he’s not controlling about it. He deals with the whole Eastside/Westside thing rather well, even though he has reason to be more upset about it.
Everyone at Celeste’s school only care about what side of town they’re from and how they look. And Celeste and her friends go to meet the town psychic, and the psychic is pretty much a huge despicable fake; that’s all I have to say about her. And, again, Nash is just a huge jerk that only cares about what everyone else thinks.
Another of my big problems with this, is the writing. It’s easy to get through, but it’s not very pretty, or scenic, or nice, and it's repetitive. It’s constantly telling the reader everything instead of showing them. Like telling us that someone is frustrated or is saying something 'seductively', but not showing us how we should know that. And the kissing scenes are just pathetic in detail.
And pretty much everything about the book is childish. The town rivalry is dumb, Celeste’s thoughts on everything is superficial and not at all mature, how everyone has to be in love and falls into it so easily is childish, and the way the Brandon gets bitten and turned into a wolf is stupid and not believable at all. There’s barely any mythological work here at all.
I can say that I was expecting him to already be a werewolf, so that was a nice surprise, but I don’t see how being bitten by a real wolf and then getting kissed under the full moon is supposed to change you into a werewolf, and one that stands on two feet and can talk and is just a bit more hairy than normal, at that. Plus, why does he change on the nights when the moon looks full? It’s not full, that's a different thing. And why isn’t he dangerous, at all? And why couldn’t he remember any of it until he got kissed again? None of it makes any sense to me.
The whole love thing is in both series, I believe. The fact that, as soon as you're dating someone, and sometimes even when you're not, that you're in love. Her friends are in love with their boyfriends, no matter how long they've been together, because they look happy. And Celeste is bothered by the fact that she's not in love with Nash, but is falling in love with Brandon. Because falling in love happens so easy and fast, right? It's an immediate thing, and it's such an important part in your life. Right?
Also, it bothers me that this is such an immature, childish book, and yet words like 'sexy' are used constantly. That's a bit of an unsettling contrast right there. And it's a tiny bit sexist, too. Like how Celeste points out that Nash is a bit cowardly, among other things. I probably wouldn't have noticed this too much, but I read a review (a very good review, with a low rating) that mentioned it, so I paid more attention, and it is there.
It’s safe to say that I am probably not going to be reading the next book. I just had too many problems with this one, and while I am mildly curious to see what happens, I don’t plan on buying the next book. Or borrowing it.

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