“CRAVE,” by Melissa Darnell, Harlequin Teen, Oct. 25, 2011, $9.99 (young adult)
Savannah Colbert is an outcast. Not a total one. Just when it comes to the Clann or the kids of the Clann, which happens to be a large chunk of town, but hey, who’s counting. It didn’t used to be that way, but one day in the fourth grade, everything changed. Savannah’s never known why. She just knows it’s made her miserable.
The worst part of being an outcast was losing her best friend. Now the Clann’s golden boy, Tristan Coleman is nothing like Savannah remembers — sweet, kind, always willing to help — and yet, Savannah still feels drawn to him.
That connection grows even stronger following a strange illness that put Savannah in bed for a week. She returns to school changed physically and her attraction to Tristan enhanced. She sees him everywhere, even in her dreams. Suddenly it’s as if he wants to be near her, too, but that can’t be possible, can it?
“Crave” is one of those books I picked up (in this case on Netgalley) and added to a rather large pile of “to-reads.” If I had known it would be as fast moving, I probably would have read it earlier.
There’s nothing per say that stands out as making “Crave” special. Author Melissa Darnell weaves an interesting and somewhat predictable — though sometimes surprising — story that follows the same path of many books in its genre. It’s well written and has a good flow, but many of the characters are unmemorable.
What did hook me was Savannah’s dance participation. As a former member of my high school’s dance team, I could relate to those elements, and felt closer to Savanah’s character as a result.
Despite that, I found myself frustrated with Savannah and Tristan’s lack of curiosity and self-reliance. That did change toward the end, but it failed to feel completely organic.
While it may not seem like I enjoyed “Crave,” the truth is I did. It was a nice read and I’m sure I’ll read its sequel. It’ll be interesting to see how Melissa evolves as a writer and how her characters evolve because of what I hope will be her growth.