Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Book Review: "Crave" by Tracy Wolff

Crave (Crave, #1)
Title: Crave
Author: Tracy Wolff
Series: "Crave" #1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Page Length: 592 pages
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Rating: 1 // 5 stars

*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and participation in a blog tour. All thoughts are my own and spoiler-free*

I really wanted to like this book. I wanted to like it so much that I pushed through and read the entire thing even when I was considering DNF-ing after 200 pages. By the time I finally got to the end, I was rejoicing. I'm sad to say that there's more I disliked about this book than I actually enjoyed.

For starters, this book did not have to be almost 600 pages long. For a book about the main character going to a school filled with vampires & other paranormal creatures, it took forever for her to actually find out that they existed. I'm talking over half the book. Additionally, what's described in the synopsis as the plot didn't start happening until almost halfway in the book either.

So what happened for the first 300 pages? Absolutely-freaking-nothing. There was a lot of pining over the love interest, complaining about the cold of living in Alaska, and the main character acting like an idiot. But in terms of plot? Nothing of value. I was so ready to DNF once I hit 300 pages if nothing had happened and then things finally started to pick up a bit, only for them to drop off for a while before the big climax at the end. In terms of plot, this book had one of the messiest plots I've ever read.

I think one thing that did this book a disservice was the constant marketing of this being the next Twilight. Even if it wasn't specifically over-marketed as that, a lot of blurbs, praises, and early reviews included in emails and informational sheets and whatnot were calling it the "next Twilight" or the "feminist Twilight you always wanted" and it just...wasn't. Maybe I'm biased because I did read Twilight when I was quite young and it's been one of my favorite series ever since, but the only similarity between this and Twilight is that the main character moves to a cold town, meets a possessive vampire love interest, and happens to be clumsy.

As for the two main characters, I feel like our two main characters are what would happen if you took Edward and Bella from Twilight, stripped them of any interesting qualities, and then amped up the possessiveness of Edward and sheer dumbassery/clumsiness of Bella. I swear, I just did not understand these characters. Jaxon (the vampire love interest) was angsty, possessive, and rude yet Grace immediately fell for him. Grace was an idiot, but a likable idiot. I enjoyed Grace but I was so frustrated at her actions most of the book that I wanted to reach into the pages and strangle her. For example, she had this internal gut feeling telling her not to do things and she would be like "oh it's fine I'm going to do it anyway" and then find herself in a bad situation. Like what did you think would happen?

The insta-love in this book was painful to read. I didn't understand the romance at all and the insta-love just made it that much worse. We had a lot of the love interest acting bipolar and suddenly they were in love, but we didn't get to see any actual relationship growth between them. It was 0 to 100 real quick. I didn't connect to the characters which meant I didn't care about the relationship.

Most of the side characters were also pretty one-dimensional. I think the only one that I actually enjoyed was Macy, Grace's cousin. Everyone else with significant page time pretty much drove me insane throughout the book or didn't do anything meaningful to make me care about them.

The writing itself wasn't terrible and it did make the book move rather quickly. However, between the writing and the distinct lack of significant depth in both the characters and plot, I was expecting this to be targeted towards younger teens who just want an enjoyable read. But later in the book, there were some steamy make-out scenes that definitely made me think otherwise. I'm just overall very confused on who this book is supposed to be for, because I don't feel like it was for me.

I think I'm going to end this review here, even though there's more things I could rant on. I'm not saying that this was the most terrible book written. I did enjoy some parts, especially in the back half of the book, but I feel like there was a lot missing from this book to truly make it great and something that I would be excited to read. I'm sure that this book will be loved by some, but I don't think it's a series that I'm going to be continuing.

Thanks for reading!

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