Rampant ever jumped out to me on the shelves was because of it's title. So very similar to Tamora Pierce's Lioness Rampant, and low and behold, pull it off the shelf and it has got a two thumbs up quote by Tamora Pierce on the cover!
But that's as far as I got with it for awhile, until I ran into it at the annual Balfour Book Sale back in March. It came home with me that day, was made comfortable on a shelf and didn't move an inch until last week when I realized part two was on it's way shortly. At which point I thought, what was Rampant about exactly?
Hold on! killer Unicorns? SOLD.
This book had to be read, I mean, what a fresh concept!
So the very brief description is: Astrid Llewelyn has a crazy mother. A crazy mother who thinks they're descended from famed Unicorn hunters, that Unicorns are blood thirsty, killer beasts, and that said Unicorns are now extinct. But one fateful night, in the woods with the boy who wants her to finally go all the way with him, Astrid discovers her mom isn't as crazy as she seems. So if she can stay a virgin (she's 16, this could be her biggest challenge after all), then she'll be joining the few remaining, virginal descendants, of histories famed Unicorn hunters learning some killer skills and ridding the world of a new plague of dangerous beasties who look a lot like the fluffy my little pony toys of old.
Sounds great right? All the sassy set up of a girly kick ass kind of book. And the killer Unicorn bit? The icing on the cake. Unfortunately I felt it got heavily bogged down in the whole sex issue. Abstinence by force, abstinence by choice, the list of a hundred thousand ways boys try to sneak into your pants, how to make them sneak down your pants, hot and heavy scenes filled with Astrid trying to get them down her pants, even one of the major turning points of the book is another aspect of teen sex. Seriously, it started feeling a lot like my high school Sex Ed class, and it kinda gave me the willies just like in Sex Ed, which is ridiculous because I'm an adult and trust me, the subject in general gives me no willies. But something about the way these girls, aged 11-18 were talking about it made me want to throw up in my mouth a little.
Never the reaction you want to a book that's not likely going for that.
However, at about page 300 I found the book was finally going where I wanted it to. And although I'm not loving the description of Ascendant being put out there by the Diana Peterfreund and the publishing house, I'm still willing to read on to see where its leading. Hopefully we can drop the constant focus on virginity in its 300 varieties and move on to some kick ass girly hunters killing some evil horned beasts, with just a touch of the required titillating romance.
Rampant, By Diana Peterfreund
Published by HarperTeen, (softcover) September 2010