Claire de Lune

( 45 )

Overview

Torn between two destinies…

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is ...

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Overview

Torn between two destinies…

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she’s the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she’s a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire’s new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever….

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Johnson’s debut—her take on the popular werewolf lit genre—glimmers with mystery and a budding romance amid Romeo and Juliet-like complications. Claire is finally starting to feel like a normal teenager. It’s her 16th birthday, popular kids have shown up at her pool party, and wicked cute Matthew seems to like her. Then Claire discovers the family secret—she and her mother are werewolves. It’s an especially inopportune revelation, since a rogue werewolf is killing people in town and Matthew’s father, a member of the Federal Human Protection Agency, is leading the charge to capture and “cure” lycanthropes. Claire’s feelings for Matthew are too strong for her to obey her mother’s order to stop seeing him, and her secrets keep piling up as her full transformation approaches. With Claire’s local pack on the hunt for the rogue and an innocent werewolf in danger, things accelerate quickly as the next full moon approaches. Claire’s supportive relationship with Matthew is downright enviable, and her struggle to adjust and integrate the two sides of her life rounds out a satisfying story. Ages 12-up. (May)
From the Publisher
Johnson weaves a page-turning tale of forbidden love, loyalty, friendship, and deception that will leave readers eager for more. Strong characters and major plot twists coupled with a new twist on werewolf mythology make this a fun and entertaining read that will satisfy fans of the genre. — Donna Rosenblum, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, April 2010

Johnson’s debut—her take on the popular werewolf lit genre—glimmers with mystery and a budding romance amid Romeo and Juliet–like complications. Claire is finally starting to feel like a normal teenager. It’s her 16th birthday, popular kids have shown up at her pool party, and wicked cute Matthew seems to like her. Then Claire discovers the family secret—she and her mother are werewolves. It’s an especially inopportune revelation, since a rogue werewolf is killing people in town and Matthew’s father, a member of the Federal Human Protection Agency, is leading the charge to capture and “cure” lycanthropes. Claire’s feelings for Matthew are too strong for her to obey her mother’s order to stop seeing him, and her secrets keep piling up as her full transformation approaches. With Claire’s local pack on the hunt for the rogue and an innocent werewolf in danger, things accelerate quickly as the next full moon approaches. Claire’s supportive relationship with Matthew is downright enviable, and her struggle to adjust and integrate the two sides of her life rounds out a satisfying story.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, April 26, 2010

Johnson spins out an engaging and provacative riff on the werewolf tradition...Smooth writing and engaging main characters make for an easy read, while a feminist focus offers just a bit more for thoughtful readers....A good summer read for the romantically concerned and monster-obsessed midteen girl. — Francisca Goldsmit, BOOKLIST, May 15 2010

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
Another novel in the increasingly popular paranormal/werewolf genre, this one features Claire, a sixteen-year-old who is living the usual teen life of crushes on boys, best friends, and school when her mother reveals to her that they are really werewolves. Interestingly, she reveals that only females can be werewolves. (Who knew?) There has been a recent event in town by a rogue werewolf and the father of Claire's latest heartthrob, Matthew, is the local professional werewolf hunter determined to develop a serum to neutralize the transformation that werewolves undergo. (Are you still with me?) The story starts out slowly with the usual teen stuff but gets more interesting as Claire goes through the process of becoming a full-fledged werewolf and she and her mother try to neutralize the rogue werewolf. The whole werewolf culture is spelled out for those that are interested. Meanwhile, Claire just wants to be a normal kid and act on her romantic feelings for Matthew. Keeping all this from her friends is a tricky situation. The ending will satisfy—if readers are into the werewolf thing. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—For Claire Benoit, life in Hanover Falls has been pretty normal and uneventful. But all that changes on the night of her 16th birthday when she discovers a secret that will change her world forever. Her mother explains that she is a werewolf, descended from an extensive line of strong, female wolves. After being introduced to the pack, Claire learns that her full change will occur at the next full moon when she will be initiated into the pack. Claire has never been close to her mother, so this revelation leaves her totally lost and alone. Struggling with her new identity, she turns to Matthew, the charming, hunky soccer star who has been recently flirting with her. As their relationship begins to heat up, events seem to work against them. Werewolf attacks are occurring at an alarming rate in Hanover Falls, creating a state of panic. This unrest is further fueled by Matthew's father, who is a lycanthropy scientist and has organized the hunt for the rogue werewolf. Overwhelmed with trying to balance her old and new life, Claire must make decisions that alter her behavior and have ramifications for her future. Johnson weaves a page-turning tale of forbidden love, loyalty, friendship, and deception that will leave readers eager for more. Strong characters and major plot twists coupled with a new twist on werewolf mythology make this a fun and entertaining read that will satisfy fans of the genre.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY
Kirkus Reviews
An enjoyable if forgettable supernatural romance, this debut novel will be appreciated by teens who can't get enough of the genre. Soon after Claire turns 16, she discovers that the itchy hands and ears plaguing her of late are due not to a rash but to her burgeoning transformation into a werewolf. Her somewhat emotionally distant mother explains that the women in their family are part of a long tradition of loup-garou that she must now join. Complicating matters is Claire's newfound relationship with a sweet, gentle guy who is the son of a zealous scientist bent on curing werewolves of their affliction, even if it means killing them. A series of murders being committed by a rogue wolf builds a satisfying degree of suspense, there is a nicely constructed red herring and the unadorned, simple writing style works well. Claire is a sympathetic character, though her love interest seems too idealized and one-dimensional and the conclusion entirely too tidy-in the end, there is not much to set apart this reworking of a familiar idea. (Supernatural romance. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416991823
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 5/18/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Johnson grew up in, moved away from, and finally came home to Indianapolis, Indiana. While she was in the “away” part of that adventure, she lived in Chicago, Illinois, where she attended DePaul University and majored in Political Science. She now lives in an old house in an old neighborhood with her kids and way too many books. Find her on the web at http://www.christinejohnsonbooks.com/ and on Twitter @cjohnsonbooks.

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Read an Excerpt

Claire de Lune


By Christine Johnson

Simon Pulse

Copyright © 2010 Christine Johnson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416991823

Prologue



SHE KILLED HIMin the darkest part of the night, before the dew had settled on the grass.


It was easy. He came to the window when she?d tapped her claws against it. It was exactly what she?d hoped he would do. Sliding up the square of glass. Sticking his head out to investigate. Like an idiot. Like prey.


One less moron in the world. She licked the blood off her mouth, the coarse whiskers sliding against her tongue.


He didn?t even have time to scream. He was no different from any of the others. His eyes had gone round as coins, his cheeks turned fish-flesh white.


It was when their mouths made that terrified O that she sprang.


It was the perfect moment. They saw her coming for them. They knew what was about to happen. But none of them ever had a chance to make a sound.


Except when their necks snap. That makes a sound, she mused.


She?d expected to feel more fear, breaking the rules like this. Instead, she?d discovered that she liked it. The power of deciding who and when. Letting her instincts take over without worrying about the consequences.


After all, she wasn?t the one who would take the blame for killing these sad little rag-doll humans. She wouldn?t get caught?she was too good. Too careful.


It was the other one who would pay.


Dizzy with success, tantalized by the so-close gleam of revenge, she disappeared back into the woods.


? 2010 Christine Johnson

Chapter One



THESMOOTH MIRROR of the pool?s surface shattered as three boys cannonballed into it at the same time. Shrieks erupted from the cluster of girls who got splashed.


?Claire, this is the best party!? Emily gushed, nibbling on a potato chip.


Claire scanned the crowd in her backyard. Bikini-clad girls and soaked boys in swim trunks perched on the patio furniture, drinking soda and laughing. Anyone?ll come to your party if you have a pool, she thought. She scratched the backs of her hands against the sharp edge of the table and wished they?d quit itching. It was like the worst poison ivy ever, only there weren?t any bumps and it wasn?t red.


?Yeah, I guess,? she said. Claire had known most of these people since elementary school, but aside from Emily, she had never been close with any of them. It was the hottest June since 1910, and the huge pool in her backyard had made Claire instantly popular. Which still wasn?t saying very much?more than a few people at the party had been surprised to find out it was Claire?s birthday. Oh, well, I guess having people come just to use the pool is better than not at all. Yep. That?s me?glass always half-full. She sighed.


?What do you mean, ?I guess?? Aren?t you having fun?? Emily?s mouth curved into a worried little frown.


?No?I mean, yeah, it?s fun. I just don?t know a lot of these people so well.?


?But they?re here, right? And I heard Yolanda saying that she?d missed you since school let out. People do like you, Claire. You just don?t want to believe it.?


Emily grabbed another chip. ?So, you really didn?t get a car, huh??


?Nope. I was hoping Mom was just trying to make me think that she was leaving me stranded, but I got a pair of sapphire earrings from her this morning, so I think she?s serious.? Claire rolled her eyes. It wasn?t like they couldn?t afford for her to have her own car. Her mom just didn?t think she needed one.


Claire?s ears itched like they were on fire, just like her hands, and she pushed back her shiny brown hair so she could rub them.


?What are you doing?? asked Emily. ?Matthew is totally watching you! Act normal!?


Claire dropped her hands, feeling the tingle of a flush in her cheeks. Matthew Engle gave her a little wave, and rolled his eyes in the direction of the giggling group sitting behind him. She smiled at him, and he grinned back. A shock of electricity shot through her as he motioned for her to come over. Besides being one of only two guys in the entire school who wasn?t an immature jerk, he was cute. Really cute. Turn-your-brain-to-mush cute.


?It?s not like I have a chance with him, anyway,? Claire said, turning back to Emily.


?Of course you do! You?re smart, you?re funny, and you look totally amazing in that bikini. You definitely need to go talk to him.?


?Only if you come with me.?


?Oh, fine. But you don?t need me. You?d be okay on your own. ? Emily grabbed her soda and pulled Claire to her feet.


Claire took a deep breath and strolled over to Matthew.


?Hey.? Wow, Claire, way to impress him with your conversational skills.


?Good party,? he said.


A shriek erupted from the other side of the circle of deck chairs, buying Claire time to think of something half-intelligent to say.


?Oh, ewwww! I am so serious?I don?t want to hear any more.? Yolanda Adams slapped her hands over her ears and turned away from the group.


?What?? Claire asked.


Dan Maxwell glanced at her. ?The last guy who got killed by the werewolf ? Turns out it crushed his skull. One of the other ER nurses told my mom about it. His brains were oozing out all over.?


?Dude, shut up.? Matthew shook his head. ?Didn?t you just hear Yollie say she didn?t want to hear about it anymore??


?Right,? said Emily. ?Like there?s anything else to talk about in this town.?


The werewolf was all over the news?in the last month alone, it had killed three people. No one went out after dark anymore. Werewolf attacks were the sort of thing that happened once in a while in Eastern Europe, maybe, or rural Japan, but in the United States they had become as rare as an outbreak of cowpox.


Emily turned to Dan. ?Even if Yolanda won?t listen to your gory details, I?m always up for insider information.? She grabbed a handful of pretzels and arranged herself next to Dan. Emily made it look so easy. Claire watched her best friend flirt effortlessly with a guy who wasn?t even her type. Emily only got serious about guys who wore a lot of black, looked sort of unwashed, and were totally into art.


Claire turned back to Matthew, wishing that she had Emily?s confidence around guys. She glanced at the empty plate beside him.


?So, um, have you tried the salsa yet? Lisbeth makes it from scratch.?


?No, but that sounds great. Come on, I need another drink, anyway.?


Matthew grabbed Claire?s hand and pulled her over to the food table. The press of his warm skin against her palm made Claire dizzy, even after he?d let go.


?You probably hear enough about werewolves at home, huh?? she asked him, scratching her earlobe. Again.


He shrugged. ?Dad?s spending so much time at the lab and on TV, he really hasn?t been around much. He?s dying to get into Lycanthropy Researchers International?he?s been getting a lot of crap from the media about how he?s not as qualified as the other members of the Federal Human Protection Agency. He?s convinced that this new case is going to be his ?big break.?? Matthew sounded irritated.


Claire raised an eyebrow. Dr. Engle was leading the hunt in Hanover Falls for the werewolf. It was part of his job for the FHPA?the whole agency was all about researching werewolves and stopping attacks on humans. Claire had seen him on TV a ton, especially lately. He always said the same thing during interviews: ?I am honored to be able to help my own hometown in its hour of need. Hanover Falls is currently the FHPA?s top priority, and I will make sure it stays that way until this situation has been resolved.? Then he would adjust his tie. Every time. He creeped Claire out.


?My mom isn?t home much, either,? she offered.


Matthew looked at her, his warm brown eyes locking onto hers.


?Yeah, she just had that big shoot in Greece, right?? he asked.


Claire nodded, amazed that he?d remembered. Her mother spent at least one week every month, usually more, traveling for her photography. Travel magazines, art-book publishers, galleries?they all wanted Marie Benoit behind the camera. Claire didn?t mind all the trips. Things were actually easier, more relaxed, when her mom wasn?t home.


?Okay, everyone, time for cake!? Claire?s mom called, sticking her head out one of the back doors.


She stepped out, holding the door for Lisbeth, the latest in the long line of au pairs who stayed with Claire while her mom traveled. No one else had lasted more than a year, but Lisbeth had been with them since Claire was thirteen. Claire loved Lisbeth, even though she wished her mom would realize that she was too old to need someone around all the time. It was one thing for Lisbeth to be there when her mom took long trips, but surely Claire was old enough to come home to an empty house in the afternoons. But if her mom didn?t think that sixteen was old enough to get a car, then she probably wouldn?t listen to Claire?s ideas about how much supervision she needed from Lisbeth, either. At least having Lisbeth meant not having to ask her mom?s permission all the time, and Lisbeth wasn?t nearly as strict.


Lisbeth walked onto the patio carrying a giant chocolate cake with Happy 16th Birthday, Claire in white icing. A ring of candles burned around the top.


Everyone turned to look at Claire, breaking into a halfhearted rendition of ?Happy Birthday to You.? Claire forced herself to smile, even though she was completely mortified.


Claire leaned over and blew out the candles.


?Did you make a wish?? Matthew asked.


?Yeah.? Claire nodded, unable to look him in the eyes, since her wish totally revolved around him.


The patio door burst open and Claire looked up, relieved for the interruption. Dan?s mother tore into the yard wearing bloodstained hospital scrubs.


?Mom?? Dan sounded confused and annoyed. Mostly annoyed.


?Get your stuff,? she panted. ?We?re going.?


Claire?s mother stepped forward. ?I?m sorry, is something wrong??


?Yes. The news just came over the police dispatch at the hospital?someone thinks they spotted the werewolf at the edge of the woods. These woods.? She gestured over the brick wall that surrounded the Benoits? backyard. Her hand shook as she pointed. ?In broad daylight. The police are patrolling until the FHPA squad comes. I?m sorry, Ms. Benoit, but I can?t let Dan stay here. It?s too dangerous.? She looked at the rest of the group. ?It?s too dangerous for all of you. You all need to go, now.?


Right on cue, several cell phones around the pool started ringing.


Emily looked up at Claire, her phone glued to her ear. It?s on the news, she mouthed. My mom?s freaking.


Cars screeched into the sweeping drive of the Benoits? house and the guests grabbed their stuff. Claire scratched at her hands and shivered as she watched everyone stream into the house. A strong hand gripped her upper arm and she jumped.


Matthew stood behind her. A grin played across his face as he pulled her behind the pool house. He was so close, Claire could feel the heat from his skin.


?Aren?t you scared??


?Nah. Why should I be? The chance of a werewolf attacking in broad daylight?it?s practically zero.?


?But that?s why everyone?s freaking out, right? Because if someone actually saw a werewolf during the day, it might mean it would actually strike before dark??


?Claire! Come inside, please,? Claire?s mom called from the back door.


The thread of electric energy running between Claire and Matthew faded.


Argh! No!


He stepped back, tucking a lock of Claire?s hair back behind her ear.


?I?d better go,? he said. ?I had a great time. A really, really great time.?


She nodded. ?O-okay. Thanks.? Her voice shook. ?Be careful getting home.?


?Don?t worry about me?I?ll be fine. Call you later!? He smiled and darted around the pool house.


Claire leaned against the wall, dizzy with happiness. Oh my God! He said he?d call! Oh my God! She wrapped her arms around her damp bathing suit and twirled around.


?Claire,? her mother called from the door. ?Everyone?s leaving. Claire??


After the party, Lisbeth was too freaked about the werewolf to deal with the mess outside, but, of course, Claire?s mom was too bothered by the mess to let it be. She cleaned it up herself, her lips pursed, while Lisbeth hid in the kitchen doing dishes. By dinnertime, the tension in the house was thicker than the frosting on the birthday cake.


Claire sat at the kitchen island between Lisbeth and her mom. Half-eaten sandwiches lay in front of them?rare roast beef for Claire and her mother, and a vegetarian-friendly grilled cheese for Lisbeth. The news was running another special expanded edition about the werewolf sighting, which was pretty much just them saying, ?We don?t know anything else, but we?ll tell you as soon as we do. In the meantime, here?s everything we do know, again,? over and over and over. Claire ignored it, but her mom?s eyes were glued to the screen, watching as a police sketch artist held up a rendition of what they thought the wolf might look like.


Lisbeth picked at the remains of her sandwich and patted the back of her sunburned neck. ?I?m worn out. I?m gonna slather on some aloe and go to bed,? she announced. She leaned over and pecked Claire on the head. ?Happy Birthday, sweetie. Sixteen. Wow.? She sighed. ?I better hurry up and find a guy to sweep me off my feet, or you?ll head off to college and I won?t have anyone to take care of but your mother.?


It sounded like she was joking, but Claire could see the concern that crinkled up the corners of Lisbeth?s eyes.


Guess the thing with that guy from her yoga class must have flopped.


?Nah, you can come with me and fold my laundry in the dorm.? Claire stuck her tongue out at Lisbeth. Next to Claire, her mother snorted.


Lisbeth rolled her eyes. ?I?ll let that go because it?s your birthday.? She leaned into Claire. ?See you in the morning.?


??Night.? Claire stopped scratching the backs of her hands against the rough underside of the granite countertop. She snaked one arm around Lisbeth for a quick hug.


Marie tore another bite out of her sandwich and nodded at Lisbeth without taking her eyes off the news. Claire felt Lisbeth stiffen beside her?just a little?before she turned and left the room.


Claire fished an ice cube out of her glass and held it against the prickling itch in her ear.


?Are you still mad at Lisbeth about the cleaning thing??


Her mother?s jaw stopped midchew and she looked away from the replay of another interview with Dr. Engle. Claire?s chest tightened under the full force of her mother?s dark eyes.


?No, of course not. I?m angry at that ignorant, pompous quack. He?s the reason Lisbeth was too scared to be out earlier.? She ripped off another corner of her sandwich and chewed fiercely. ?He?s appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner?testing that stupid ?cure? of his without even confirming that his subjects really are werewolves. Ruining lives so that he can hurry to impress a group of scientists and hiding behind the government to do it?he makes me sick!? She threw the remnants of her sandwich onto her plate and strode over to the kitchen door.


Matthew?s dad was working on a drug that supposedly cured lycanthropy. It somehow ate the disease out of the werewolf?s brain so that it couldn?t transform anymore. During a TV interview Claire had heard Dr. Engle explain how it worked, but it had been way technical and confusing?even the interviewer looked kind of lost. All she really got was that it had to be administered at the full moon, but when they were in human form.


No one really cared how it worked, just that it did. Once a werewolf had been treated, it stayed in human form, forever. The Austrian werewolves he had tested it on were left in a permanent coma. They were still in some locked wing at the Vienna University Research Center, but pretty much everyone agreed it was a well-deserved punishment for attacking humans.


?But the Austrian attacks stopped after he injected the werewolves,? Claire pointed out. She glanced over at the television. Dr. Engle had the same golden-blond hair that Matthew did, but his face was sharper?all planes and angles.


Marie gripped the doorframe. Tension rippled across her back. ?And you assume that there is no other explanation for that?? She spoke without turning.


Claire swallowed the wad of sandwich she?d stuffed into her cheek. ?I, uh, hadn?t thought about it. I guess there could be.?


?That, my love, is his trap. Many fall into it. I hope that you won?t make the same mistake. I am going to have a bath now. Please put your dishes in the sink when you?re finished.?


Claire?s mother slipped up the steps while Claire toyed with the crust of her sandwich and listened to the mindless drone of the newscaster. Dark spots the size of pinpricks sprang up on the backs of her hands. She scratched at them with the tines of a plastic fork.


Claire sighed and trudged upstairs to find the cortisone cream.


* * *


A hand shook her shoulder.


?Claire. Claire!?


She cracked open one eye.


?Mrrrhmph,? she mumbled, as Lisbeth shook her again.


?I brought you up a tray. It?s nearly noon.?


Claire pulled the covers over her head and nestled farther down into the bed. She heard Lisbeth walk a few steps and waited for the door to close, already sinking back into sleep. That is, until the covers were jerked off her. Lisbeth stood at the end of the bed, her arms full of fabric and a grin spread across her face.


?Your mom will be home in an hour?you need to be up and dressed by then. She wants to take you shopping.? Lisbeth sat down on the end of the bed and snatched a triangle of toast off Claire?s plate. Claire watched Lisbeth examine it for any sign of contamination from the strips of bacon before she crunched into it.


?Hey, I thought that was for me!? Claire sat up and made a halfhearted grab for the toast.


?Hey, yourself.? Lisbeth took another bite. ?Cook?s treat. You?re lucky I brought it up here at all, missy.? Her face turned serious. ?I figured you?d be tired after the commotion yesterday. I?m sorry your party ended that way.?


Matthew?s promise to call her echoed in Claire?s memory. Actually, I think it ended pretty well. ?Yeah, well, at least everyone came in the first place, right??


Lisbeth ruffled her hair. ?That?s very positive of you, Claire-bear. Ya gotta go with the flow, right??


Claire rolled her eyes. ?Oh my God, Lisbeth, no one says ?go with the flow? anymore. You sound like some long-lost hippy. And don?t call me Claire-bear.?


Lisbeth stuck out her lower lip and pretended to be hurt. ?I bring you brunch in bed, and all I get is abuse. Fine, I?m going back downstairs.? She leapt off the bed.


Claire threw a pillow at Lisbeth, who ducked it expertly and laughed as she slipped out of the room. Mom will be here in an hour. Claire sighed. Nothing like being at the beck and call of someone who barely remembered you were alive.


Her mom was gone so much, and even when she was home, Marie spent most of her time locked in her darkroom, or pacing her office while she negotiated an even more astronomical salary for her next shoot. Still, it would be worth getting out of bed if it meant going shopping. Claire picked up a piece of bacon and nibbled at it, then tossed it back on the plate and walked over to her closet. She threw on a pair of shorts and a tank top, then hurried into the bathroom to get ready.


She was running the flat iron through her hair one last time when muffled music started floating out of her laundry basket.


?Crap!? Claire yelped. She dug through the pile of dirty clothes until she found the jeans she?d been wearing yesterday morning. Plunging her hand into the pocket, she yanked out her cell phone, glancing at the caller ID. Her heart pounded as she flipped open the phone.


?Hello?? She blushed at how breathless she sounded.


?Claire? Sorry, were you still asleep?? Matthew asked.


?No, I?m up. I just couldn?t find my phone.? Oh, way to go, Claire. Now he thinks you?re a ditz.


?Cool.? He paused. ?So, I was wondering?do you maybe want to come over later? We could hang out here and watch a movie or something.?


Claire bit her lip to keep from squealing.


?Yeah,? she said, ?that sounds good. What, uh?what time??


She did a celebration dance around the room while they made plans. As soon as they?d hung up, she tore down the stairs and slapped, barefoot, across the marble floor into the kitchen.


?Lisbeth!? She called.


A blond head peeked around the corner. ?What? You?d better be ready, your mom?ll be here any minute.?


?You have to drop me off at Matthew?s house later, okay? I mean, I can go, right? To watch a movie??


Lisbeth grinned, but a little worried line appeared between her eyebrows. ?Matthew? Isn?t he older than you are??


?Only by a year.?


Lisbeth put her hands on her hips and cocked her head at Claire. ?Isn?t he a Pisces? They?re not very compatible with Geminis, you know.?


Claire rolled her eyes. ?Oh my God. Enough with the astrology crap. Just?can I go, or what??


?Okay, you can go, but when he gets all emotional, don?t say I didn?t warn you.? Lisbeth shook her head. ?Now go upstairs and??she stopped midsentence??hey, why are your hands so red??


Claire shoved them deep into her pockets. Overnight, the pinprick rash had gotten worse?it was on her ears, too. The scratchy denim hem rubbed against her wrists and it felt like heaven. ?I think it?s poison ivy. I already put some stuff on them.?


The back door swung open. Claire?s mother stepped into the house, her satiny-dark hair damp with sweat. ?It?s scorching out there, again.? She looked at Claire. ?Are you ready to go shopping??


Claire nodded, kissed Lisbeth on the cheek, and hurried into the cool interior of her mother?s waiting Mercedes. ?Thanks for taking me.?


?Of course,? her mother said. ?Your sixteenth birthday?it?s important. A mark of change. We should celebrate.?


? 2010 Christine Johnson



Continues...

Excerpted from Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson Copyright © 2010 by Christine Johnson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Claire da Loon

    I wasn't expecting much from this book to begin with, so I can't consider myself disappointed.

    Okay, okay. I know this is a fantasy book. I know it has very little basis in the real world. But I can't help but bring forth some logical impossibilities this book passes off. There will be some spoilers ahead, although I shall try to use hypothetical situations only.

    Say everyone knows werewolves exist. Say everyone thinks werewolves are bad, without even one PETA activist to wave a mighty pickett sign. Say there are enitre government organizations dedicated to researching and controlling lycanthropes. But despite all this, people know nothing about werewolves, at all. They don't know, or suspect, that they are all female (one thing I did like about this book was all the werewolf girl-power), and don't know their habits or anything. So instead of, I don't know, researching and studying one of the few werewolves they manage to capture, they lock it up in a cage in some unguarded lab, until they can "cure" it. Now, does this make sense? What kind of respectable lab, holding some a valuable specimen, doesn't even have surveillance cameras and puts the key to the cage of this valuable specimen IN THE REFRIDGERATOR!!!!!!

    Oh, and say, you were a bloodthristy werewolf. You like sunflowers right? And after killing some poor dude, you get your picture taken with a sunflower blocking your face. Uh-oh. I would be careful now. Because some ditzy teenager will walk aimlessly into your house, see a sunflower (which could or could not be the same one), and when they later see the incriminating picture, they will automatically link you to the scene of the crime. So be careful in the future.


    Oh, and apparently bodies smell enough to be gag-worthy after 15 minutes of being deceased, and lupine body language is diverse enough to have complete nonverbal coversations with specific wordchoice and every thing. Even when you are not even freaking LOOKING at the werewolf you are having a conversation with.

    Okay, with that off my chest....on to the characters. I have decided I dislike the name Claire. It just is a soiled name. Every time I hear it now, it brings to mind some annoying teenage "heroine". No offense to the Claires out there. You can't help what you are named at birth. So even though my first impression of you is shot to peices, you still have the possibilty of growing on me. All the characters in this story were just so completely underdeveloped. Not a likable or memorable face in the bunch. Everyone just filled their stereotypical role. Claire the "sweet" and quiet narrator, who only wants to protect her friends and family. Hottie Matthew, the attractive and understanding love interest who inexplicably falls for Plain Janes. Emily, the talkative and bubbly biffle. And Marie, the type-A mother. Mix in some wolves and bad guys, and there you go.

    The plot was poo. I would say it was predictable, but I did fall prey to the red-herring for the longest time. I am acutally quite ashamed I didn't figure it out sooner. So props there. And there was just no action or suspense. Just Claire fretting and worrying. I had no problem putting this book down.

    Oh, and what is the mysterious Goddess that created werewolves?

    Don't let my moanin' stop you from reading this book if it sounds interesting, really. It's just books like these make me bitter.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Epic

    This book its lagit and make u choose love or family the book make u wondee

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    ON YOUR TOES

    this book kept me guessing all the way to the end was an amazing book for a warewolf story and i highly recremend reading this book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2011

    wow

    a very good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Claire de Lune :)

    Overall, Claire de Lune was a really good book. It takes a while to get into and the writing is a little hard to get used to but the story really gets going a few chapters in. I loved the authors new approach on werewolves and I didn't know who the villian was until it was revealed and I was verrrry surprised! Do NOT give up on this book!! I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series. :D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended for younger teens

    Caire Benoit's birthday party is going well--plenty of people turned up, if only to enjoy her pool and get out of the summer heat, and her crush, Matthew Engle is paying attention to her. The only downside is, her hands and ears are itching. Then tiny dark spots begin to appear. Then her Mom drops the bomb on her: Claire is finally transforming into a werewolf, as all the women in their family line have done. This wouldn't be so horrible if it weren't for the recent spree of werewolf-induced killings in their town, which makes everyone in the area hate and fear werewolves.

    The mythology is slightly tweaked, with only females turning into wolves, but most of the other elements of the novel are familiar. Claire's crush Matthew is the son of an unscrupulous scientist leading the werewolf hunt, and Claire's mom wants her to stay far away from Matthew because of this dangerous connection. Caire's mom also goes back and forth between seeming cool and acting like a jerk--she keeps telling Claire that she should be honored that she's a werewolf, and she should be adjusting better and appreciating her circumstances. Poor Claire has been told that she'll regularly turn into an animal and that she can never have a normal relationship because humans and werewolves weren't meant to be together, so I think she's taking it pretty well, all things considered.

    A lot of time spent on Claire figuring the exact parameters of her power, how to transform, etc, and there's tension between her and her mother, but the real plot centers on finding out which rogue wolf is killing people. Claire's a fine character and there's nothing wrong with the setup, but it never really pulled me in, and for a book with multiple murders, I never felt on edge--it would work well as an introductory werewolf book for younger teens.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    Loved this book. The whole story line was wonderful. I only came

    Loved this book. The whole story line was wonderful. I only came across this book because I grabbed the wrong book one day in my school library, I'm happy I grabbed it that day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Awesome

    I bought this book in paperback. All i have to say it is great and recommend it to 11+

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Okay

    thsi was good it made you think, but there were a few thing I didn't like

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Honestly, in some parts of the book, I was sure that I would end

    Honestly, in some parts of the book, I was sure that I would end up dropping the book but I didn't give up. I'm glad I didn't! Suddenly, it took this drastic turn and left me spinning! I love this book and I'm hoping the author will give us a sequel though it really doesn't need one . . .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Waste

    This is a cheap book for a reason, its a waste of money. I couldnt connect with the charator, she needed more backbone, and the whole werewolves not liking humans much and must being with guys to "mate"....just depressing and it pissed me off.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A new take on werewolves: Unlike most novels I've read about wer

    A new take on werewolves: Unlike most novels I've read about werewolves, Johnson provides a fresh idea where the only werewolves are female and they have closely knit packs. The world also knows about werewolves and have organizations, whose goals are to "cure" the werewolves of their "curse." Similar to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, the werewolf gene isn't triggered until around the age of sixteen. Overall, it was the idea of humans thinking they knew what werewolves really were that kept me reading.

    Believable characters: The main character, Claire, is sixteen and dealing with all the problems of a teenager along with finding out she's a werewolf. I was able to relate to her and those problems so easily as I was reading, almost as if I was walking in her shoes without actually being her. Claire's reactions to this new secret, and then the idea that someone--a werewolf--is killing humans in her town, are exactly how I'd expect a teenager to react in those situations.

    Didn't keep my attention: I read a good portion of this book before receiving another book in the mail. I chose to read the second book first before finishing this one. Afterward, I let this book sit on my shelf for a while before finally sitting down to finish it. I just didn't feel like finishing it. For some reason, I couldn't keep with it. That's the main reason why I gave it such a low rating.

    I think Johnson had a good idea with the book but it needed that extra something to keep me entertained and reading to the end.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Totally entertaning!

    A great story that lets me loose myself for just a bit. I look forward to the next installment!

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  • Posted August 28, 2010

    Could Not Finish

    The reasons I did not finish this book:

    . Claire talked like she was 12 not 16.
    . I guessed the villain by the 80th page
    . There was absolutely no action, mystery (except for the killer, who was very obvious) and the romance wasn't enough to keep me the least bit interested
    . Claire and her mother's relationship was basically non-existent, but yet the author seemed to try to force them together.
    Overall this book was boring and very lacking in plot, creativity, and style. I had to stop at page 100.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    This book was a good read. It was a little show to start. Then about half way through it got better. I wanted to know who the bad werewolf was. I like the character alot. It lacked twists and action, but over all good. Fun to read a werewolf book for a change.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    Claire de Lune; Christine Johnson; Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division; ISBN # 978-1-4169-9182-3; Romance/Action; Reviewed by: Mariah Sellier, 6th grade, VAPA

    CLAIRE DE LUNE
    Every part of her felt right-her silky fur that caught the wind, the pads of her feet against the soft dirt-it was perfect. the feeling of release was so great that Claire couldn't hold back the cry that rose through her. She threw back her head and howled. Around her, she could hear the others join in, calling out to the moon above them, the ground below, and the forest that circled them tight.
    On Claire's sixteenth birthday, Marie Benoit, her mom tells her the truth. She is a werewolf. The shock of this was almost unbearable, that and the fact that she has to keep secrets, and lie to her best friend Emily, and the love of her life, Matthew. Matthew is the son of Dr. Engles, a local scientist who hunts down werewolves and "cures" them by putting them in a vegetative coma, for the rest of their lives. There has been a series of murders in Claire's town, and these brutal killings have been committed by a werewolf. It's up to Claire and her pack to find out who this cold-blooded serial killer is. Can they catch them before they murder any more humans? Can they do it without Dr. Engles discovering their secret pack?
    Claire de Lune" was a page turner, one of those books you just can't put down. There were enough twists for the story to be unpredictable, but not to the point where the story line was hard to follow. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in an amazing romance, and an action packed fantasy. I loved it.
    Claire de Lune is Christine Johnson's first novel.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Original and Well Written Werewolf Story

    If you are hesitant to read this story because you don't want another cliche werewolf story, fear not. Claire De Lune defies all werewolf cliches. You cannot be bitten by a werewolf to become one, you have to be born one. All werewolves are female. Werewolves aren't a big secret, humans know werewolves exist.

    What I loved about this book is you are not waiting until the middle for something to happen. We see the romance starting to blossom right at the beginning, and we soon see Claire finding out what she is. So that made the story pick up right away. I enjoyed the relationship between Claire and Matthew. I felt they acted like real teenagers.

    This story was mainly about Claire dealing with the fact that she is turning into a werewolf. We see her at first hating the idea and viewing it as a curse, to coming to terms with it and seeing the beauty in what she is. The mystery behind the "bad wolf" and trying to figure out who she is was fun to read. I also enjoyed watching Claire and her Mother's relationship develop. In the beginning she doesn't like her Mom too much and thinks she doesn't make time for her. When she finds out her Mom's secrets, you can see Claire slowly begin to bond with her Mom, even if Claire doesn't see it.

    The only thing negative I can say about this book is that I would have liked to see some of the characters more developed. Particularly the wolf pack. Some of the members were just there, and you really don't get to see much of who they are.

    All in all, Claire De Lune is an original and unique Debut that I enjoyed from beginning to end. Johnson earned my respect and gained me as a reader with this one. I am looking forward to the sequel to Claire De Lune!

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Review taken from One Book At A Time http://onebooktime.blogspot.com

    I was a little torn on what to give this book. There were a lot of things I liked and a few that I didn't. For the longest time, I was not sure what I thought of Claire. And, I think this had a lot to do with her mom, who I did not like. I didn't like that (Marcy?) didn't explain and thing to Claire. I didn't see a reason for it at all. She tells her she's a werewolf and never answers any of her questions except for the vague response of I will tell you when it's time. I think this made Claire act a little rash which is why I think I had a hard time with her. I did like her relationship with Matthew. It felt natural and not forced. It also felt more real than some paranormal relationship do. Claire's best friends annoyed me but I took this to be because Claire wasn't telling her anything. I loved the twist on werewolves. It was something totally different from the usual. The ending took me by surprise. If the author turns this into a series, I will be looking forward to see were she takes it.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    New feminine werewolf legend

    CLAIRE DE LUNE, by Christine Johnson, was a magical and unique look at werewolves and the human society that knew of their existence. This new tale of female werewolves will dig its claws into you and not let go until the very end.

    I love werewolf tales. I am always looking out for a new and different perspective on these fantasy characters. Johnson's fresh and feministic look on werewolves will not disappoint female readers. The background of the creatures portrayed in this book were based more on heredity and instinct. The ceremonies and magic that were bestowed on these women was fascinating to experience.

    I do admit a lot of the book was predictable for a seasoned YA reader, but it was enjoyable at the same time. The imaginative background of the werewolves were enough to keep me wholly interested. Also, I thought the conflict between Claire and Marie was very realistic. Not every parent/child relationship is perfect, but in this book the overprotectiveness and the purposeful gap in communication between these characters added to the suspense. The rebellion of Claire taking Zahilia's side instead of her mothers kept me questioning different loyalties to the wolf pack.

    I liked the relationship between Claire and Matthew. The secrets that Claire had to cover created more internal turmoil for her, and I anxiously waited to see how Matthew would handle it if he found out. Although this relationship was angst-filled and dramatic (what high school relationship isn't?), I think where it ended up was very sweet.

    I think this was a great introductory book to this series, giving a lot of background of the characters. The final showdown was good but I see more action in the future for these characters and I can't wait to see what Johnson comes up with for the next installment.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good but not Great

    Beginning Claire de Lune I wasn't sure whether or not I would enjoy it. Since when it comes to werewolf novels I'm usually not too pleased with them (Well, with the exception of Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. Though that book wasn't told from a werewolves POV, so maybe I shouldn't put it under this category. Hmm.). Anyway, starting it I liked it a lot for the first couple of chapters, and then it started to drift off and disappoint for a while, but then an amazing thing happened. What was that, you may ask? Well, it started to get really interesting, leaving me to be quite pleased by the end of Claire de Lune.

    Claire is a character that's facing a lot right now because her long-time crushing is finally noticing her, her town is facing a terrifying werewolf killing people epidemic, which may or may not cause her best friend to leave for the summer, and, oh yeah, she just found out she comes form a long line of werewolves. So that means that she's a werewolf too! Leaving her carefree summer to suddenly get a lot more interesting as she faces her new fate as a werewolf and tries, along with her pack of werewolves, to find out who is behind the attacks.

    I found Claire to be likable from the start because she was brave and smart even if she did make some immature decisions at times. Also, I loved seeing her relationship with Matthew grow over the course of the book and how she came to terms with her mother too. Though, with saying that, I really felt that a lot more character development was needed in Claire de Lune. Since beyond Claire, you didn't really get much back-story and understanding of the other characters beyond what was at the surface. Hopefully more will be reveled in the sequel that Christine is currently working.

    The premise of this was great! I loved how Christine crafted Claire De Lune in way that only women could be werewolves and that each werewolf, except for ones that choose to be alone, belonged to packs. It was interesting seeing the back-story on all of this along with seeing Claire's transition from being a normal teen into being a teen who was also a werewolf. Plus, I enjoyed the murder mystery she featured because it often made for me to be on the edge of my seat, eager to find out who was behind the killings.

    And the ending was definitely something I wasn't expecting, which made me happy because I love unpredictable endings.

    Even with the faults Claire de Lune had in character development and pacing, I still suggest this book to teens looking for a new and unique werewolf story! Lastly, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel even though the ending of Claire de Lune basically cleared everything up.

    Grade: B

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