The Shapeshifter's Secret

( 9 )

Overview

Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia's used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia's reactions become oddly vicious and angry?more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that'll keep you guessing to the very last page.

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Overview

Like any sixteen-year-old, Julia's used to dealing with problems. From her overprotective father to her absent mother to a teacher who definitely has it in for her. But everything changes when Julia's reactions become oddly vicious and angry?more animal than human. This action-packed adventure has it all: humor, romance, and a plot that'll keep you guessing to the very last page.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Flying into an uncontrollable rage and accidentally turning into a tiger is but the first of many surprises for 16-year-old Julia. She learns that she is a werecat, that she is next in line for the throne of a magical world called Ossai, and that a group of rebels, led by Julia's long-lost mother, is trying to kill her. It turns out that her father was being overprotective for a reason. Now she must go to Ossai, accompanied by possible love interest Caleb, and attend a special school for magic in an enchanted castle. Needless to say, this is well-trodden ground, and the limited character development and a shaky plot keep the tale from developing much life of its own. Clunky writing and grammatical errors further detract from the story.—Eliza Langhans, Hatfield Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
This new take on shapeshifters, people who can morph into animals, suffocates under an avalanche of unskillful prose in a heartfelt story that screams for better editing. Julia doesn't know she's a supernatural being until her dad, Lancer, tells her that she's royalty in a paranormal land. Worse, rebels led by Julia's own mother want to kill her. Whisked to the family castle for safety, Julia enters school there to learn how to turn into a werecat at will. There she makes both friends and enemies and falls in love. Events lead to a final showdown between the factions with Julia caught in the middle of the fight. Clearly, Ostler loves her story, but, sadly, her writing lacks any hint of polish. Declarative sentences dominate the prose and nearly all dialogue, giving every character the same voice. Little description or character development and few transitions leave her writing stilted, with some extremely awkward phrasing ("She… searched for the culprit of the noise"). Grammatical errors abound, many serious, especially involving pronouns, adverbs and prepositions ("Me and you aren't so different"; "he did terrible"). The firmly amateurish writing seriously interferes with the flow of the story throughout, especially at the climax. Imagination stifled by inexperience. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462110339
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Incorporated/CFI Distribution
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 321
  • Sales rank: 796,656
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Awesome

    This is awesome i am 11 and i loved this book i thought it was awesome the author did a great job. i cant wait for the next one! Read it!!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a great book for teens! It is

    I really enjoyed this book. It is a great book for teens! It is a quick, fast-paced, and well executed novel. I couldn't put it down! I found it much more intriguing than the Twilight Saga. I would highly recommend this book to a friend. It is a page turning literary masterpiece! There are many elements of other popular Sci-Fi books, but they are executed differently in this ravishing story. The twists and surprises will leave you wanting more. Julia's character is well developed and sassy. I fell in love with each of the characters. Can't wait for the next one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    (I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis, as pa

    (I was given this book for free on a read-to-review basis, as part of the ‘The Shapeshifter’s secret’ blog tour.)
    15-year-old Julia lives with her over-protective dad, and thinks that she is a normal teen. She’s wrong. She’s recently been having some issues with anger, and she really begins to panic when she throws a desk against the wall in her English class, and scares her class and teacher silly.

    The problem isn’t anger though, the problem is that she’s Shapeshifter royalty, and as she nears her 16th birthday, her body has begun to show the changes that will occur when she finally begins to shift into her animal form – a white tiger.

    When Julia finally finds out what’s really going on though, there’s little time to get used to the idea, and she ends up in a car chase, before hitching a ride through a portal to the world that she really belongs to – Ossai. From there she has to go to a special school to learn about shapeshifting, and begins to try to unravel the mystery surrounding her absent mother.

    Julia has more than that to deal with though; first there’s the problem that someone wants her dead. Then there are the questions; why is she drawn to the mysterious locked ballroom? And who can she really trust?


    This young adult book had a definite ‘Harry Potter’ feel to it – a school in a castle, magical powers, strange markings on walls, secret passages, the main character being known throughout the country as being special, mysteries surrounding her mother, mysterious teachers etc.

    As well as the mysteries and paranormal aspects of the book there were also teen storylines concerning friends and boyfriends and such, and even having finished the book I’m not really sure which boy Julia really favoured.

    There were some interesting objects to be found in Ossai – rocks that made instant fire, flying paper aeroplane candy, rings that glow red when people lie, and the characters were also varied with water nymphs as well as Shapeshifter’s.

    I can’t say that I really enjoyed this book, it just didn’t hold my attention and I found myself speed-reading to get through it. I do think that other people will enjoy it though.
    Overall: Read this if you loved Harry Potter.
    5 out of 10.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    The best thing about The Shapeshifter’s Secret is the cove

    The best thing about The Shapeshifter’s Secret is the cover.I think it is one of the loveliest covers to come out this year.

    The Shapeshifter’s Secret is a book about a girl who finds out she is a shape shifter. Now there was a lot of ‘Harry Potter Elements’ to this story. For instance: a young girl didn’t know who she really was until all of a sudden she is taken to a new, magical world. There she goes to school in a castle with her two best friends and learning how to control her special abilities. Around them, this special world is fighting and she will have to help save herself and others.

    The story felt rushed from the very beginning. I feel that there was a lot of details left out, a lot of plot development that could have happened. In the end I was left with a lot more questions than answers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2012

    I honestly cannot think of much to say about this book. The prob

    I honestly cannot think of much to say about this book. The problem that I'm having is that I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. It was just, "blah". And, I have to be frank--I HATE writing reviews like this. I hate it when I just don't fall in LOVE with a book. But, alas, it happens.

    There were a few inconsistencies that just didn't sit well with me. One of the characters--Camilla--has brunette hair on one page and blonde on the next. This is the most noticeable. And to be fair, this will also probably be fixed before publication.

    There's also the matter of the fact that when I was reading this, I kept feeling like Julia read more like a 12-year-old than a 16-year-old. Some of her responses and choices were just INCREDIBLY immature for her age. I don't know, maybe I'm overestimating today's youth. And as for the boys in this book, I don't even know what I was supposed to like about either of them.

    I just really couldn't get into the story. I have a general rule that if it takes me more than three days to finish a book, then I KNOW there's a problem. This book took me a week. I picked it up, got bored, put it down. Then, I would repeat this process every day for the next week. Until I finally finished it. Again, I want to stress that I didn't HATE it, I just couldn't find myself liking ANY of the characters.

    I don't know if I'll pick up the next book in the series. Curiosity may get the best of me to find out what happens next. Because, really I will not accept that something good cannot come out of this series.

    My Rating: 2.5/5

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Arc provided by Cedar Fort via NetGalley This might be a bit sp

    Arc provided by Cedar Fort via NetGalley

    This might be a bit spoilerish. Please read with caution.

    Julia is a 16 year old, living in New York with her overprotective strict father. All is great in Julia’s world until she begins to experience some changes. Turns out Julia is a Shapeshifter. To be more specific, a werecat.

    I was instantly drawn to this read because of the beautiful cover. This is a beautiful cover! It spoke to me of youth, maturity, vulnerability, strength, magic, ancient yet very new. Yes, all of that. Well it stopped speaking to me along the way. Ok, maybe not completely but it wasn’t what I expected.

    This story had a lot of promise, so much potential! It just fell short.

    The world the author was trying to create was definitely interesting. I liked the different types of werepeople and the fact that there are other magical creatures like the water folk. I liked Julia’s best friend Sierra and Gabe who became her best friend along the way. I enjoyed getting to learn about how a shapeshifter shifts and what can happen if not done correctly. I had a few problems with this read. Ok, I had a lot of problems with this read.

    1. Julia is kept in the dark about her shapeshifting abilities and her heritage for 16 years. This is fine. Dad finally tells her she’s a shapeshifter and few other details but why stop there? Why not tell her everything else that goes along with it? This is a major pet peeve of mine. I hate when only a few secrets are revealed. The person is kept in the dark and won’t make a stink about knowing it all at once only to be told later on when something bad has happened and it’s too late.

    2. Julia had the potential of being a strong heroine. There were times where her presence in the books eluded to being a great warrior or leader… something of that nature. That never stuck. Instead she was often given an immature voice.

    3. Terrence is Julia’s love interest. In fact after only meeting him twice they become a couple. The relationship didn’t feel organic not even for instalove standards and I felt suspicious.

    4. Speaking of suspicious. I felt suspicious of absolutely EVERYONE. I didn’t feel comfortable at all with any of the characters. Not her best friend, her father’s closest friends and confidants… NO ONE. I kept thinking that at any moment one of these people would turn on Julia. I think the author could have done a better job at making some of these people more trustworthy.

    5. Julia is given a truth ring by Caleb for Christmas. It is a huge diamond which is supposed to glow a different color to warn Julia if someone is telling a lie. Julia, one, doesn’t ever wear it and two, we never read about the ring again.

    6. Speaking of Caleb… Caleb is someone. Caleb is possibly important to the story. Possibly. We never get to find out. His part in the book is so cryptic and the way he reacts to certain events always left me frustrated. He had hissy fits. For no apparent reason! Palmface… I did this a lot.

    7. We are to believe that Julia doesn’t think things through and just plunges ahead no matter the consequences. This is possibly true but the reader is not given substantial evidence of such a thing. For example sneaking out of your room/house because of her overprotective dad prior to her knowledge of being a target didn’t scream compulsive behavior. The Ballroom incident didn’t scream it either. It was an incident. They just seemed isolated.

    8. There were instances where the characters acted as if they didn’t have prior knowledge of certain information. Example: Terrance knew Julia didn’t know anything about their world for 16 years at the beginning of the book. Why does he act like the fact she didn’t know their traditional dances was brand new information towards the end of the book?

    9. The big villain/traitor was not so obvious. However, moments before we get the big reveal the author chooses to have Julia ramble some stuff that gives the villain away when in reality she hadn’t pieced things together to know that the villain was the villain making the villain reveal anti-climactic. (Wordy, I know.)

    10. By the end of the book there are too many incomplete threads. Much of the storytelling felt rushed as if the author wanted to include everything creating interesting moments or facts but never explained thoroughly so that it could all come together seamlessly.

    11. Finally the biggest problem I had with the book is that it screamed Harry Potter. A lot!
    There are so many similarities it was hard to ignore.


    In spite of all that bothered me about the book, I still enjoyed its possibility and still want to read the next book. This can be a real gem if the author executes the next one a bit better. The possibilities are there to create a very unique story.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I like the premis of this story, however, I did not like the boo

    I like the premis of this story, however, I did not like the book. It was written poorly, forced and choppy. For instance it is written from Julia's point of view, however, evertthing was "Julia felt ..." and "Julia did" and "Julia said". There needs to be much more plot development. For instance, Julia fell in love with one boy after only one meeting and a couple of letters and took a serious disliking to one boy for having a life before she met him.

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  • Posted June 18, 2012

    I started reading this book and was immediately sucked in. The


    I started reading this book and was immediately sucked in. The author did an amazing job of sucking you into the story. I found that I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The plot was well thought out I never saw the twists coming. It was a truly unique idea and had a great premise.

    The characters had color and felt realistic. I could relate to the main character because of the great job she did of building her part. The high school romance in the book was sweet and made you want to fall in love with the boys too.

    The only negative to this book were the time shifts. One paragraph it was Tuesday and the next one, it was three weeks later. Then in the next it was an hour later. The time shifts were a little confusing to me.

    Overall, I really enjoyed the story and hope you will too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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