Author: Sierra Dean
Series: Dog Days #1
Publication date: June 12th, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Cooper Reynolds's life is going to the dogs... literally.
As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn't hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he'll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever.
The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise "Lou" Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She's grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse.
The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he's willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it's too late.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Strictly based on cover appeal and my lack of knowledge where the author was concerned was a bit of a worry of mine. I really expected this to be another low rated book because there hadn't been much buzz that I had seen around my fellow book bloggers. Regardless, I went into the book with an open mind. The synopsis was interesting since normally the young adult paranormal reads are centered around werewolves not coyote shifters. But the story was so much more than just about coyote shifters as I had first thought.
Eloise ("just call me Lou, please") didn't want to move away from all she had ever known in California. Add to that the fact that she is still grieving the loss of her father who had just recently died of cancer and you get one incredibly unhappy teenager. With the shear volume of medical bills, her mother sold most of their worldly possessions, packed a U-Haul, and dragged Lou, kicking and screaming, to Poisonfoot, the hometown of her deceased father. It is there where Lou starts to wonder if there is more to this town then she had first thought. It would seem that everyone feels it is there duty to warn her off of a certain boy whose family is the town outcasts. Lou, not to be deterred by simple hatred via word of mouth, she sets out to get to know the strange boy, and from the moment she laid eyes on him, she couldn't imagine staying away.
Cooper was used to being hated by everyone in his school, and even his town. He didn't know if it was his secret they all knew or if it was simply an ingrained instinct. All he knew was it sucked royally. He played football because the games were the only time anyone would acknowledge him, let alone cheer him on. Football is important to Texas inhabitants and it is the only time Cooper feels normal. When he is on the field he doesn't have to think about his brother's absence, the taunts from fellow students, or the fact that townsfolk would sooner cross the street than venture near him. He knows he only has a few short months until he is eighteen and then he won't have to worry about these people anymore. The curse almost seems a blessing in those terms. Until he meets Lou. Then the curse truly is a curse being as it means he'd have to leave her, just like his brother left him.
As the couple grows closer its only a matter of time before they both will have to face a town with secrets and Cooper's own personal family secret if they have any hope of remaining together.
I liked the overall format of the book. From one scenario to the next it flowed effortlessly. There was no point where I felt the story rushed or was drawn out. It was believable and that is hard to do as an author writing someone like paranormal or science fiction. I could see the blossoming romance happen exactly as described and I could even imagine that, with the way the curse tied into the history of Lou and Cooper's families, it actually could be plausible. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't particularly believe in curses, magic, or the like, but with the way Dean wrote Autumn I started to question whether it could be a possibility. It's a mark of a good author.
One of the only problems I had with the story was the fact that in the story's timeline, Lou had just lost her father a month ago. She states she was very close to him and yet, she hasn't mourned him at all in the story. She is all giddy of her new romantic interest and trying to find out Poisonfoot and Cooper's secrets, but shouldn't there be some time in between all that where she remembers her father has just passed? In the story, her father is referenced numerous times and whereas I would have crumbled into tears at the mention of my recently deceased loved one, Lou simply takes it in stride. I would think that mentality would be reserved for having lost her father several months ago and not just one. That was my own draw back.
Autumn is a new type of paranormal literature in which coyotes and magic are at the forefront. A welcome break from the werewolves and vampires that seem to be the height of popularity at this time.