Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by HarperCollins
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Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Kathleen Peacock’s thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spellbinding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love.
I almost didn't write a review for this because I'm not sure how to put how much I loved this book into words. But I attempted anyway.
I might have been a little biased about this book because of the werewolves. I have a special attachment to them because the first thing I ever really wrote - and the only thing I ever finished - was about werewolves. But after I finished, I knew that had nothing to do with why I loved it so much. People might say they're sick of werewolves, but Hemlock is something I think everyone should take a chance on.
I love the idea of a world where people know that mythical creatures exist. The world of Hemlock is such an easy one to immerse yourself in. The way the world is built up and explained is perfect. It's a world that's so interesting that I just completely loved reading about it. Maybe it's so easy to get involved with because it's also so easy to imagine because it's barely different from ours - but instead of regular serial killers, the serial killers in Hemlock happen to be werewolves. Or maybe Kathleen Peacock is just that good.
I think I only had one issue with this book, and that was Amy. Amy is - or was - Mac's best friend. Amy, even in death, is a big part of the book, yet I almost hated Amy. She's portrayed as a bad person, both through Mac's dreams and the secrets we eventually find out she kept. Even the way Mac talked about her sometimes. It made me wonder she was friends with her, why everyone loved her so much. It was hard for me to understand anyone's motives when it came to Amy.
However, Hemlock is still full of mystery, suspense, and of course some romance. And some awesome characters. Mac is an ordinary girl who can be extraordinary at times simply because she cares so much about protecting the people she loves. The way she never gives up on Jason is admirable. She doesn't run away from all the scary things in her world just because they're scary - but at the same time, she's still scared. She still acts like a teenage girl.
There is a slight love triangle in Hemlock that will probably escalate in the rest of the series, but I can't even complain about that. Both boys involved are ones I love. Jason is broken, flawed, not always easy to put up with, but fiercely loyal and protective. Kyle is also very loyal and protective - but in a different way. Either way, no matter what you think their personalities are, all the characters in Hemlock are very well-developed. They all have depth, which isn't something I've seen in YA lately.
Overall: Werewolves. Suspense. Amazing characters that are real, even if they're slightly paranormal. This debut has it all. Hemlock grips you from the first page and doesn't let go - not even when you've finished. 5 stars.