Cole, Stephen. Wounded (The Wereling, #1). Razorbill, 2005. ISBN 978-1595140418 272 pp. $
At 16, Tom is less than thrilled at the idea of a family vacation in the wilderness. He takes off hiking in the woods one morning and while fleeing a bear, falls into the rapids-filled river, ended up battered against some rocks. A kindly local family takes him in to nurse him back to health, but things are not what they seem–they are werewolves, and he’s been chosen as the suitor for their daughter, who needs a mate to turn herself. She isn’t keen on becoming a monster either, though so the two teens make a run for it. Several exciting battles ensue as they run into other werewolves who are one the hunt for the runaways. Not so subtle foreshadowing indicates the two will fall in love, and Tom might be the prophesized wereling, a savior type to ride the world of evil werewolves.
Not as sensory, symbolic, or sexy as Annette Curtis Klause’s Blood and Chocolate (Delacorte, 1997), Wereling has the whole “star-crossed lovers but we can’t give in” feel that lends a certain type of romantic angst teens girls devour. I liked it enough to find out what happens next.