26 October 2011
Crave by Melissa Darnell
Release Date: October 25th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add it: Goodreads
I received this book from Netgalley – My first Netgalley read YAYYYY!
Okay, I’ve read a fair few negative reviews about this and I’d like to say I’m giving this a four star rating because whilst it was not exactly a plot with the most substance, I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Crave is the story of Savannah and Tristan and their forbidden romance, but wait! Before you think “oh how cliché”, this forbidden romance is actually a decent one. Savannah discovers she is half-vampire, half-witch and due to the story being told in dual narrative, we find out early that Tristan is a witch too (a warlock?). How is this forbidden romance different? Well, the two main characters actually have a history together and a good reason for their families forbidding them to see eachother.
The dual narrative was excellent. At first I thought I’d had enough of switching POV’s, but Crave gave each character a beautiful voice and personality in this way and the emotions, thoughts and actions are so spot on with teenage romance (in my opinion). It seemed Savannah and Tristan just kept doing the complete opposite of the other for the other person’s sake and, to be honest if a boy and a girl like eachother in HIGHSCHOOL, they worry about whether the other likes them, and Ms. Darnell told this in a way that was realistic and sweet. Yes, it was a tad cheesy every now and then, but I felt this was accurate in the portrayal of a YEAR 9’s romance.
As for the characters, I loved them. I loved Savannah and how realistic she was in handling problems and acting and I loved Tristan the same way – I’m torn because I know he is probably the cliché YA love interest, and I’m not really into guys such as Patch and Edward, however, I thought Tristan was sweet and realistic with his boyish nature and charm. Plus, in my head, he was the hottest thing imaginable. Which leads to another point… We eventually found out what he looked like but it wasn’t all “his golden curls bounced and swayed in the breeze whilst his turquoise/cyan/blue/aqua/(insert other synonym for blue here) stared intently at the luscious hair that reached halfway down my back”. I mean, the character’s hardly described their own appearance at all, WHICH WAS AWESOME. I am so sick of the whole “I have long legs that turn heads and super-duper sparkly eyes and hair that is way too long for the average person which I claim to be” thing that a lot of YA romance has going on with their heroine who happens to be an outcast. This was another reason I loved Savannah, she didn’t think she was ugly or anything but she didn’t think she was drop-dead gorgeous either.
Another thing I loved about Savannah, was that she was SMART. I groaned when she didn’t immediately figure out that the guy at the Charmer’s audition was a vamp but she didn’t take the entire book to come to this revelation, thank god, because otherwise my uttermost respect for her would have dropped.
I adored the dream connection scenes and I adored Tristan and Susannah’s stolen time alone. They were written in a way that gave me a perfect visual, from the school classroom, to the football field. Okay, enough with all the gushing about the characters and the visuals. Now for some reasoning as to why this wasn’t a five star book.
Firstly, WHEN WILL HEROINES STOP FEELING THE NEED TO NOT ASK THEIR PARENT’S FOR HELP. God, as soon as Savannah decided not to tell her mum or her dad about her new abilities, I knew something bad was going to happen at some point in the book. I understand why they don’t tell their parents because if the heroine did, there wouldn’t really be a plot or a conclusion to the book would there?
Secondly, whilst I loved Tristan for 95% of the novel, “You mean always think women are weak and need to be protected.” “Aren’t you?” Smirking, he reach out and brushed my toe with a piece of grass. Okay, to me this sounds like the typical ‘I AM MAN, MUST PROTECT FRAGILE GIRL.’, and this made Tristan’s hotness factor drop down a couple of notches for me, but thankfully this is the only real issue I have in regards to females being regularly portrayed as weak and helpless in novels.
For once, Savannah is the heroine who is actually strong, honest and a great character rather than the heroine who THINKS she is strong and honest, when she is really just a weak idiot who needs a man to protect her. I appreciate Ms. Darnell’s portrayal, because whilst I don’t think it was her intention for Tristan to sound like that, I think things like that happen - and it was only once so that’s okay :). Also, why was Tristan always growling? He either spoke, or growled. That was a bit much but meh.
LILITH. Oh, this myth gets chucked around a lot in YA paranormal novels. Okay, according to Wikipedia, “Lilith left Adam after she refused to become subservient to him and then would not return to the Garden of Eden after she mated with archangel Samael”. This does not mean, “Adam complained to god, so God sent three angels to bring her back. But she refused to return with them and threatened to become a plague upon mankind.” No. Lilith just happened to refuse to obey Adam’s every wish and command so she got replaced by Eve so that Adam could have a woman to run around for him to, I don’t know, cook and clean for him? Just because Lilith *gasp* REFUSED TO OBEY Adam, does not make her a demon or evil or a bitch or anything like that. I understand that there are many stories regarding Lilith, but she is portrayed in a negative way IN EVERY SINGLE YA BOOK.
That’s about all I have for complaints for this book and overall, I found it relaxing, cute and light-hearted. Crave was a lovely break from all the other crappy YA romance and all the hardcore “I can’t breathe it’s just that suspenseful” novels. Needless to say, I personally loved Crave and the characters and I loved Melissa’s easy to read writing. I read this in one day. I haven’t been able to get through a book in one day in SOO long. I am SO eager for Covet, and I wish 2012 would hurry up already.