Becoming Alpha (Alpha Girl #1) by Aileen Erin (2013)
YA Fiction | Paranormal
“Tessa McCaide has a unique talent for getting into trouble. Then again, it isn’t easy for a girl with visions to ignore what she sees. Luckily Tessa and her family are leaving California and moving halfway across the country, giving her the perfect opportunity to leave her reputation as “Freaky Tessa” behind.
But Tessa doesn’t realize that kissing the wrong guy in her new Texas town could land her in far more trouble than she ever imagined. Like being forced to attend St. Ailbe’s Academy, a secret boarding school for werewolves.
Even if the wrong guy did accidentally turn her into one of “them” and doom her to attending the weirdest high school ever, Tessa can’t help her growing attraction to the mysterious Dastien Laurent.
When vampires attack St. Alibe’s and her visions pinpoint an enemy in their midst, Tessa realizes that boy drama and her newfound canine tendencies might just be the least of her problems.”
pooled ink Review:
Pros: Werewolves! Family! Friendship! Magic! Romance!
This was a really quick read, I actually read the whole thing easily in just one day. I’m all for the quick pace and I think it builds the momentum up to naturally launch you into the next book and the next one and the next…. So yeah, beware of starting this series because you just might not be able to stop haha.
I found this to be a really fun read honestly. I love werewolves and yet I’ve actually read very little to do with them so diving into this series was up there on my list for sure. Book one is pretty typical in the plot set-up – teenage girl moves to small town, runs into supernaturals, falls in love with guy who turns out to be a supernatural, girl is sucked into supernatural world and ultimately plays a big role in saving the day – but I mean it was still fun to read and I have a feeling that as the series develops that the books will evolve more interestingly. Was this book pretty cliché and predictable? Oh definitely haha I don’t think anything surprised me in this but like I said it was still a fast-paced, exciting story with a swoon-worthy male lead so I’m not complaining too much.
Tessa’s character was really interesting right from the start which I loved. She has this mysterious ability to see flashes of people’s pasts whenever she touches them. So despite moving into a clearly suspicious small town she was already not a normal human, of course what made her weird with her classmates in Los Angeles only powers her status in Texas. She’s feisty and funny and won’t back down to anyone and it was great to watch (although at times, if I’m honest, her feistiness could cross over into arrogance and stubbornness which was less fun to read but #human lol).
I also really appreciated her family life. Books and shows tend to conveniently leave out the family and I really wish they wouldn’t because that’s so unrealistic most of the time. But with Tessa she has two caring and busy but involved parents who actually notice when weird stuff happens to her, and she also has a big brother who doubles as a best friend in the way only siblings can. Her home life made her seem far more believable and even when her life is whisked away into the realm of supernaturals her family is still there keeping up with her.
Once she’s at the Academy there’s the usual cliché set up of characters (the bully, the crush, the unusual friend, the guy trying to throw his hat in the ring, etc.) but hey, it’s school, and it’s expected even with humans haha. I loved her growing friendship with her new roommate Meredith and how the story took the time to actually show us what going to a werewolf school might actually be like. It was pretty cool and had me wishing I could transform into a wolf at will. Oh and I appreciated that Tessa wasn’t instantly amazing at everything. In fact she realistically sucked at a lot of the werewolf stuff (although I’m sure she will improve quickly).
A critique for Tessa though is if I were transformed into a werewolf, something I didn’t know existed before then, and the Academy people gave me a book that would explain pretty much everything about being a werewolf then reading that would be the very first thing I would do. Granted they gave her an old copy so she can’t read it without being plagued by dozens of visions of those who previously held it and then she claims that reading with gloves on is too cumbersome but then idk wear gloves and turn the pages with tweezers or something!! THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND IT WOULD HAVE SAVED YOU SO MUCH TROUBLE. *deep breath* Okay, all done haha! But seriously…
Dastien is the male lead of this tale and he’s easy to swoon over for sure. I will say though that he seemed pretty transparent in both his genuine affection for Tessa and his honorable guy personality so it became pretty annoying when Tessa continuously clung to her doubt about him. Obviously she has good reason to for a while. At first he’s hot and she’s intrigued, but then when he accidentally turns her into a werewolf and completely turns her life upside down and then reveals that they’re actually mated wolves?? I 100% understand her anger and confusion with him. It would be ridiculous if she wasn’t freaking out about everything. But eventually things cool off and they seem to be grooving and then she’ll just spin a 180 because he might have betrayed her and despite all the trust they’ve built up you’d think she’d talk to him rather than just make assumptions and get all hissy. Again. It just got repetitive and annoying haha. Typical teenagers though, am I right? D- in the communication department. I was cool with this expected drama at first but then it hit a point where it felt like a broken record and this becomes especially irritating when you know that they’re endgame haha.
But take all of this with a grain of salt. Seriously. I’ve recently realized that I must be officially old because my tolerance for reading about teenagers (outside of pure fantasy or sci-fi books where somehow 17 is the new 30) has dropped very very low. The way they speak. the way they interact, the way they think, the way they cave to drama or peer pressure for the stupidest and most pointless things…it all drives me insane haha (For example when she’s a fresh werewolf who hasn’t yet mastered her wolf and she’s demanding to go to the mall like her friends can promising she won’t accidentally wolf-out and hurt an innocent human/expose the existence of werewolves even though she keeps having wolf-anger issues on campus. Ummmmmm NO. Such an arrogant teenage drama moment there.). Was I a teen once? Honestly with some of the books I’ve read I’m really not sure lol! So if you’re an adult then maybe read a sample to see if you’ll be able to sink into this one. I wasn’t a major fan of the teenage-ness but I still found it fun to read and I’m pretty confident that teenagers will love it.
Becoming Alpha is a thrilling start to a sure to be addicting teen werewolf series featuring a feisty witch-wolf, school drama, fluffy heroes, and evil lurking beyond the gates. From human to witch to wolf, Tessa takes the supernatural world and turns it onto its head that fateful night when she runs into her mate. Prepare to swoon, laugh, sneer, and grip the pages in panic as you dive into one helluva ride.
Purchase Here: Becoming Alpha
Similar Recommended Reads: V Games by Caroline Peckham, Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Twilight by Stephenie Myers, Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Meet Aileen Erin!
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican and 100% nerd-from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.