SubTitle: The Clann
Author: Melissa Darnell
Pub Date: 10/25/2011
Category: YA paranormal Romance
Crave is another fabulous title from Harlequin Teen, a richly written romance about forbidden love. Crave follows a common plot line in YA books – teen discovers previously hidden paranormal talents and falls in love with someone their new talent endangers – yet even with its Romeo and Juliet overtones, the story still has surprises and never feels like anything I’ve read before.
Savannah Colbert has never known why she’s so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It’s as if he’s a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she’s destined to fail.
For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back… different, and suddenly he can’t stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences…
There’s a lot to love about this book, the characters are highly endearing with very real challenges and reactions, the mystery is revealed at just the right pace and the magic is captivating. Tristan is adorable and Savannah is a strong intelligent character who has to negotiate the minefield of weighing her personal desires against obeying the rules of her society. She doesn’t give in too easily, but she doesn’t completely lock out her passion either.
One of the things I really like about this book are the two point of views. It gives us a wonderful sense of how people’s perceptions of situations are coloured by their beliefs – a favourite theme of mine in my own writing. For example, we see how actions taken by Tristan to prove that he is not under Savannah’s ‘spell’ are interpreted by Savannah to mean that he doesn’t like her, when in fact the opposite is true. To stop anyone complaining about confusion when switching point of views, Darnell simply labels a new section with the name of either Savannah or Tristan. Blatant, but it works, and it saves the author having to worry about people riding the shift or not.
The theme of things not being as they appear is carried over into the character of Savanah’s father. I love it near the end when she discovers that all those things she thought meant that he wasn’t interested in her were actually done to protect her.
The only thing that bothered me is that the vampire council, who want to avoid a war with the Clann, kidnap one of its most important members and take them all the way to France. Wouldn’t it be obvious how inflammatory this action would be? If they hadn’t taken him so far, the reader could assume that the Clann wouldn’t miss him for a short period of time, as it is, I found this action unbelievable in its stupidity. In addition, the vampires didn’t seem to consider how the kidnapped person might feel towards them after they released him. We saw no apology or any attempt to mollify the situation.
The end was well done, leaving us in a cosy state but avoiding anything too sickly sweet because of what the reader and Savannah knew had to happen next.
All in all it’s a terrific book and one all lovers of young adult paranormal should add to their must read list. I give it 4.5 stars and will definitely read the sequel.
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