CRAVE (CRAVE, #1)
by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Published September 21, 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for YR
GENRES: YA • Paranormal Romance • Urban • Vampires • Supernatural • Action
TECHNICALLY 3.4 ROUNDED TO 3
Shay could never do the things her friends could--never try out for sports, never go to parties, never fall in love. Because of the mysterious and incurable blood disorder she was born with, she can barely make it through three days of school a week.
But now, her doctor-turned-stepfather has a brand-new treatment that he thinks will change everything. And it does. As soon as the new blood starts pumping into Shay's veins, she has visions of a different life...Gabriel's life. She sees an orphanage, loss, fangs, blood, and lust that she can't explain.
Is Gabriel real? And if he is, could he really be what she thinks he is?
This one almost made the cut to four, but there were a few things standing in the way... mainly the details and the main character. I'll explain the latter in a moment. Let's start with the details. I am do not have a degree in medicine. Be that as it may, I do have a lifetime of constant illness and injuries that have landed me in the doctor's office. They would NOT give someone almost daily transfusions if they had no idea what was going on.
She would not be allowed out of the hospital if she was that sick. Unless it was to go to a hospice. Another detail is the plot. It had enough holes to look like Swiss cheese. I mean that as constructive criticism.
The "sick girl" attitude didn't stick with me. I got where Burns/Metz were trying to go with it, but Shay didn't act like a dying girl. She just acted like a general self-centered brat. I've been sick enough.. and have know enough sick kids... to know that is not how they act. Most are even more sensitive to others, braver than the average kid and may have a keener sense of humor or very gentle spirit. The ones who are bitter are much more aggressive. Hence my conclusion that she is just a brat. You would think since I went through so much myself, that I would feel something for her. I did. There were times when I felt pity for her. Most of the time I wanted to smack her over the head with a large book.
The mythology was based off the traditional vampire-can't-be-in-the-sun mythology but Burns/Metz gave it a gentle twist. Their vampires wanted to procreate but couldn't. So they do so something unusual (sorry, can't give away spoilers) in order to have families. I hadn't heard this storyline before so it was intriguing. I also found what happened during Shay's treatments fascinating but found her responses to them odd. Can we say Stockholm Syndrome? You'd think getting a reprieve would lighten her mood and that she'd actually break a smile. Alas no. I thought she would be happy and carefree. More like this:
The writing style was somewhat intellectual, with heavy philosophical blips. Those blips made the story choppy along with the transitions. If they had smoothed those over we'd be cooking with gas.
Her frustrations with not being able to function like everyone else and craving to live life were incredibly well done. I could really relate to it. It was organic and fresh. The relationship to Gabriel was more forced. But how she related to him through the transfusions were fascinating.
The story ended with a large cliffhanger that paves the way for book two, SACRIFICE.
If you are in the mood for vampires and mild mystery then this book should fit the bill.