Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

August 14, 2011 Review 4


Claire de Lune Title: Claire de Lune
Author: Christine Johnson
Series: Claire de Lune #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal YA
Excerpt: Yes
Source: Publisher
Reviewed by: Julia

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; July 26, 2011
  • ISBN-10: 1442407662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442407664
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Sexual Content:

Kissing, references to sexual activity.


Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.


Torn between two destinies…

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and her crush 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 finds her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart. Burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, she will be forced to make a choice that will change her life forever. . . .


There is something about the werewolf mythology that lends itself very well to the trials of female adolescence.  By making her particular brand of lycanthropy a secret matriarchy with strict rules, Christine Johnson marries her myth even closer to the teenage plight.  By tradition, Claire doesn’t discover her heritage until her sixteenth birthday, making her a very human girl who has to deal a whole set of inhuman challenges.

As with any story rife with hormones and angst, Claire has bouts of self doubt, loses her temper, falls in love, and has to navigate the murky waters of who to trust and who to emulate as she makes decisions that herald the woman she will become.  Of all the lighter Paranormal YA I’ve read lately, CLAIRE DE LUNE does the best job of portraying a teenage girl, warts and all, without getting bogged down by attitudes or behaviors that seemed overdone. There are some vapid teenage conversations, parties with drinking and prurient friends wanting to know “how far they went”, but both Claire and her crush Matthew manage to navigate these waters with only minor bumps and bruises. 

While Claire’s initial doubts and growing pains dragged enough to knock this down to three bats in my estimation, the second half of the story really picked up speed.  I particularly enjoyed the way Johnson brought her story together at the end.  Rather than employ cliff hangers or plot twists to blackmail readers into continuing the series to get some closure, CLAIRE DE LUNE feels like a satisfying, complete book in it’s own right.  Even better, the characters have developed in a way that has me excited to read more about them in book two, NOCTURNE.

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4 Responses to “Review: Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson”

  1. Britt

    I love the cover-art for what I'm assuming is the paperback edition much better than the original. Very ominous and vague.

  2. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I was on the fence about this one. It was good but it could have been better. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on Nocturne. I am not a fan. Claire de Lune at least had some action in it.

    Carmel @ Rabid Reads

  3. Julia

    @Britt – The copy I read was actually the hardback, but my copy of NOCTURNE was the paperback version, I opted to use the matched covers for the website. I think they'd look fabulous next to each other, you hit the nail on the head with "ominous".

    @Carmel – Just working on my NOCTURNE review, I actually liked the high school story line of NOCTURNE better than CLAIRE DE LUNE (if only because it seemed more believable than teenagers swapping bodies in a top secret lab), but I had a hard time with Claire's insecurities as a dramatic device in both books. Claire always finishes strong, and I think to a younger reader they'd be more meaningful, but I could see how NOCTURNE would be frustrating. She does make her own problems in that one, doesn't she? People, just *talk* to each other!