Google+ Reading Teen: Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer: Book & Audiobook Review

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer: Book & Audiobook Review

Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #3
 Calla has always welcomed war.

But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

Reading level: Ages 14 and up Audio CD Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Random House Audio
Unabridged edition (January 10, 2012)
Reader:  Rebecca Lowman
Buy the audio:  Amazon 
I can not tell you how much I love this reader!  She is so fantastic!  I think she is my second favorite (next to Carol Monda) female reader.  She seriously brings this series to life.  Her voice for Calla is so perfect.  I feel like in this book Calla is so exhausted and heart-broken and torn, and Rebecca portrays that so well.  She also has distinct voices for each of the other characters, and I'm so impressed by how she maintains each voice, and I can easily identify who's speaking by the way she makes them sound.   She even does a fabulous job for the male voices.  I honestly forget that it is one woman reading, and that Shay, Ren, Conner and the others aren't actually talking.  If you haven't started reading this series, or if you're debating on whether or not you want to pick up books 2 & 3, I suggest getting the audio.  It made all the difference for me!  If you're looking for a new audiobook to start, you will love this one!

Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Philomel; First edition (January 3, 2012)
Buy the Book:  Amazon  I'm not sure I've heard or felt such mixed feelings about a book since Mockingjay.  Actually, I didn't have mixed feelings about Mockingjay, I just hated it.  I am completely torn about Bloodrose, however.

At a Glance:

Andrea Cremer is an amazing writer and has written a beautiful but heartbreaking story.  Although I often wanted to slap some of the characters, I am still glad that I read this series and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a deeper, more complex paranormal romance......and doesn't mind having their heart ripped out.


First off, let me say that the way I feel about the characters, doesn't necessarily reflect how I feel about the writing or the story.  I think Andrea Cremer is a fantastic writer and storyteller, and the entire Nightshade series was written beautifully.  The pacing is often slower, which makes the audiobooks a perfect fit for me, but there is also a lot of action, mystery, heartache, betrayal, and love.

Who says you have to love the characters to love the book?

If you read my goodreads updates, you'll know that I'm not exactly a fan of Calla.  I found her to be one of the most self-absorbed characters that I've ever read.  She seriously frustrated me constantly, mostly about Ren and Shay, and mostly things that are complete spoilers.  I think what bothered me, was that she was almost like a fake feminist.  Like she really wanted to be a feminist, and she tried WAY TOO HARD at it, but still got it all wrong.  Instead of being a strong female, she was manipulative, instead of standing up for herself, she hurt others, instead of having the courage to put others first, she took the cowardly route by lying and deceiving whenever it was convenient.  I felt like she was the female version of a male chauvinist pig.  I just wanted to scream, "YES, CALLA, WE GET IT!!  YOU DON'T NEED A MAN!  BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN YOU HAVE TO DESTROY THEM!"  There was one part, where Calla forces Ren and Shay (both of whom she's endlessly stringing along and lying to) to swear their loyalty to her and then drink each other's blood in front of everyone.  I mean, how absolutely humiliating and degrading!  Can you imagine if Calla was a man, practically sleeping with two different girls, lying to them, then forcing them in front of everyone (who all know about him stringing them both along) to basically bow down to him and drink each other's blood?  I feel like the world would explode from the feminist anger.  However, toward the end of the book, Calla makes a couple of decisions that redeemed her a little for me (though she was never honest with the boys).  I won't give it away, but will just say it was an act of selflessness that made me start to forgive her for her previous behavior.

Then there's Shay.  UGH.  I have never liked Shay.  Even when I hated Ren (in book one), I still didn't like Shay.  He was just so.......nothing.  Seriously, it was like he just a side character that wasn't very interesting.  I completely fail to see what Calla finds so appealing about him, unless it's just the fact that she can basically treat him however she wants and he'll just roll over like an abused puppy.  Really, he was just not my kind of guy.

Luckily there were many other fantastic characters.

I seriously loved all the supporting characters.  My favorite had to be Connor.  I am in love with Connor.  He was so funny, witty, charming, protective, and just so much fun to read.  Every time he spoke I had a smile on my face.  I adore him.  Then, of course there's Ren.  Ren and I have an interesting relationship.  In Nightshade, I absolutely hated him.  He was such a total jerk.  But something happened in Wolfsbane and Bloodrose.  Ren went from an arrogant, sexist, jerk, to a broken, changed and compassionate person.  I absolutely fell in love with him.  To think about what he had to go through as a child, and what he's learned as an adult, it just breaks my heart.  I also love Sabine, Bryn, Adne, and all the other Wolves and Keepers.  There were so many of them, and they all had such distinctive personalities.  I don't know how Andrea kept them all straight, and kept them so true to themselves, but it was impressive!

Then there's the storyline.

The storyline was seriously imaginative and smart.  It's obvious that Andrea Cremer has a brilliant mind.  This was no simple story.  There is so much history, backstory and originality in the Nightshade series.  There's really nothing like it out there that I've ever read.  I loved it and thought it was so well done.  With one exception.  If you've read it, you know of what I speak.  I feel like this one thing that happened was an easy out, and if it had to happen, it should have been handled differently.  But, I guess that wasn't up to me. :(

I have to say, that although I'm not happy with the way the ending happened, I am happy with the ending.  Does that make sense?  I don't know that there could be a happy ending with this book, and for me, this ending fits.  It's what fits for Calla.  It's not what I would want, and I still don't know that I like Calla, but I'm glad that this is the way things ended for her.

If you read Nightshade, and didn't care for it, you should definitely still give Wolfsbane and Bloodrose a chance, and I really recommend it on audio.  If you read the other two, and are scared to read the kinda should be.  But do it anyway!

Book Doppelgangers: 

Hmmm....I'm drawing a blank.  Any thoughts?  Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is a good werewolf book! :D

  • Profanity:  Heavy
  • Sexual Content:  Heavy
  • Violence:  Heavy
For more information, check out Bloodrose on


  1. I really loved this book in general. There were a lot of things I didn't like though, which I can't really say without spoiling anything. I think that the way is ended was good, and like you said, there was not really a way to have a happy ending. I happened to like Shay so I think that made me like this book more than if I hadn't liked him. I think that for Team Shay this book was awesome, where Team Ren people probably wouldn't like it as much.

    1. Spoilers:

      Yeah, if you like Shay, you probably didn't have any complaints. I don't know why, I just couldn't get into his character. It seems like I always go for the guy who gets the shaft, haha.

      Did you like the very end? I think I did.

    2. (spoilers)

      I love Ren so obviously I HATED the ending. I feel like Cremer took the easy way out by doing that to him - I didn't feel like Calla actually made her choice, it was made for her! And I don't get why Calla is so fascinated with Shay, I found him so boring and possessive to Calla.

    3. Spoilers:

      I agree. Calla never had to make a choice, she never had to come clean, she never told either of them that she basically was screwing around with both of them. She got off easy. AND something that REALLY bugged me was how possessive she was of Ren's body afterward. She wouldn't let anyone come close to him, as if he belonged to her. No, hon, you chose Shay, (even though you never told Ren), you don't get to act like Ren is yours. UGH.

      I just wish that had all been handled differently. I mean, I was "team Ren" and would be sad about what happened, but I could live with it, if she would have had to make a choice and they didn't just move on afterward like nothing happened. So frustrating!

      Otherwise, the series was great!

    4. (spoilers)

      Yeah, I hated how she never actually told Ren that she already chose Shay (and had sex with him a couple of times)and I agree with you about the way Calla acted about Ren's death - and that whole scene felt like they didn't really care about Ren AT ALL. And I hated how he died aswell - that sucks, his fake 'father' broke his neck, I would have wanted it to be something heroic or just something different :(

      It just makes me SO frustrated - because I wouldn't mind it if Ren doesn't end up with Calla. Hell, I would have preferred it (Calla and Shay deserve each other,eugh) for him to find someone else and be happy. I just hated his death, it was pointless tbh.

    5. Yes, exactly everything you said. Sometimes I feel like I need to write a review, then a separate discussion post with spoilers and everything, just to get it all off my chest.

    6. I did like how it ended. I thought that it was done really well.

  2. I was a Team shay person but I agree that Calla didn't make a choice at all. I think that there was very little said in the end for Team Ren People. I do think she took the easy way out and I didn't like the flip flopping with boy boys. If you are real woman --take responsiblity for your choices on your love interest. UGH this book made me unhappy as a reader. It started off so good , and I think her ending up with herself would have been good to. ( spoilers)

    1. Ugh, exactly!! Take responsibility!!

    2. Since for some reason I can't get the comment box to come up all it is letting me do is a reply this is how I'm going to leave my comment, how you all don't mind.


      I thought the end of this book really ruined everything I had loved all long. I really loved Nightshade and Wolfsbane was even better than Nightshade and then Bloodrose happened. I was liking Bloodrose in the beginning but I HATED the ending. I did like that my guy one out in the end because I liked him from the very start for personal reasons. However, I'm so pissed about how it ended. I felt like she took characters that I was completely in LOVE with and ruined them. She killed her own characters in a way by letting them lose everything that made them human and a real interacting character! Making them be stuck as wolves in the end just upset me to no end. I would have thrown the book across the room if the copy that I read had actually been mine instead of a tour book. UGH I just can not believe what she did in the end!!!!

    3. Weird about the comment thing. No idea what that's about!

      I know that a LOT of people felt the way you did about the end. I think for me, I just didn't really care. I didn't care for Shay or Calla, and Ren was dead, so whatever. It didn't really matter to me whether they were people or wolves. I actually didn't care for Nightshade, but loved Wolfsbane. I still liked Bloodrose, but it frustrated me to no end. I couldn't even rate it, because I just didn't even know what to put!


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