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Review: Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin

Title: Becoming Alpha 
Author: Aileen Erin 
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy 
Pages: 267
Goodreads Overall Rating: 4.11
Published: December 17th, 2013 by Ink Monster, LLC 

My Rating: 

I can’t do that. I can’t turn my emotions off and on like that. I’m either all in or all out. And if you can’t do that—if I don’t come first, then for God’s sake, leave me alone.
Becoming Alpha is the true definition of YA paranormal fantasy and I devoured it. Erin took troupes that are known in YA and ran with them in fun, plausible, and exciting ways while taking her own spin on them. I sped through this book and right after I downloaded the next book in the series because I couldn't wait for the two-day shipping of the physical book. 

At the beginning of the book, we meet our main character Tessa and her family. Tessa has an unusual gift and it has marked her as the odd girl out at and causing her to feel isolated. With her family wanting to give her a sense of normalcy they decided to leave the glitz and glamour of their lives in Californa. Her mother has family in Texas, and suddenly, her mother decides that Texas is the best place for Tessa. Tessa can't see the upside of moving. The only reason she may slightly be "normal" in their family is that her mother's family is absolutely crazy, and believe in some really weird things. With little say in the matter, Tessa moves to Texa's where her father gets a job at a school for "troubled teens." The town warns Tessa about these troubled teens and to stay away from them, but Tessa is pulled to them. She knows what it's like to be looked at strangely. So when Tessa decides to let her guard down with one of the guys from the school she'll never be the same, and Tessa learns that maybe her mother's family isn't crazy after all. 

Fair warning there is a small dose of insta-love in Becoming Alpha, but it didn't bother me. The two love interests keep their distance throughout the book after the insta-love scene. This to me, made it tolerable. The insta-love was the only negative I had about this book, and it was a very mild problem in my opinion. We really get to see Tessa grow as a character and you guys know how much I love character development. Tessa starts to let go of feeling like the odd one out and allows herself to make friends. The secondary characters in Becoming Alpha are wonderful and complex. There are a few that I would love to learn more about, and would not object to them having their own books. 

The plot of the story has some very unique turns. Like is aid Erin will flip troupes and make them her own, and it really kept the plot going. There are two paranormal aspects that come together that I don't think I've seen in YA before. This is the first book with this specific paranormal aspect I've read that didn't come off cheesy. It was well written, easy to follow, and fun. One of my favorite parts was the school. I loved seeing the classes they take, and their day to day lives. All the small details were well thought out, unique, and the boarding school gave Becoming Alpha the perfect setting. 

If you love paranormal romance, a unique twist on troupes, and want a fast read then I highly recommend this book. Becoming Alpha would be great to read during a reading marathon or to get you out of a book hangover. 


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