Shifting Pride by Laura Diamond
Sixteen-year-old Nickie Leone has proof that her missing (presumed dead) father is still alive. Receiving his watch in the mail is the first in a line of clues bringing her closer to discovering his whereabouts. But clues aren’t the only new thing in Nickie’s life. There’s the Memorial Banquet her mother insists she help prepare for, there’s the new kid/hottie, Xavian, and…well, the growth of whiskers and a tail!
Filled with secrets and a new love of tuna fish, Nickie must partner up with Xavian (don’t you know he’s a shapeshifter too?) to rescue her dad before she loses him forever. Oh, and she needs to figure out how to be a cat, too.
That’s the one adjective I can use that covers this entire story. It was so much fun. Yes, there is danger and intrigue. Yes, who should Nickie believe? Yes, occasionally I wanted to scream at everyone else just like Nickie did, but really, This Was Fun.
I don’t think I get to say that about a love of YA novels. Our heroine, Nickie (a drama kid which I totally relate to) is so normal and fun and strong and just real. She misses her dad (who disappeared almost a year ago), but doesn’t give way into pages and pages of angst. That’s refreshing. She looks out for her mom and tolerates her little brother (those interactions always made me smile). She doesn’t immediately give into the gorgeous Xavian (which kudos to her because I would have). She’s just great.
The stuff that bugged me in New Pride was not present in this story. The characters were fleshed out so much better. The explanation of the were-cat world was developed and nuanced in such a way that it made sense (I love paranormal logic).
I’m gonna be a bit swoony here. I really liked Xavian. Yeah, he had some broody moments, but he was funny and quirky. I love that. I get sick of ‘Angel-type broody, my life is so torturous’ love interests. Xavian was hot (I can’t believe I’m using that adjective, but really, I kinda have to) and protective and had his own unique sense of humor. The chemistry between he and Nickie is quite palpable. Lots of kissing and I couldn’t blame her one bit.
I liked the story: the discovery of being a shifter as well as the impending battle to protect family and friends. I liked that Nickie realized that death was part of her new life and she wasn’t just ‘okay’ with that. And thank you, Ms. Diamond, for having loss in your paranormal story. As much as I hate losing characters I like, I find that loss creates a better, more true and dangerous world. And I really did like that character.
Randomly, I wish I could have seen Nickie play Lady Macbeth because that would have just been fun. And I’m awaiting Tiffany’s story, Ms. Diamond. You better write her story or I will not be pleased.
© ecnewman, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.