Autumn (Dog Days #1)
Published: June 11, 2013 (Sierra Dean)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Provided by author in exchange for honest review
Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Eloise “Lou” Whittaker doesn’t want to move to Poisonfoot, Texas, but after her father’s death, Lou and her mother, short on funds, have nowhere else to go except back to her father’s hometown to live with her grandmother. What Lou encounters is a small town where everyone knows everyone else and Lou is singled out because she’s the new girl.
She quickly learns the dynamic of life in Poisonfoot, but one particular thing: everyone keeps telling her to stay away from Cooper Reynolds.
Cooper Reynolds has lived in Poisonfoot his entire life. He’s used to people ignoring him because of his family history. It doesn’t matter; he only has ten more months. Until he meets Lou he doesn’t understand how lonely he is. She’s the only one who doesn’t know anything about his family’s background. He figures once she learns to stay away, she’ll lose her friendliness toward him and his life will go back to the usual. What he doesn’t count on: people telling Cooper to stay away from Lou.
At first, I thought Autumn was completely predictable, and by some standards it is, but I learned that’s Sierra Dean’s trick. She makes you believe that you know what’s going to happen and then she throws something even more unexpected at you. It’s no secret (just read the book blurb) that Cooper is fated to turn into a Coyote on his 18th birthday due to some long-ago family curse. The real twist is figuring out how the curse came upon the Reynolds family in the first place and how much, or little, does the rest of the town really know about it.
Sierra Dean did a great job with her first young adult book. Many things that end up bothering me about reading YA were non-existent in this book. Lou was a great character. She’s very spunky, and lets her opinion known even when, on the inside, she’s feeling insecure. She doesn’t care that everyone tells her to stay away from Cooper even before it has anything to do with the paranormal and she only believes her social life will suffer. Lou doesn’t let people dictate her friendships.
Cooper, on the other hand, was a good male lead. He has a lot of baggage, knowing what will happen to him in just a few short months, yet instead of becoming all broody and closed off. He has accepted his fate and is determined to live his human life until his birthday. He still participates in football even though everyone ignores him off the field. The interactions between he and Lou are really sweet. You feel worse for him being such a good guy, but still shunned by everyone else.
Autumn definitely falls under the “first in a series” label. It takes awhile before the real storyline starts to take off, although, from the beginning Dean throws strange little bits and pieces at us already altering the reader that there’s more going on than meets the eye. I felt like the book didn’t really start to take off until almost the end. I was reading and I honestly didn’t know how the book would end because I felt like there wasn’t going to be enough time to tie up any loose story threads. While the main mystery is figured out, other occurrences cause the book to end rather abruptly, but it hooked me in and now I can’t wait to see how the story will continue.
Sexual content: Kissing