Featured Review: Crave (Tracy Wolff)
About This Book:
My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.
Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.
*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*
CRAVE is a really engaging new YA fantasy/paranormal romance that follows Grace in the first person. Grace lost her parents in a horrible car accident a month earlier, and she is now coming to Alaska to live with her uncle and cousin. Her uncle runs the mysterious Katmere Academy in the mountains. When Grace arrives, she notices everyone staring at her. Adding to that, the hot popular boy warns her that people are dangerous and she should leave.
As things happen around her, resulting in a lot of unexpected injuries, Grace begins to realize that there is something different about the academy and its students. She finds herself most intrigued by Jaxon, the boy who is always warning her to stay away but seems to be drawing her closer.
As hinted in the description and advertising, we learn halfway through that Jaxon is a vampire. However, what vampires mean and the conditions of other students are to be learned.
What I loved: The book easily draws you in from the start with all the mystery and snark. This book could take a really dark tone, but it stays light with all the humor and sarcasm. It is very tongue-in-cheek at times; for example, Jaxon sends Grace a copy of Twilight when he is warning her off. There are some more complex power dynamics at play here with the roles of staff/students and how all the people in this paranormal world function/relate. I assume this will be expanded in future books, and I really liked the flair. The first half and then the ending were absolutely fantastic- I was completely engrossed, and I loved the twists at the end. You know something is coming, but it was unexpected, and I loved the way the typical roles were switched (when you read it, you'll get what I mean).
What left me wanting more: The second half of the book turns into a big push-pull instalove drama, and I would have liked a lighter version of that. We do see them interact, but it's very Spiderman-style (in the I-love-you-but-it's-too-dangerous-for-you-to-be-with-me). However, it definitely felt like some Twilight-style flair/angst, which will appeal to many audiences.
Final verdict: Overall, this is a really engrossing and snarky YA paranormal/fantasy romance with a premise that has a ton of potential. I would definitely be interested to see how this develops (particularly given those twists and cliffhanger at the end). Highly recommend for fans of TWILIGHT and VAMPIRE DIARIES.
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