Release Date: October 16 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add it: Goodreads
Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long.
In the fourth grade, Savannah Colbert lost her three best friends, when they and every other descendant of The Clann were forbidden to ever associate with her again. Long forgotten are the days when they played pretend weddings, now they use any chance they can get to alienate her. Though perhaps worse of all isn't the taunting, but the fact that Tristan - the first boy she ever kissed, the first boy she ever loved - has hardly spoken a word to her since the day their relationship was severed. But unbeknown to her, Jacksonville High's most popular student has been as enamoured by the redhead for just as long as she has.
When Savannah suddenly becomes too ill to even leave her bed, she's forced with the realisation that she's changing. And not in the normal way teenage girls change.... she learns she's a Clann descendant on her mother's side - magic users. And passed on from dear old dad? Why, just a healthy dose of vampire. Savannah Colbert is half-vampire, half-witch and precisely the reason why the entire Clann have been forbidden to associate with her. But of course, the kids were never told the specific details as to why. I really liked that her abilities didn't come instantaneously. Sure, her appearance noticeably changed, but she didn't become this all-powerful hybrid creature overnight. Her abilities took time to develop and control and added plenty of frustration and drama to her life.
Crave is told in dual narrative, which really helps the reader grow invested in both Savannah and Tristan's characters. The emotions raging within each, but unable to let go of. The pressures both face from their families and stifling rules from opposing supernatural forces. They're in every way normal teenagers dealing with the everyday issues of high school, just with the added bonus of oh, conjuring a fireball within the palm of his hand or her making the entire male student body her personal love slave just by making eye contact.
And aren't we all a sucker for a forbidden romance? The sneaking around and danger that lurks behind every kiss, every stolen look or brush of skin. Savannah and Tristan's love is not meant to be, is not allowed to be. The union of witches and vampires in such a way has long been forbidden, the potential consequences could pretty much result in an all-out war between species. It's not an instant-love, despite the deep, lingering feelings both teens have held for one another for years. Melissa took the time to gradually build up to that eventual romance, though the sexual tension is clear. You're waiting for these two to defy all rules and come together and when they do, you believe it, because Melissa's taken that time to show, rather than tell, the chemistry and connection these two share.
There were some parts that I felt dragged on a bit and I would have liked to feel a more heightened sense of danger with some kickbutt action at times, given that we have these uber cool magic and vampiric abilities, but I did enjoy the novel for the story it told. This is one romance that you can really SEE blossom before your eyes. And Melissa managed to effortlessly weave the supernatural world amongst the normality of Jacksonville. The combination of humans, vampires and witches never felt forced of unreal... but so easy to accept and believe within the story.
With an endearing cast of characters who take you on a addictive journey of magic, bloodlust and a love both dangerous and beautiful, Crave is a fantastic start to what will surely be an exciting and romantic new series! When true love is put to the test, can it prove to be just as powerful as the supernatural forces that forbid it?
3.5 Golden Apples!