My rating: 5/5
I’ve reread this about four times since I first read it, and it deserves 5 stars every single time. (if you’re on Goodreads, you’ll know how hard that is to come by) Written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes when she was 15, it’s got an incredible maturity to it, and by the end of the series (which is regrettably only three books) the characters are so well-developed that when I finally flipped that monstrous last page, I felt like I was not only leaving a series behind, but a whole world, and characters that had whole lives yet to live.
It really sucks that Raised by Wolves isn’t a popular YA series, because it really deserves to be. Bryn stands out to me in the long lists of heroines because she can kickass, knows what she wants, how to keep up with a supernatural world that totally has the upper hand on her, and she’s brave. She’s fresh.
I must’ve seen the series millions of times before during those endless hours hunting Goodreads for new books, but I never picked it up because I expected yet another wolf-pack-instalove kind of thing. And it’s thats one of the best things about the book- it’s so weird. (it’s a girl raised by wolves…how much weirder can it get?)
This series also reminds me a lot of the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent, but with less romance and for younger readers. It’s got an adult edge that gives it a whole new shot at YA werewolf, and the plot unravels so fast it’s like the climax never ends. No joke.
Unlike many other YA series, the main character’s love interest is just a minor character. And it’s great because then Barnes can actually focus on the growth and relationship of all the main characters rather than keeping readers tied in through steamy love scenes (don’t get me wrong, those are marvelous). But yeah, the number one thing I loved about Raised by Wolves was that the author wasn’t afraid to kill off necessary people, and wasn’t afraid to flip the rules around and totally change what I call a “standard YA plot”: main character with single/no parents -> meets boy/girl (usually boy) -> INSTA-LOVE! -> the big bad wolf comes -> while trying to save the world/people she loves, she falls right into the hands of the bad guys -> saved by love interest -> the end/sneak peek to sequel
Raised by Wolves rocked my world, and it was a breath of fresh air from all the other YA/Urban Fantasy books I’ve read. Don’t get me wrong, I love YA, but sometimes you start spotting patterns in the plot, and it’s as if the authors have all got a YA plot template that they just pass it around after they’re done. There are so many stories out there on werewolves, and it’s a topic that’s a bone that’s pretty much been picked clean. But if there’s one werewolf series that I put at the top of shelf along with Divergent, Vampire Academy, I Am Number Four and Hush, Hush, it would be, without doubt, Raised by Wolves.
I’m trying to minimize all the spoilers, but watch out for Callum! He was probably the number one cause for my endless sobbing throughout the series. It’s not a heavy read though, but it’s light and then sob-worthy in all the right places.
The Permanent Monday