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Fridays with Mayra Calvani

Posted on: January 29, 2011

       By Skyla Dawn Cameron      River is a young adult werewolf novel with an interesting twist…
       River used to be the alpha female of her pack, that is, until one
       night a human bit her and she was transformed into a werewolf.
       Unable to trace her back to any relative, the authorities named her
       “River” and placed her with foster parents. Her foster parents
       aren’t so bad, but it’s very hard for River to fit in. She’s forever
       moody and temperamental, dreaming day and night of the day
       when she’ll be able to turn back into a wolf and be with her mate.
       Then, when she’s placed in high school, she meets Daryl. Daryl is
       not the typical teenager, to say the least, and he takes an unusual
       interest in River. But she resents his protection, sensing that there’s
       something not quite right about him… Why is he so interested in
       River? What is he hiding?

       On the other front is high school itself, where other students
       forever remind her of her uniqueness and her difference from
       “normal” people. She must put up with cruel name-calling and
       abusive behavior. Fortunately, River is not the kind of girl to sit
       down and resign herself, thus causing her share of trouble at

       Will River find a way to go back to her pack? Will she survive
       high school?
       I enjoyed reading River. It was an interesting story. What I liked
       most about it is the way the author crafted the protagonist. I feel
       that River, while not altogether sympathetic, stays true to her
       character and feels realistic in the context of the story. Even
       though she’s human, all the wilderness is inside of her, which is
       why she’s so moody and temperamental all the time. I like the
       way the author didn’t compromise the authenticity of the
       character to create a “lovable” werewolf heroine. That’s not to say
       that River is not likable at times    she is, but the reason lies in
       her genuineness. It was also refreshing to read a werewolf story
       were the wolf is bitten by a human, and not the other way around.
       River will be enjoyed by teen readers who love a good paranormal
       story. The high school angle will certainly be appreciated by this
       age group.

        –Award-winning author Mayra Calvani writes fiction and
        nonfiction for children and adults. In addition, she is co-editor of
        Voice in the Dark ezine and a reviewer for The New York Journal of
        Books, Blogcritics Magazine’s “Kiddie Corner,” and She’s had over 300 reviews, interviews,
        stories, and articles published in print and online. Mayra is a
        member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
        (SCBWI) and the Children’s Writer’s Coaching Club. Visit her
        website at


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Irene Roth

Irene S. Roth, Freelance Writer for Teens, Tweens, and Kids

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