Killing Me Slowly

A leopardess who learned how to dance. And read.
Crave - Melissa Darnell I can pretty easily sum up my feelings on this book:

forehead slap

I can't even summon up the will to be irritated with this book, just perplexed and disappointed. Have we just completely given up on the idea of show-don't-tell as a publishing prerequisite? Have we? Because honestly, the writing on display in Crave just puts me at a loss. It's bad. Baaaaaad. Not quite Once in a Full Moon bad, but it came dangerously close, and oh God, I just cannot do that anymore. I seriously considered making this a DNF, and I never do that, because hey, bad books are half the fun. But oh man, Crave...Crave was just too much.

Crave is about Savannah Colbert, a fifteen-year-old girl who learns not long after the book begins that she is half-vampire, half-witch. This is apparently a BIG DEAL, because vampires and witches have been warring like forever, yo, and have only recently fallen into a fragile peace. Savannah's birth threatens this peace because both races' Ruling Councils fear that she could be seduced over to the enemy's side, which would apparently be a Thing. So Savannah is only allowed to exist under very strict conditions, the most important of which being "keep it under wraps" and "do not fraternize with the witches".

You could probably guess what was going to happen next even if it weren't in the summary.

Yes, Savannah manages to fall in love with Tristan, a witch, or "member of "the Clann"", if you want to get cheesily vague. Not just any witch, either, but the Future Leader. You see, for some reason it was totes ok for Savannah and the Clann kids to be BFFs back in grade school, but then Savannah and Tristan had cock it by having a pretend wedding. The Clann parents lost their shit and ordered their children to socially ostracize her, so now they're in high school, and the Clann spawn are rich and powerful popular kids who humiliate their former friend mercilessly. However, both Savannah and Tristan nurse secret crushes, and thus the great majority of Crave is devoted to the slow but inevitable progression towards yet another Romeo and Juliet Romance.

I'll admit, there are bits and pieces in here that work, or at least would work if they were developed more. I did a forehead slap when we were introduced to the characters Savannah deemed "the Brat Twins", two Clann girls who used to be her friends. They are now, of course, the beautiful school bitches (a trope I absolutely adore *gritting teeth*), picking on Savannah for no real reason. But Savannah surprised me by actually standing up to them, calling them out, and asking why they're so mean when the three of them used to be friends. And the girls surprised me by actually getting a little bit sad and nostalgic for the old days, and I thought, "Hey, this could be a really great subplot and subversion"...until the scene ended, and the relationship was never brought up again. The "Brat Twins" go back to being the kind of non-presences I hesitate to even call "cliches". They appear once or twice to insult Savannah, and otherwise have no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the plot.

Likewise, I appreciate that at the very least there's more at stake here for Tristan and Savannah than just their parents' or society's disapproval. By the end of the book, the vampire Council has more than proven itself willing to take Savannah out of she continues on with the relationship, so...there is that.

I also kind of liked the way the book approached Savannah's mother and father's relationship - it's portrayed as a youthful fling, something of an act of rebellion, passionate, but brief, and something Savannah's mother has been able to get past. It's rare that you see any kind of romance with a vampire played out with an even vaguely realistic perception of the transient nature of love and relationships.

On the downside, there's...the rest of the book. Savannah as a character is a fairly realistic portrayal of an immature, self-absorbed fifteen-year-old, I suppose. Shes also pretty consistently annoying, and likely will be to anyone who is not the same sort of teenager...

Read more at You're Killing.Us.

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