Review of Shifted Fate (The Wolves of Forest Grove #1), by Elena Lawson

I’m still working on the giant task of thinning my digital bookshelves. I’ve made it almost to the end of the Ms now. But, as I had chores to do today, I did manage to listen to an audiobook. I received an Audible code for a copy of Elena Lawson‘s Shifted Fate.

Description from Goodreads:

Jared Stone is a freaking wolf. And I don’t mean that metaphorically, either…

I thought I had it bad—living in my dead Dad’s old hunting blind in the woods, barely staying alive on apples and ramen…that was before the storm hit and destroyed the only form of shelter I had left.

Enter, Jared. The hottest—and most unavailable—guy at school. Except he wasn’t Jared when he pulled me out of the mud. He wasn’t even human.

As if that wasn’t unsettling enough, when he brought me back to his cabin, I found he wasn’t alone. Another guy, one I’d only ever heard about in whispers beneath the bleachers, was there too. Clayton Armstrong: bad boy extraordinaire. And it turned out, he wasn’t human either.

Mindf*ck, right?

At first, all I want to do is run away. But I have nowhere to go, and for whatever messed up reason, Jared is insistent that I stay. Despite Clay’s loud protests.

So, now I’m stuck in a cabin in the woods with two hot as hell wolf shifters. One who wants to protect me. And another who wants to eat me for lunch…

What could go wrong?

Review:

I’d say this was OK. I’m pretty burned out on YA, but I still liked this enough to tentatively be interested in a sequel. The main character is self-sufficient and makes good decisions. The heroes are adorable and patient in their own ways.

But I do have complaints. One, the main character has a serious case of ‘not like other girls.’ I have to ask, what’s wrong with being like a girl? What does it say about internalized misogyny that young heroines always have to be “unlike other girls.” Second, (going along with the not-like-other-girlness) large parts of her personality aren’t explained. She’s willing to live in a hunting blind in the forest because she doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. That’s a pretty drastic choice. Her father taught her to hunt and fix motors, etc. This all felt very extreme, like they were Preppers or something. But none of this behavior is ever even addressed.

Third, this is labeled a reverse harem. However, throughout the book, there is only the one guy she is interested in and showing interest in her. Nothing else comes into play until literally the last page. I suspect it will become a reverse harem, but it sure wasn’t here.

Fourth, I thought the whole kidnapping scene broke the pace of the plot and felt out of place. Similarly, the fact that she didn’t guess the twist is pretty unbelievable. It was fairly obvious.

Lastly, the book literally ends when the most interesting thing happens. What felt like it should be midway into a longer, more complete story. As such, I suspect this is more of a serial than a series. I prefer to be warned of this going into a book.

All in all, I didn’t hate it. As I said, I’d read more. But it’s not flawless.

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