Furborn, by Isabelle Rowan

Furborn, by Isabelle Rowan

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Furborn, by Isabelle Rowan

Book Info

About the Author
A black cat for a witch may be a cliché, but add a whole bunch of tribal tattoos and an intolerance to garlic (seriously), and you have Isabelle Rowan.

Having moved to Australia from England as a small child, Isabelle now lives in a seaside suburb of Melbourne where she teaches film making and English. She is a movie addict who spends far too much money on traveling… but then again, life is to be lived.

Visit Isabelle's blog at http://www.isabellerowan.com/blog.html
Publication Date
October 15, 2019
Available Formats
epub, mobi, pdf
Content Warning
 mentions of stroke, suicide attempts, self-harm, missing child, search and rescue
Foxes are vermin.

Australian sheep farmers regard them as an enemy to be shot on sight and hung from the branches of an old gum tree.

But not all foxes are just foxes.

Connor Coutts could be the last surviving male Furborn in Victoria, maybe in the whole country, a heavy burden for a teenager. His life’s path is clear— protect what’s left of the Furborn line. That is until someone new arrives at the MacKenzie sheep farm. Spencer MacKenzie, with his long black hair and gothic style, is a strange sight in Connor’s forest, but Fate throws the two teenagers together to save their families.

Can Connor trust Spencer to keep his life-or-death secret, or will he hang on the tree?

Editor review

1 review
Sweet YA Romance
 POV: 3rd person, multi-POV

 I loved the premise of the book, with the idea of fox-shifters and Connor potentially being the last of the furborns in the country. However, the blurb is only the tip of the iceberg. It literally describes the Prologue and little more. The story is so much more than what the blurb entails.

 I hate to end on a flat or sour note, so I'm going to dip into the negatives now, that meant I couldn't give it 5 stars. Then I can end on a high note.
 First off, there were some simple and small issues with the likes of grammar and punctuation. Being Scottish, I had little-to-no knowledge of the terms used. Most were well explained quickly, but a lot of things weren't (e.g. rangas, myki card, CBD, White Night and ten-pound poms) And, honestly, when I looked up the word ranga after reading, I wasn't keen on its use. Not only was it used to describe Connor throughout the book, but Spencer used it and it felt so derogatory once I knew what it meant. The way it was used between Spencer and Kelsey, I honestly thought it was a teasing word for crush or something. I wish I hadn't looked it up.
 I also felt that the pace of the book suffered quite a bit. The first half was VERY slow. The chapters were short, but instead of helping, I feel like it made the book feel so much longer, which made it feel more of a slog to get through. There were a whole lot of instances where the pacing felt off and disjointed, that there was a lot of nothing happening, only for everything to happen at once. It felt like the second half of the book was stronger. I didn't feel like it was a world-building issue, either. That was nicely paced throughout the book, but it felt like the events needed to happen all at once, and that left a lot of empty space at the start.

 So, I absolutely FLOVED Spencer and Connor. They were adorbs, in all kinds of ways, and even better together. Connor was gruff and resistant to outside help, thought humans nothing more than murderers and a danger to his people. In contrast, Spencer was this young, emo kid who was trying to hide from the world and unsure where his future lay. Together, they perfectly balanced each other and offered something the other person was lacking.

 The POV was nicely and evenly split between Connor and Spencer, but we also got the added bonus of a fluke chapter in Emily's POV. This was so vital to the story, and adorable at the same time. Although it led to a huge plot twist, it was well orchestrated. I liked that Connor and Spencer were given equal status all the way throughout the book. They both got to tell their side of the story, without biased towards one or the other. (I still wish Spencer had taken a video of the Old Jack performance to take back to show Connor, though. That would have been a nice touch.)

 The plot lagged a little at the start, but picked up pace halfway and kept that up throughout. I sometimes felt that major issues (Kelsey, and Emily) were ignored or forgotten about for large chunks of the story, to focus more on Connor's struggle. While it could be long-winded and boring at times, with Spencer doing chores and such, the spark was there whenever Connor and Spencer were on page together. That, for me, saved it and made it special.

 Furborn was a super sweet YA books with a touch of realism from two grungy and mature MC's. It gave action, adventure, and romance in equal measure, while offering some interesting insight into the furborn world-building. I wouldn't be averse to reading more, perhaps of Spencer's future, or to see some of the furborn get their stories. With an outstanding, twisty ending, I couldn't help but push past the few negatives to enjoy the overall story.


 Favourite Quotes

 “Your raven has done well by you,” May said. “You were right to trust him.”
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