Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock



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 vius - 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.

Rating: 2/5

Don’t pay too much attention to those two stars. This wasn’t a terrible book, it just wasn’t for me.

Ok so, the first thing that I’ll talk about (and just because I obsessively fixate on little details and can’t let go until I discuss them) is the cover.
This is a paranormal book about werewolves, or people with “lupine syndrome” living amongst humans. When people in town start dying shortly after another wave of werewolves attack, Mackenzie and her friends worry that it might be the same killer that took their best friend’s life, Amy.

So why the heck is there a girl on a dress resting her head on her knee with vines at the top? Seriously, a cover should reflect the content inside. What does that cover tell us? A hide and seek in a cemetery that went wrong? Dunno.

Anyways, now that that’s over I’ll get on to the book itself.

As I said before, I had problems connecting with Hemlock but that was just on my part. You see, I was looking forward to a more paranormal-heavy read, that with the werewolves and all, but it ended up being mostly a love story with little to no werewolf mythology.

I’ve seen a lot of people saying that this book has a “CW vibe” and I couldn’t agree more. The story is targeted mostly at people who enjoy these kinds of romantic dramas. I, unfortunately, am not one of those people.

The writing was great, it was easy to follow and it pulled you in quickly. So if you are looking for a quick and entertaining read (and don’t mind the heavy doses of romance) I’d absolutely recommend it.

The characters were alright, nothing that stands out but nothing too bad either. They are the same faceless characters you find in 80% of Young Adult novels:

Mac is the typical “plain looking girl” that has two super-hot guys falling at her feet, for no real reason. Amy was her best friend, a funny, intelligent, beautiful, outgoing, popular, rich and pretty much amazing girl. I don’t know why is it that the main character has to be a girl with no personality, dreams or goals and the best friend (who usually gets killed) is a person much more fun to read about. Don’t present me an awesome and brave character when you make your MC a cardboard! Not that Mac was a horrible person or anything, there was no slut-shaming or girl-on-girl hate, but she just had no voice. And it was a little weird how quickly she forgot about Amy and her feelings when she started crushing over Jason, Amy’s boyfriend.

Really, for someone who kept saying how she didn’t see her friends as “dates”, that she loved them as siblings but there was nothing romantic going on, she sure as hell had a lot of romantic thoughts towards them.

Jason is a super handsome, rich and popular dude. He was also Amy’s boyfriend and ever since her death he has been spiralling down, taking drugs and getting into fights. At first I was sympathetic towards him, I understood the guilt he had (they all felt guilty that they hadn’t been with Amy when she died), of all the three he had been the only one to see Amy’s corpse, and that’s horrible! But the second he started crushing on Mac, no. It made his character, all he was going through not matter.
He just forgets about Amy very soon. Sure the subject is still brought up a few times but you never really see her there. You don’t see the guilt or sorrow anymore. Jason is too concerned on Mac and on how much time she spends with their other friend, Kyle, for me to develop any emotional attachment towards him.

Kyle, he was alright too. Nothing too outstanding at first but I liked seeing the three of them interact. It’s so rare to find a YA book were the girl is not completely friendless until she finds a guy to be emotionally dependant on. I liked this group of friends and how they dealt with Amy’s loss, each their own way.

Until it was revealed that Kyle was in love with Mac and had always been, he just hadn’t said it because of reasons! But when it was clear that Jason had feelings for her too, he decided to just mess with her mind and heart, and confuse her even more than she already was. I hate the trope of “best friend who starts fighting for her the second another guy is interested” this is not a pissing contest, this is a person we are talking about. He sure as hell had no problems keeping Mac away and making her think he had little interesting for her, but when another penis comes along he suddenly gets so possessive?

The plot was alright, fast and intriguing, although I did discover who the killer was pretty early on. It was a little too obvious.

I’d recommend Hemlock to people who like romance or paranormal with a heavy dose of romance. If you don’t like love triangles and over the top drama then you might want to stay away from it.


  1. I enjoyed this review, thank you. I loved the little inserts (John Candy etc), very nicely done!! If I ever see this book on sale at my library I may get it if my selection is poor!! LOL Thanks again.

    1. That's so nice of you, thank you!!!
      Hahah, it really is a fun book maybe just not great for me :P