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Friday, March 16, 2012

True North by Christy Trujillo

True North by Christy Trujillo
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Length: Full Length (199 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Trying to make it out of high school alive – Difficult.

Being the only human in a town of Shape Shifters – Challenging.

Figuring out where you really belong (with the help of the hottest guy you’ve ever laid eyes on) - Priceless.

We’ve all heard them, the never-ending comparisons our parents make of us to our siblings and those around us. Why can’t you be more ambitious, Sahar? Why can’t you be more like your uncle, Sahar? Why can’t you flip into animal form like everyone else, Sahar? The small town of True North, Colorado is a serene and tranquil place if you happen to be a shapeshifter, which as it turns out, Sahar North is not. Though she’s the daughter of one of the most prominent families in town, she just doesn’t seem to fit in. Thanks to Dana, the Wicked Witch of the North, her junior year is sure to be one of utter misery and she’s counting the days to graduation when she can finally put this small town in her rearview mirror. When out of the blue, the alpha of the wolf pack, and her crush for like…ever, Cameron, starts to pay more attention to her and she manages to befriend the witch’s human cousin, Dean, Sahar doesn’t feel so alone and thinks she may just make it out of high school alive.

Of course, nothing is as it seems and when dead bodies start showing up in the woods, Sahar and her family partner with the pack to solve the mystery and will stumble upon a secret the town has kept for hundreds of years. Armed with this new knowledge, Sahar will fight for her family, fight for her town, and fight for her people because when you realize what you’re fighting for nothing can stop you…right?

Sahar is a typical teenage girl, and that is a huge problem.

Sahar is so easy to like. She’s a classic teenage girl in many respects. She has a loyal best friend, a wicked enemy, and a crush on the most popular boy in town. On top of the usual challenges of being a teenager, Sahar’s life is further complicated by the fact that her town is full of shape shifters and it doesn’t seem like she's ever going to “flip” into an animal form. I found it interesting that being a human was odd and being a shape shifter was normal. In many of the other books I’ve read about shifters it is usually the other way around. I think Ms. Trujillo’s approach is unique and a great addition to the paranormal genre.

As if worrying about her lack of shape shifting abilities wasn’t enough, Sahar’s life is further complicated when people start dying in the woods. It becomes clear her small home town is full of secrets that will change her life forever. As the story progresses, Sahar comes face to face with a lot of big revelations concerning not just her town, but also her family and herself. I think she handles everything very well. She has a few melt downs and lashes occasionally, but she never fought against or denied the truth when it was right in front of her.

Cameron is Sahar’s hero. I think they make a very cute couple, but their relationship became serious very quickly. One day Cameron doesn’t know she exists and the next he can’t take his eyes off her. Before long, they are professing their love for each other. While I believe their connection is genuine, I would have liked to have seen them spend a little more time together doing something normal like going on a date.

True North has some interesting secondary characters including Sahar’s Uncle Luke, and Dean, the new guy at school. These characters really help move the plot along, especially Dean. There are some big surprises concerning his character revealed near the end of the story. However, even after finishing the book, I still don’t feel like I really know Luke, Dean, or any of the other secondary characters very well. I would have liked to get to know them in greater depth.

The pacing of True North really picks up toward the end. I had one piece of the puzzle figured out, but the master mind behind it all was a surprise. There are not one, but two very intense battles that had me racing to the end of the book. The ending is neat and satisfying, but again, I was left wanting a bit more detail especially concerning the antagonist’s motivations. Despite this issue, I had a smile on my face when I finished the book.

True North is a fun, fast paced story with an interesting take on shape shifters. I enjoyed every minute spent reading it. Fans of paranormal romance looking for a quick read with a happy ending should give True North a try.

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