Michelle Alstead’s First Full Moon is a supernatural YA thriller with some familiar elements. Candy McGregor is a well-to-do teen who’s trying to please. Her family’s pharmaceutical empire, which enables the McGregors to own most of Sequim Falls, feels like a bit of a curse—plenty of expectations and obligations. Candy longs to be on her own, away from familial pressures.
But the family has dark secrets, and the hidden curse that Candy faces is far more catastrophic than she imagines. Turning sixteen, she inherits the ability to do magic—and the fear of what she’ll turn into at the next full moon. The McGregors are werewolves. If she can break the spell that created the curse, she’ll keep her magic and save her family. If she fails, she’ll lose her powers and spend the rest of her life dreading each and every full moon.
Candy’s internal conflicts aren’t her only obstacle—not everyone shares her aversion to lycanthropy.
Alstead’s prose is clean and uncluttered, and her sense of voice is spot-on, a welcome gateway to her characters. Though elements of the book have a surface familiarity, the author’s deft weave of the supernatural with universal coming-of-age themes is extraordinary. The meaning of family, love, and responsibility are examined through a plot that never slows down, from the opening horror show to the brutal climax.
First Full Moon is book one of a planned series. I can’t wait for the next installment. (Five stars out of five)