Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
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.
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.
After hearing plenty of good things about Rampant for a while now, I decided it was going to be among the first to be marked off my TBR list. I hardly looked into the summary before cracking it open, but from the cover it looked to me like some historical novel involving one fierce looking girl and a helluva shiny sword. Well... not so much. There is a fierce girl AND a shiny sword, but other than that, I predicted an entirely different story in my head. (Maybe I should write it...? Score one for overactive (if slightly off) imaginative brain!)
Now I’m all for all things pretty, ~magical and dandy and what not, and unicorns? Yes, please! So imagine the little shocker I got when I tore into this story and didn’t exactly find these “unicorns” to be the pleasant little creatures straight out of a sailor moon episode, as expected. Lemme tell you... these are downright vicious beasts who will break you in pieces and cheerfully gobble you up (not necessarily in that order). Naturally, Astrid, our main character, wants no part of the whole unicorn biz, but since her mother is insistent that her birthright is to become one kick-ass unicorn/crazy beast hunter--and unfortunately, like most of us, parentals rule and she gets no say in the matter--well, she’s pretty much SOL and is then shipped off to Italy for training.
Now you may be thinking...Italy? That doesn’t sound so bad... aren’t there any hot guys and gelato that can help ease her situation?
Yes, and YES, BUT (there’s always a but...) you know things are never that smooth-sailing in YA. ;)
I don’t want to give anything else away but I will say this: If you’re in the mood for a unique, kick-butt coming-of-age story with a magical twist, Rampant is the book to read! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series!