Author: Tracy Wolff
Audiobook Length: 14 hours 56 minutes
My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.
Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.
Which could spell death for us all.
Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally – as the bait.
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Most readers that I know have compared the Crave series to Twilight. While not every reader will agree, I definitely would without question. The story begins with Grace, who is relocating from coastal California to a small town near Denali, Alaska after her parents passed. She is set to begin a boarding school called Katmere Academy, which serves as the backdrop for the story. Her uncle, Finn, serves as headmaster of the Academy, and her cousin, Macy, is one of the students. The school is not as ordinary as it seems, which is left for Grace and the reader to discover.
17-year-old Grace soon meets Jaxon Vega, the mysterious and broody guy at school, who also happens to be a vampire. The two characters go from enemies to lovers in what seems like a second and pretty much become, for me, a more extreme version of Bella and Edward as there is a lot more emphasis on their obsession with each other’s looks. There are multiple chapters dedicated to Grace pining after Jaxon and others with the will-they-won’t-they vibe, yet there was not a lot dedicated to building up the connection to make it believable beyond they are “meant” to be together. I am not a fan of insta-love, but I can support it if there are some elements that build on it and I feel that this novel relied too much on their sexual chemistry. I hope that this improves in future novels, or this couple is going to become really boring to read about, for me.
Grace was a true enigma of a character. While she is annoying and self-centered at times, she did read like a typical 17-year-old. I personally was not like this at that age, but I do know a few friends that were like her. She loses her parents and there is a discussion of her going through grief, but I felt like this was a missed opportunity in the writing. It seems mentioned a lot, but, considering how much day-to-day was done in extreme detail, it seemed odd, this was not explored in greater detail. When Grace discovers various secrets throughout the story, she seems to blindly accept them, which seemed odd for someone with her background.
Along with being compared to Twilight, other readers have said this is like Legacies, which features supernaturals at a boarding school. This novel seems to be aware of its similarities to these two as Grace watches Legacies and is gifted the Twilight novel. This use of pop culture may or may not be for everyone, but it does give some nice nostalgia factors. The way it was incorporated into the writing was done well as the time did not take away from the main story. As for the pacing, this was a very slow story as it took a lot of the novel just to build up to the story rather than the day-to-day. A lot of pages could be cut from the story, and it would not have read differently, so I wish there were more to those slower portions to make them more meaningful. As for every character in this story, it felt like there is not a lot of depth to them as it is kept fairly surface level. Overall, the main outline is Twilight with small changes and more cursing. It is not really a story that I, as a reader, take too seriously. It was just an okay story, for me, but I am willing to see what the next novel holds!