Weregirl by C. D. Bel
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
This was an odd book, and it wasn't until I read the afterwards that I understood why.
The first 50% of the book was about a girl in a modern day, very poor town. Set in Michigan, some chemical company was dumping toxic stuff there, and it got into the water system, which made all the kids sick. (Sound familiar?)
The main character is a talented runner, a high school student. There were no werewolves at all in the first 50% of the book, no mention of them, no wolves, nothing. It's just about her. Which was fine! Learning about the high school track world was interesting, as were the main character and the other characters around her.
Then, about the 57% point, she got bitten by a wolf. "Chosen by the wolves to do something" she's told by a ~mystical Native American~. Still, I continued to enjoy the story. The werewolf part was interesting, the author handled it well.
Then the last third of the book changed. It suddenly became this big PLOT THING about the EEEVVVIIIILL company that had poisoned the town. See, the town sued the company that poisoned the water, but the company went bankrupt before it could pay anything out. Some other company bought the bankrupt company and paid off all its debts and way more. And no one in the story questioned why a company would do that.
So it turns out that new company was evil evil mcevil. It captured wolves and grew new human parts inside of them for transplant... Like the main character saw them cut open a wolf to take out a fully formed human nose.
It actually got worse from there, the company being so EVIL EVIL OH LOOK WE'LL KILL KIDS BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT PEOPLE THEY'RE JUST "A COLLECTION OF CELLS".
And then the ending... The company covered up everything the main character had seen, she brought the police there but in hours there was no evidence of anything at all there. And so the main characters just said "okay" and that's how the story ended! They said to each other "There are lots of bad companies in the world, they come and they go, this one will go too". AFTER THE COMPANY TRIED TO USE HER YOUNGER BROTHER FOR GENETIC EXPERIMENTS IN FRONT OF HER. "Ho hum. They'll go out of business eventually, so it's okay."
I loved the first two-thirds of the book so much, but the last third was awful. And then I found out why: In the afterwards, the author explained this book had actually been written by a committee. They brought a group of people into a room and came up with three story arcs (which explains why the last third was so different than the rest of the book). Then they brought in groups of teenagers to ask about what they like in their books, and added those elements as well, then one person wrote it all up, with the rest approving all the text.