Vivi has known the truth about her family—and herself—since she was thirteen. But that doesn’t mean she’s accepted it. Being Haguari isn’t something she feels she’ll ever accept. How can she feel like anything but a freak knowing that it’s in her genes to turn into a jaguar?
Now eighteen, Vivi’s ready to break away from the traditions of her heritage. But all of that changes with the shocking, devastating deaths of her parents and the mysteries left behind. Vivi discovers family she never even knew she had, and a life open with possibility. New friends, new loyalties, and even romance all lay ahead—but so do dangers unlike anything Vivi ever could have imagined.
I read Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series a million years ago when I was 12/13. I loved it back then and still have many of the books on my shelf. Some got misplaced by friends who borrowed them. Though I loved them when I was younger I have seriously questioned whether or not I would love them if I re-read them now. When I found her new Birthright series I knew I had to give it a try.
I found it interesting and I will definitely be reading the sequel. That being said…I give a lot of leeway to books I know will be the first in a series. This novel seemed like it was more about setting up the character’s family history and friends. So not a lot happens and though it was a quick read at the end I didn’t feel completely satisfied. It felt like we had just gotten to something good when it ended.
Next on the list, is the romance. I both love and hate how the romance was handled. On the one hand, I absolutely love that (so far) the romance is not central to the storyline. It’s about an 18 year old girl, so of course she focuses some on boys, but the story is more about getting to know her family, figuring out what happened to her parents, and figuring out what she was going to do with her life now that they’re gone. On the other hand, I absolutely hate that the guy she moons over is kind of a jerk. It’s obvious he has some tragic backstory from the get go, but still. I am super tired of the trope, I’m traumatized so I get to be an asshole and it’s okay. It is not okay.
As for the main character, Vivi isn’t awful. She’s just a sheltered 18 year-old. I like that she refuses to accept her family’s traditons and customs. And she reacts to her parents’ deaths like you would expect. But my favorite part is that she is a virgin for valid reasons, not because she’s shy or doesn’t know that she’s beautiful. She acknowledges that she could be very beautiful if she put any effort into it. But she wasn’t interested in being Haguari. At all.
All in all, I reserve the right to save my judgement of this series until book 2 comes out in July.
Rating:3 out of 5 quills. I liked it and will be buying the sequel, but I can definitely see why it gets a bad rap