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Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin

This book is about a girl whose life has always been difficult. Tessa has a loving family; they’re very supportive and caring. The problem is that she has become a social pariah at the age of seventeen because she gets visions when she touches people. Her family decides that it is best if they leave their lives in LA, and move somewhere new; to start over. But on the first week that she moves to Texas, trouble finds her. She kisses one boy at one party, and suddenly her life is thrust into chaos.

Not my best summary. I tried really hard not to give anything away. I really liked this book. I thought it was going to be your typical Twilight read, a supernatural romance that didn’t suck me in (no pun intended), and didn’t cause me to want to keep reading, just one more page, until I’d finished the book and was still craving to know what happened. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

There were a lot of things I liked about the book: one, the author stuck to traditional folklore. I know, not so creative, but it was a lot more intriguing to see how the characters interacted within traditional lore, rather than, say, have vampires who sparkle. I was able to get into it faster because I knew most of what the main character was learning about the different types of creatures within the novel.

I also really liked the main character, Tessa. She was absolutely hilarious, smart, witty, sarcastic, and she didn’t just go with what everyone was saying, thinking, oh, yeah, awesome, cool. Yeah, that totally makes sense. I’m definitely fine with the whole werewolf thing. You’re sooooo hot. She questioned things, and stood up for what she believed in. There were also moments where I though, Tessa, no, stop, what are you doing, you’re going to get yourself killed you idiot! But it was those moments that made her human (well, as human as she was going to get). She didn’t seem perfect; far from it. She was rash, and didn’t always think things through. She was strong, but she also had her weak points, like her pride, or her control over her emotions (or lack of control). She wasn’t a wallflower. She stood tall and proud. And reading it, I found myself respecting her as a character.

Another thing I liked about the book was that it wasn’t a Oh, I just met you and now I’m in love with you type of book. The main love interest (Dastien), made it clear that he was, indeed, in love at first sight. But it wasn’t an automatic, we must be together. They recognized that on some level they were meant to be. But they weren’t perfect either. For a good part of the book, he gives her space, letting her adjust to everything that’s happened to her. He’s not forceful with her, either, but instead he tries to win her over (although he’s not the smartest person when it comes to romance).

And, while we’re on the topic of Dastien…I definitely liked his character. He was the perfect character to match hers. He was sweet, and adorable, but at the same time, he was tall, dark, and (supposedly) handsome. And there was actual chemistry between the two characters. And I didn’t just like Dastien, but I also loved her friends (and even some of her enemies). They were lively, and they were funny, and they were generally like-able people. Even some of the villains were redeemable, and I enjoyed reading about them.

And here’s the only negative: it was very predictable. It was easy to figure out what was happening next, who the enemy was, who would get attacked and why. There was nothing surprising about it. Nothing shocked me.

But, like I said, that was the only negative I had. I really enjoyed the book.

I would not recommend this book to anyone who thinks that brooding, ancient (I’m talking over one or two hundred years), blood-sucking, murdering creatures is romantic, then this is probably not the book for you. It’s not exactly nice to vampires, and it’s mostly a werewolf and witch story.

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