Book Review: Crave by Tracy Wolff

Crave

Author: Tracy Wolff

Publication Date: 07 April 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy – Paranormal

Pages: 592

Publisher: Entangled Teen

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.

I just want to say that I am here for all of the vampire resurgence in books, especially YA. They may not all knock it out of the park, but I need more vampire stories in my life.

Following the tragic accident that resulted in the death of Grace’s parents, Grace trades sunny San Diego to live at Katmere Academy in Alaska where her uncle is the current headmaster. Grace quickly learns that things are not as they seem at Katmere Academy no matter how hard her cousin Macy tries to change the subject whenever she is close to revealing the dark secrets that roam the halls. It doesn’t help that everyone seems to obey Jaxon Vega, the gorgeous and brooding bad boy even though it’s quite clear that factions exist within the school. Grace is determined to figure out what is going on at Katmere Academy especially since her life may be at stake.

Tracy Wolff does a phenomenal job of creating a complex and rich world full of all of the magical creatures that I love: vampires, wereshifters, witches, and even dragons! There was a particular scene with roasting marshmallows that I absolutely loved.

The first half of the book was really well done as we started to learn more about the abilities that each of the different characters possessed. I loved that rather than vampirism being the conventional get bitten and turned instance that there is also the concept of vampires being born (albeit incredibly rare) due to a genetic mutation. It reminded me a lot of Underworld as well as the Strain trilogy.

There are a ton of pop culture references in this one, which isn’t a bad thing per se, but I’m always weary how books will stand up to time if people don’t get those references later in the future (e.g. talking about Netflix and the show The Legacies).

As far as the similarities between Crave and Twilight. In both instances, you have a teenage girl who moves to some remote place and instantly falls in love with the dark and brooding vampire. I found Bella to be a whiny main character who is dependent on everyone around her versus starting off as a strong heroine. Grace is very much the opposite, which I wholly appreciated. She’s independent, resilient, and refuses to allow anyone to save her. For that, I was definitely grateful.

Where the story fell flat for me was the instalove and over the top romance between Grace and Jaxon. For once with YA vampire stories, I’d like to not see the heroine immediately swoon when she lays eyes on the bad boy vampire. It’s a trope that I am not a fan of. Additionally, while it is common in vampire stories that vampire bites induce euphoria, the erotic blood drinking was so gross and weird…especially when Grace and Macy would discuss how sexy the bite wound was. That was so off-putting to me. So much of the second half of the book focused on the over the top romance, which is why my entire mindset of the book changed.

Overall, I do think this story is a good introduction to the series, and it ends on one heck of a cliffhanger that does make me interested in book two.

Thank you to MBC Communications and Entangled Teen for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

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