Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon #1) by S.M. Reine

Book: Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon #1) by S.M. Reine
Release Date: 29 Apr 2011
Publisher: Red Iris Books
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Shapeshifters, Paranormal
Summary: Rylie's been bitten.
She's changing.
And now she has three months to find a cure before becoming a werewolf... forever.
Rylie Gresham hates everything about summer camp: the food, the fresh air, the dumb activities, and the other girls in her cabin. But the worst part is probably being bitten by a werewolf. Being a teenager is hard enough, but now she's craving raw flesh and struggles with uncontrollable anger. If she doesn't figure out a way to stop the transformation, then at the end of summer, her life is worse than over. She'll be a monster.
Buy It: Paperback or Kindle eBook


Review: I was really worried right from the start of Six Moon Summer. Rylie is staying at a three month long summer camp where she has no friends and has no interest in making any. In general I hate boarding school stories because of how much drama and cattiness they breed; summer camp has the same feel as a boarding school. There's enough angst in real life, I don't have much interest in reading about it in depth. That said, the story started off with me worrying and finding it angsty in another way. I didn't know Rylie well enough to like her but I felt intense pity for her in the beginning. Rylie's parents are in the midst of a divorce and my impression is they want her at camp to keep her out of the way not to spare her any of the ugliness.

Rylie considered the words with a frown. Camp could be interesting, I guess. Maybe if I see it as a learning thing instead of a punishment for the divorce...?


At about a quarter of the way into Six Moon Summer, I still had no idea how I felt about the book up to that point. Rylie was... unlikable. I originally felt sorry for her and I understood where her anger and hostility came from (her situation and the oncoming werewolfism). However, she was just as drama seeking and petty as the other campers that she hated. She was constantly nasty and feeling sorry for herself yet they were situations she'd gotten herself into. I found myself enjoying the idea of the book a lot but it wasn't going to be enough as the story continued.

Why had Rylie, of all people, been bitten? She was going to become a wolf at the end of summer, and she hadn’t done anything to deserve it.


He nodded. “The library is in the back room. Kids aren’t allowed.”
"No wonder, if they’ve got stuff on werewolves,” Rylie muttered. “How do we get in?”


I did a whole lot of my own suspension of disbelief in Six Moon Summer but was too farfetched. I love paranormal/fantasy so the werewolf aspect wasn't my issue. I had a problem with the counselors having secret werewolf books, Seth being the one to guide her and always showing up at exactly the right moment/knowing everything (some of the Seth stuff eventually gets explained but it doesn't change the fact that it was 100% ridiculous and unbelievable until you get to that point and Rylie eats it up), Rylie's constant rule breaking and general obnoxiousness not getting her kicked out or some sort of real punishment until far down the line... I couldn't immerse myself into a novel when I don't find anything believable.

I was not a fan of how werewolves were tackled in this book. I like books where werewolves are the dark heroes typically, but them being evil is okay too. In Six Moon Summer they aren't really either... they're rabid animals. This is very much a personal preference thing. Reading a different take on werewolves was refreshing and interesting but it wasn't something that I enjoyed.

Rylie was horribly whiny, constantly feeling sorry for herself when she was the cause of her problems, and frankly she wasn't a nice person. I don't see how any of her 'friends' liked her. She claims Cassidy was a close enough friend to risk getting into trouble by sneaking her out yet all I saw was her avoid Cassidy in a mean way and use her.

“That’s not fair!” Rylie complained. She never got to see Seth unless something was wrong. She wanted one chance to have fun before the summer ended. Her chin quivered as she tried not to cry. “Everyone else gets to go!”
*She stole the counselors' car which resulted in privileges being taken away*


I actually liked the ending despite its bittersweet quality. I will probably give the next book in the series a try before I decide whether to continue on or give up.

This review was a little harsher than I intended it to be. I definitely didn't hate the book but Rylie pressed every button I have and apparently I had a lot to say about that. I would recommend Six Moon Summer to readers who like lots of action and can forgive a whiny heroine. Reine kept the book fast paced with very few quiet moments.

Rating: 2 Bites (Just okay)

Book Trailer


What did you think of Six Moon Summer? Link me your review or leave your thoughts in a comment!
Has there ever been a book that you couldn't stand because of the main character despite an amazing story line?
If you've ever attended a summer camp like Rylie's (living there for the whole summer), what was your experience like?

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