Publication Date: December 31, 2013
In To Kiss a Werewolf by Molly Snow, Damien Capernalli has been hit by puberty hard. He’s waxing his chest daily and his muscles are expanding of their own volition. A fan of New Moon by Stephanie Meyer, Damien has his own ideas of what is happening to him physically. In order to gain more information about his supposed condition, Damien joins Paranormal Addicts Anonymous. The group is led by Stella, a Goth girl that captured Damien’s attention when she asked him out on a dare. Damien feels an undeniable pull to young Stella. Stella has her own problems. She moved to Oregon from Idaho to escape an ex-boyfriend who does not accept that their relationship has ended.
I received this novel as a free download from Amazon. To Kiss A Werewolf by Molly Snow is the first book in the Werewolf Kisses Series.
Damien and Stella meet, and he becomes a subtle part of her life that she is determined to resist. When Damien joins them on a PAA vacation, Stella realizes that her preconceptions of the handsome, popular, young athlete is perhaps not all there is to him. Stella’s friends are supportive of her starting a relationship with someone new, and they all seem to like and be willing to accept the young man so out of their usual circle of friends.
The story begins with Damien and Stella meeting and progresses to a PAA field trip where the plot threads seem to really unravel. A complex story is not a negative, but the tone of the continued work is one where the author had a lot to do and not a real idea of how to put it together. There is significance to some things. Stella dreams that she’s forced to marry her creepy stalker, Billy. In this moment, the scene is an awkward shift that is perhaps supposed to emphasize the worry and tension Stella feels but it reads as more of a distraction. All of the shifts in time are very awkwardly executed as an earmark of Snow’s unpolished writing style.
As a complete package To Kiss a Werewolf is a very scattered work. Snow’s writing style seems to reach for the teenage voice. Both teenagers and adults speak in a strange teenage patter. The story is structured as chronological but reads as stream of consciousness. More than once, the characters refer to things as “rad.” I can’t speak for this particular slang if it is in back of the teenage consciousness, but it rang as false to this reader’s ear. Despite the somewhat awkward narrative, the main characters were actually quite well formed.
Damien is a romantic with an open mind. His big muscles and rock-star good looks are something of which he’s conscious, but he shares with Stella that everyone in his hometown in Jersey looks like him so that his newfound popularity in Oregon was something he embraced and enjoyed and then of which he was ashamed. While that shame does revolve around finding the one woman he’d never lead on, Damien had already been growing tired of the attention and his partying friends. He and Stella share a love of a band not so cool with their peers. Damien is quite comfortable being who he is, whether others approve or not.
Stella has had the opposite experience from Damien. She was the popular girl in Idaho and when she moved to Oregon to escape her former boyfriend, she actively seeks not to be noticed. She had notions about people to which she is committed, which is why when she first meets Damien, she feels as though she knows him. Damien is every hotshot athlete in her mind. Stella was very close to her father and not being able to return to Idaho for fear of Billy is a blow to the young woman. She loves her mother but she’s lost a lot and relies on her friends for comfort and support, and they embrace the young woman willingly.
The idea of To Kiss a Werewolf is a very good one and the beginning and many of the elements are quite successful. For me, the teens’ field trip that involved a murder was not executed well. There were quite a lot of times elapses within the story and some of the narratives benefit, but as a reader, I get the impression that the author feels more comfortable writing the story in vignettes. By the end of the story, a large chunk seems contrived, but even at 267 pages, To Kiss a Werewolf was quite a quick read. Many times in the story it felt as though the novel was a spoof on “Twilight” and perhaps a commentary on the Edward/Bella relationship. The author never in the story or anything I’ve read online confirms this suspicion but if you read the novel, let me know what you think.
If you like clean paranormal romances with a lot of filler and misdirection, give this one a shot.
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