Reviewed by: JA Gill
Genre: YA Horror
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
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Six Moon Summer is the first installment in SM Reine’s Seasons of the Moon series. Reine resides with her husband, child and many black pets in sunny Las Vegas. You can follow SM Reine on Twitter @smreine and visit her website to watch the latest book trailer.
When Rylie’s dad insists she spend the summer at camp to get out of the city and run wild through the woods, and maybe make new friends, she begrudgingly goes but she doesn’t have to like it. That is until she meets a boy with a dark secret. Maybe he’ll understand what she’s going through…and what she’s growing into.
Blame it on “Pop Americana,” but it is impossible to not worry while reading YA dark fantasy whether what you’re reading will be the “new Twilight.” On level, the concern seems to be just as inescapable for the writer, and suddenly the question changes from expectation to one of intention.
Certainly, werewolves can be just as awkward and self-conscious (the snarly, shaggy werewolf better represents this state of affairs than any Dorian Gray of a bloodsucker). Fans of Stephanie Meyer will in turn recognize the main character’s oft-stated wish to be normal while concurrently reveling in the curse of superhuman powers. Falling head over heels for a sexless Adonis hardly needs mentioning.
So while there are many origin myths of the werewolf ready for metaphorical repurposing, Six Moon Summer is a furrier, slightly more brutal, less plodding Twilight. When raging hormones slam into societies firm yet vague mores, in novels as so often in life, biology wins, except in popular fiction promiscuity gets reimagined away from STDs and unplanned pregnancies into something more manageable and less icky: violence and gore.
For that matter, where boys and girls are forced segregated at a summer camp, can it end any other way than in senseless killing?
While it makes perfect genre sense, the view that a society that sexually represses its teens risks turning them into blood-thirsty monsters is no less cynical of its target audience.
No significant issues.
Rating: ** Two stars