Nessa plans to run her way into a scholarship and right out of town. She is late to meet Cynthia, their town’s fastest runner, at a trailhead. Nessa almost catches up, but finds a wolf caught in a trap. Nessa helps her mother, a veterinarian’s assistant, and knows how to deal with animals, so she tries to release it. She doesn’t plan on getting bitten. Or changing into a werewolf. Or meeting other wolves and learning the dark secret that Paravida is trying to hide – that the damage from the chemical plant years before is not gone or fixed. She can see her scholarship disappearing as she becomes a werewolf, but she can’t leave her town to die.
A combination of Van Draanen’s The Running Dream and Henry’s The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, Weregirl is a satisfying blend of fantasy and mystery. Nessa is a strong character with a dream and the bravery needed to be a hero to many. The romance is not center stage, but rather the town’s mystery takes the spotlight in this oddly light read. Though space may be the new frontier in YA literature, this book shows werewolves haven’t lost their attraction.
C. D. Bell