Read from August 28 to September 02, 2014
Synopsis: Amanda Burnson is a typical teen with all the typical problems: excess weight, struggles with body odor, random people trying to kill her . . . oh, and her boyfriend just might be a werewolf. At seventeen, Amanda, who has been raised by her neo-pagan uncle, has more friends at the local Renaissance faire than at her high school. Most of her summers are spent at faires, festivals, and Aunt Maggie’s farm. There is something new going on in the heart of America, in the small Iowa town that Amanda calls home. The whole town is changing-a tough way to begin a school year. New kids alongside the old; new attitudes colliding with the usual annoying old ones; menacing new faces alongside comforting ones. . . things will never be the same once this brew is boiled.
Bookish Things: 260 pages. The cover is relevant to the story, but does have the ‘indie’ look about it.
Gender, sexuality and being ostracised for things you can’t help were some of the main themes within this paranormal YA book.
Being one of the first books I’ve read with gender queer characters, I thought things might get confusing, but Rachel did a great job of not only ensuring that the characters were all in order, but also showing the reader the beauty of being confident in your sexuality, no matter how much it might rankle the general public and other characters in the book.
Amanda’s character was strong, yet conflicted, awkward yet surprisingly confident and brilliantly cast in the story. She portrayed the strengths any kid who was bullied at school wished they’d had, as well as displaying all those normal teenaged emotions. She was a mess of emotions at time, made rash decisions and followed her gut, even when it lead down some dark troubling paths.
Some of the story was a bit cliche (mostly the information about the wolves), but with a few different aspects thrown in, it kept me reading. I did get a little bored with all the school day information, this reached my threshold of annoying at about 45-50%, but shortly after that, the action began in ernest and I soon forgot about the banality of school. If I were to edit this, I’d consider trying to shorten the length of time spent covering Amanda and her friends at school. It might drop some readers early on.
All in all, this was a little quirky, and a little queer, but Bear Naked should appeal to most readers.
A few things I noticed:
15% – …he can’t (get) enough of this…
62% – she admired his his (delete second his) slender…
**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**