Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: Becoming Alpha

Becoming Alpha
Aileen Erin
Young Adult/PNR
Alpha Girl/Book 1
Ink Monster/December 17, 2013

Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn't easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind. 

But Tessa doesn't realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves.

Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.

When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her new found canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems.

Be careful who you touch! That's Tessa McCaide's mantra, or it should be. Tessa is off to start fresh at a new high school and hopefully a new life. She's trying to escape her reputation of being "weird" or "different". Turns out, weird and different are mild compared to what she's about to encounter.

Becoming Alpha has some of the more traditional young adult trademarks with the misunderstood teens, the experienced mentor and a longstanding rivalry. Becoming Alpha also has parents who care about their daughter and want what is best for her even when it's difficult on all of them. This was a nice change since often we get the absentee parents or the parents who are around but clueless as to what is going on with their child. Still, Tessa was separated from her parents and forced to adjust to a new life, relying more on her wits and the guy responsible for getting her into the situation in the first place.

The guy. Yeah, he's interesting but not nearly as developed as Tessa which is not surprising since the story is told from Tessa's point of view. So even though we don't get to know Dastien as well as I might have liked he kept my interest and I hope we get to know him better in the subsequent books. There is another male character who I'm curious about.  He is Dastien's mentor as well as an adult who plays an active part in the teens' lives. Again, I found him interesting and hope to learn more about him.

There isn't much of a surprise as to where this story is heading. Take out the paranormal aspects and you have your standard young adult novel mix:  boy meets girl, teen angst, teen drama, rivals, mean girl, boy and girl against the world. Still, the pacing kept me reading and the author didn't reveal everything at once but doled out information, keeping up my curiosity. The big fight scene towards the end was well done with tension, danger and some added gore making for good reading.  And there is the fact that I bought the next book in the series.

Rating:  B

Alpha Girls Series ~

Becoming Alpha
Avoiding Alpha
Alpha Divided
Bruja (May 12, 2015)
Alpha Unleashed (October 13, 2015)

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