Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
release date: September 21, 2010
paperback, 256 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: Book It Forward Tours
Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay’s doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire. At first, she thinks she must be imagining the visions, but when she begins to see Martin’s office in them, she knows she has to check it out. That’s when she finds Gabriel, a sexy, teenaged vampire, imprisoned in Martin’s office. The connection she has built with Gabriel compels her to set him free. But when he kidnaps her in an attempt at revenge on Martin, their lives become deeply intertwined. She doesn’t know the half of it.
Review:First off, really cool cover! I love the close up on his face, the sinister red sky, and that deep purple eye. Now I don't remember Gabriel having purple eyes, but I love it on the cover image. This was a fresh and very original spin on the YA vampire genre that has saturated the market. It was very fast-paced, and in the beginning had a touch of that "what it means to be alive" storyline to it that I tend to enjoy in any book.
Seventeen-year-old Shay has pretty much accepted that fact that her life is near an end. Having lived her whole life with a rare, seemingly untreatable blood disorder, she has given in to being "the Sick Girl". She is used to being treated like fragile glass by her friends and teachers and extremely protected by her mother. Then her stepfather/doctor starts giving her a new treatment that not only gives her more energy and strength than she has ever had, but also gives her strange visions during the transfusions where she seems to be experiencing the life of vampire. She chalks the visions up to a side-effect, but begins to crave the transfusions more and more often, as the strength each one gives her is short-lived. While she has the strength, though, she finally get to live like a normal teenager, and it's quite interesting to see the things she chooses to do with that opportunity. Though some of the decisions are bad, the choices she makes give her character flaws and realism.
The real action of the book begins when she finds out exactly where this mysteriously addictive blood is coming from! She finds the vampire, Gabriel, that she has been envisioning during her transfusions chained up in her stepfather's office! She helps him escape and the adventure begins and doesn't stop until the end of the book.
I loved how the vampires were given very human traits, they were almost imagined as regular humans with different eating habits. They are scientist, and consider their group to be family. They are shown to have some compassion, never actually killing the humans they feed off of, and only take very young orphans who will remember no other life to raise into "the family" and even then they to choose whether to become vampires or not when they are old enough. They made them out to be very human and not monsters, which worked perfectly for the plotline, or else why would you care that one of them were chained up and being forced to give his blood?
The plot twists and turns throughout and the romance is heart-pounding!
The ending is the only semi-negative I saw in this book. Although I know this story has more to come and would not have a resolution in this book, the ending was still a very abrupt and somewhat painful cliffhanger. I quite literally thought I might have been missing a few pages, I was so sure that it couldn't have ended so mid-action. But regardless, it will be a long wait for the next installment, and I will definitely be excited to read it!
Read the first chapter here!
Visit Melinda and Laura's website here!