First Shift Review
Updated: Apr 14
I’m having a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one. I truly wanted to love it, but I didn’t.
Sam Wolfe has been in love with Megan Carmichael for years. Too bad she's off-limits. She's human. He's not. When an accidental slip of his teeth endangers Megan and his entire werewolf pack, it's up to Sam to find a solution. Unbeknownst to them, Sam's bite has thrust Megan into the crosshairs of a killer. Sam and Megan must work together to find the threat, protect the pack, and maybe fall in love. But they better do it before the next full moon.
I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review from the author, AJ Skelly, herself. Thank you so much for this opportunity! I enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to read more of this series!
I’m having a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one. I truly wanted to love it, but I didn’t. However, I did enjoy reading this one. I don’t regret having read this, and I totally want to continue the series. I want to know what will happen next!
I’m having a bit of a love-hate relationship with this one. I truly wanted to love it, but I didn’t. However, I did enjoy reading this one.
This book is about werewolves if you couldn’t already tell by its cover. And I’ll say, I’ve read a few stories around the idea of werewolves, and I found this one to be truly unique. The premise follows Sam and Megan. Sam has secretly crushed on Megan for years, but she’s off-limits because she’s human. Then, Sam accidentally bites her, but it was while he was human, so does it really count? Well, Megan does shift into a wolf, but as far as the pack knows given the circumstances it might not stick. Though, there is a way to make sure it sticks, if Megan chooses to stay. Megan doesn’t want to stay a wolf, is Sam able to change her mind?
As I mentioned, I found the premise unique and so interesting. While also it’s this premise that starts my love-hate relationship. This book is written in a way that you know it’ll be a series. This is fine, but the beginning felt a bit dragged out, and slightly repetitive. In the entire first half of the book, we see Megan learning what it means to be a wolf and being a part of the pack. So we’re primarily seeing her just shifting in and out of her wolf. As I mentioned, it started to get a little repetitive. It wasn’t until just after the halfway point did we start moving forward in the plot again. I would have liked to see the plot move a bit faster.
...it started to get a little repetitive. It wasn’t until just after the halfway point did we start moving forward in the plot again. I would have liked to see the plot move a bit faster.
Despite the lack of movement in the first half of the plot, I thought this book read really well. It wasn’t hard to get through at all. I read this book in just a few days, primarily when I was having trouble sleeping. Though looking back, this actually made me stay up even later as I kept wanting to keep reading. That speaks to how I didn’t want to put it down, even though I was a little frustrated with the route it was taking, I kept reading.
I also enjoyed the way the book was set up in a matter of whose point of view we got to see. We got to see both of our main characters’ viewpoints. Shifting (no pun intended) between the two characters from chapter to chapter. I really loved this as we got to see the thoughts and feelings of both. It was easy to fall in love with Sam, he was so considerate of Megan. He never meant to turn Megan, so he left it entirely up to her about if she wanted to keep her wolf. Plus, he was always so respectful of boundaries when it came to Megan. Trying to never cross them and when he did, he would immediately remove himself from the situation.
Shifting (no pun intended) between the two characters from chapter to chapter. I really loved this as we got to see the thoughts and feelings of both.
And that leads me to Megan. Who I can’t decide if I like or not. Honestly, I found her a bit whiny and such a “damsel in distress” type of character. Which at the beginning I was more or so okay with given the events that happened to her, but even well into the book, she was still like this. I just wish she was more of a stronger lead or would have at least grown into one.
Now for my main annoyance? I guess you could call it that. The best way I can describe this book is by being a PG-13. Have you seen the movie “Isn’t It Romantic?”, if you have then you might know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, let me explain. In that movie, the main character gets sucked into a version of her life as if it were a movie that’s been rated PG-13. And in this movie when the main character tried to have sex with her love interest, it just skipped immediately to the next scene. That’s basically how this book was. We didn’t see any of these intimate scenes. I felt like the character in the movie when she realizes what just happened. I’m sure I had a very similar facial expression.
The best way I can describe this book is by being a PG-13. Have you seen the movie “Isn’t It Romantic?”, if you have then you might know exactly what I mean.
Be warned, there are very slight spoilers in the following two paragraphs for my rant review!
I don’t give away anything major. And if you’ve read a paranormal romance we usually always know how they’re going to end anyways. This is why I’m okay with what I’m about to say. If you want to avoid any spoilers though, I suggest moving to the last paragraph :)
Back to the PG-13 feel of this book. This was definitely a choice. And I don’t fully agree with it. When it comes to Young Adult books, these intimate scenes are always handled differently. But especially for this book, I don’t think skipping them was right. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t enjoy these scenes. I definitely do. Nor do I think they always need to be included for a romance, have you read Me Before You? That had no sex whatsoever and was still an amazing love story. But including these scenes doesn’t mean you have to write them to be overly descriptive, I’m sure none of us want to read that. And for this book, I truly think we should have been able to see them and how the characters interacted with each other during it. Especially in this book, that “first time” was such a crucial part of the plot and I’m honestly shocked it was just skipped over. And honestly, some of those kissing scenes were borderline intense, so I really don’t get the choice to skip these particular scenes.
Back to the PG-13 feel of this book. This was definitely a choice. And I don’t fully agree with it.
Remember how I said I wasn’t sure if I like Megan or not? I’m backtracking to that. My main issue with her as I really didn’t appreciate her basically taking advantage of Sam’s feelings. She started the book not really being into Sam, and just because she got turned into a wolf she decides she wants to start making out with him? Girl, you haven’t even decided if you want to stay a wolf! It just didn’t sit well with me, well up until near the end when Megan finally made up her mind with what she wanted.
End Rant :)
Now I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy this book. But I genuinely did to an extent. I also would love to read more from this series, as I’m left with some unanswered questions that I hope the sequel will answer. Just as you can see, there were some writing choices that I didn’t particularly agree with. However, I think if you enjoy Paranormal Romances especially with werewolves, I definitely recommend picking this one up!