Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

3 June, 2012 Reviews 7 comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Hemlock by Kathleen PeacockHemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 8th 2012
Pages: 404
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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two-half-stars

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater and the hit television show True Blood will flock to this first book in the supernatural mystery series set in a town where werewolves live in plain sight.

Mackenzie Dobson's life has been turned upside down since she vowed to hunt her best friend Amy's killer: a white werewolf. Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country, and bloodlust is not easy to control. But it soon becomes clear that dangerous secrets are lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, Mac's hometown—and she is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her in grave danger.

Kathleen Peacock's thrilling debut novel provides readers with a mystery that Kimberly Derting, author of The Body Finder, calls "clever and frightening," while Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Firelight, raves: "Forget every werewolf book you've ever read. This one breaks the mold."

This is the perfect book for fans of Vampire Diaries or soap operas.  If that’s your thing, then this will be YOUR thing.  I mean, in a big way.  You’ll probably jizz yourself and explode in an apoplexy of  fan squees.

It’s not that there wasn’t a plot, but it was suffocating under a barrage of heavy, thick, awkward romances.  Like that guy who was really into you but also really into mouth-breathing and you weren’t sure if his hands were always wet because he was nervous or he’d just been to the bathroom.

There weren’t any serious issues with the actual technical writing.  Peacock is reasonably proficient at expressing herself and conveying emotions in prose.  I enjoyed the varied relationships that existed between several characters – to a degree.

My main issue was that as much as I generally liked each character individually, together as a group and the ties that bound them were shallow, simplistic and juvenile.

When writing, if you feel the need for your narrator to express how similar their life is to a CW program, then there’s your first sign that you may be doing it wrong.  And if, at any time, all the problems in your fictional world extend from the fact that people just love the main protagonist TOO much, then there’s your second sign.

The last sign is when your characters spend comparable amounts of time agonizing over their relationships and angst, as would a soap opera.

Over all, it was a light, interesting read.   If you’re into wangst, love triangles and paranormal YA’s then give it a go.  If the combination of those three together creeps you out as much as your great Uncle Harvey, then give it a miss for your own sake.

Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
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7 Responses to “Review: Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock”

  1. Ashleigh

    I saw this in the store just yesterday. Definitely glad I skipped it! I can’t stand the Vampire Diaries show and wouldn’t like reading the same basic stuff in book form.

    (But I do love the Vampire Diaries books, largely due to nostalgia. I prefer Elena’s mean-girl personality from the books to what she has in the show. It’s hard to find books with mean-girl main characters and I usually enjoy them when I do.)

  2. Katie @ BlookGirl

    I confess, I loved Hemlock and gave it 5 stars ::ducks:: It is SO interesting to read opposing points-of-view, though, because you usually start thinking about things a bit differently.

    I can see what you mean about liking each character individually, but not so much when they were together. I am certainly intrigued to see what happens next.

    I’m bummed that you didn’t love it as much as I did, but I’m glad you read it! 🙂

  3. Nina

    I actually really liked Hemlock, and thought it was one of the better YA werewolf stories I’ve read. I do agree about it being weird just how much everyone liked/loved/protected the main character while she herself felt like she was completely worthless and unloved, but other than that I had no problems with the characters:)
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  4. Lexie B.

    Blah. Sorry you weren’t wild about this one. I think I still want to try it, because I like the concept and Kathleen Peackock is lovely, but I can definitely see why you were meh on it. I feel like authors often have their characters point out how similar their life is to a book or movie as a way of diverting the reader’s attention from the fact that their plots are ridiculously shallow and drama-filled. “Oh, but see, we recognize this, so it’s okay!”

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