Book Review: Rampant

Synposis according to Goodreads:
"Forget everything you ever knew about unicorns...

Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. Fortunately, they've been extinct for a hundred and fifty years.

Or not.

Astrid had always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend—thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to the prom—Astrid finds herself headed to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries.

However, at the cloisters all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from the crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to—perhaps most dangerously of all—her growing attraction to a handsome art student ... an attraction that could jeopardize everything.

Rampant was my introduction to the awesome that is Diana Peterfreund, and began my (probably lifelong) adoration of her as an author. It reads like a YA- it has action, adventure, angst, and more coming-of-age metaphor than you can shake a stick at. It also draws from historical documentation and art, with regard to unicorns and their danger and purpose. Honestly, killer unicorns is an awesome concept to begin with, and she takes it into a really interesting "what if" place.

Part of what I love about this book is that the author doesn't shy away from REAL teenage girl topics. I'm not talking about the after-school special things like "is the girl that everyone assumes is ugly TRULY ugly, or does she have a hidden beauty that we should celebrate with butterflies and rainbows and lots of pink". I'm talking self-identity, sexuality, power and the abuse of power, community among women, and lots of grey morality.

I was intrigued by all of the characters within this book, and cried a little in it (and its sequel, Ascendant). I yelled at some of the characters, I marveled at the topics covered, I fell in love with both main characters, and I started checking the woods for deadly beasts with horns in the center of their foreheads.

I highly recommend this book for people who like adventure, for women (especially teenage gals and young adult gals), for fans of the YA genre, and for fans of the supernatural genre. 

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