Summer of the Wolves

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Summer of the Wolves

Sisters in All Seasons

This is the first book in what looks like to be a new series from this author. Each chapter, which consists of a couple of pages, speaks from either Diana’s voice or Stephanie’s voice. I appreciated this style of writing because it allowed me the space to get to know each character, which, of course, are radically different from one another.

It definitely reads with boxes and stereotypes fully intact. Was this not a Young Adult read, I would be extremely disappointed. However, looking at the age these two girls are at, it fits perfectly with how I remember interpreting the world around me when I was that age (Diana and Stephanie are both around the age of 11 or 12). Setting these stereotypical parameters allows the young reader to see how each girl works through and adjusts to different difficulties that are newly a part of their lives. I assume that if a reader could identify with either Diana or Stephanie, or both, they would find parts of this book comforting and/or helpful.

This is a very easy read with concepts that were easy to follow. I would not recommend this book to those older than 14 years old because I think it would not hold the appeal and interest, and might be a bit too “Pollyanna” like. While reading this book, I kept thinking this would be perfect for a girl (or boy) around the age of 10-13 (5th grade to 8th grade).

Diana and Stephanie are new step-sisters, in which both are trying to adjust to blended families and strange living arrangements. Though it is not ideal to Stephanie, she is really trying to become friends with Diana. Diana, however, would rather blame Stephanie for her new, miserable life than try to have any relationship with her new “sister.” Stephanie is very sociable and accepting of people, so making friends is not hard for her. However, she seems to be scared of anything and everything, which keeps her from doing many things she wishes she could do. Diana has an angry temperament and very little inhibition. When it comes down to really caring or thinking about others first, Diana tends to fail miserably.

Diana’s mother and Stephanie’s father, who are newly married to one another, take off for their first family vacation at a horse ranch in North Carolina. A man that lives close to the ranch has two wolves that he keeps in an enclosure and will bring them to the ranch to show the tourists, for a price. For Diana, the wolves are something that makes her stop and think about someone or something else first, before her own self. Determined to justify what she deems is unfair to the wolves, Diana decides to set off on a dangerous task. If Stephanie can get Diana to agree to her coming along, she sees this task as her way to connect with Diana as well as to finally push through her fears that keep her from living her life to its fullest. Will this adventure bring these two together or will it be nothing short of a disaster?

Book Blurb for Summer of the Wolves

Stepsisters, yes. Friends? Maybe ... 'I smelled the wolf now---sharp and musky. I scanned the pen and saw a shadow behind one of the bushes that might be another wolf. Probably two of the most miserable looking creatures I'd ever seen.' --from Summer of the Wolves Stephanie and Diana are having a hard time adjusting to life as new stepsisters.andnbsp; The girls 'pretend' to like each other, but it's pretty hard considering they are complete opposites.andnbsp; When their new family takes their first-ever vacation to a horse ranch in North Carolina, not even long horse-back rides in the forest can tame their tempers. Diana's anger issues and Stephanie's fear of everything prove disastrous, until Diana discovers the caged wolves in the deep woods. She vows to free them, and surprisingly, Stephanie agrees to help. But their actions have unforeseen consequences, and if there's any chance to make things right, Stephanie and Diana must put their differences aside

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2012 4.00