Crave

Hey look, I’m back! So that was a whole ass year, huh? Well, 2021 hasn’t been much better for me, but that’s a story for another time. After my disastrous New Year’s resolution last year, I resolved to come up with something a little less extreme. Yeah, I was one of those people who said 2020 is going to be my year! And yes, I accomplished a lot, but I really didn’t stick the landing of that resolution.

So for 2021 my resolution has been to read more books, and of course by read I mean listen to the audiobooks. No, I’m not sponsored, obviously.

I decided to just pick a book and dive right in. I’d hoped that it would be something that I enjoy, something that would be harmless fun. Something I knew I wouldn’t get too invested in, but would at least enjoy. So that’s why I picked Crave by Tracy Wolff. Everything I knew about Crave could be boiled down into one phrase: Twilight in 2020. After the huge disappointment that Midnight Sun was for me, I figured I might as well just try to enjoy myself.

For those of you who were curious, I did finish Midnight Sun, and I think the last few chapters were the most enjoyable. That’s probably because we got to actually see the vampires doing their cool vampire thing instead of constantly focusing on angst.

Anyway, Crave.

I should have known that I wasn’t going to enjoy Crave. How? You might ask. What was the big give away? Was it the Twilight-esque cover? Was it the Twilight-esque summary? The readers who haven’t completely abandoned me after my massive unexplained hiatus are shaking their heads right now. They know I defended Twilight in one of my earliest blog posts. 

So why? Why should I have known that I wouldn’t like Crave?

Well, the answer is quite simple dear reader. I found it on Jenny Trout’s Jealous Hater’s Book Club.

For the uninitiated, Jenny Trout is a phenomenal author who, frankly, does basically everything I do and does it a million times better. I was inspired by her to even do a blog like this. The Jealous Hater’s Book Club is a series on Jenny’s website where she breaks down books chapter by chapter and is hilarious while doing it. The most well known is her breakdown of the 50 shades books, and that’s how I initially found her. 

The most recent book to receive this treatment at the time of writing is Crave.

So, I suppose this was less of a red flag, and more of a bright neon sign calling me a dumbass.

Yes, in hindsight it should have been obvious that I was diving straight into a dumpster in my best imitation of Scrooge McDuck, but hindsight is so last year. I wanted some good harmless stupid fun with a dumb protagonist and a stupid lovestory. The problem is that I got exactly what I want, an obvious Twilight knockoff. Except at least Bella waited more than 48 hours before she was gushing about how he made her *feel things*.

That being said, it’s been nice to yell at a young adult heroine again. I found myself doing so on my way home from work today. I had to pause the audiobook to shout at this fictional girl, “You haven’t even known him for three fucking days! It’s been three fucking days, oh my fuck! What the hell is wrong with you?!” or something along those lines, I’ll admit, the halflife of my adhd meds passed several hours ago, so my memory is back to being a fog. Not to mention my cat is making biscuits on the couch blanket, and the sudden presence of tiny claws in my hip is quite distracting.

I will not try to compete with Queen Jenny, but she isn’t very far, and frankly… I just gotta get some stuff off of my chest.

Dnf percentage: 73%

Cover

Elephant in the room is the obvious parallels. I know the publisher had to have done this on purpose. Honestly, the cover is good, even if it’s obviously meant to make the reader make certain connections.

I really don’t have much to say about it. I like it, but that doesn’t make me like the book.

Summary

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.

This… this should be everything I love. I have been enthralled by the concept of a school for supernatural creatures for well over a decade and a half. Any of my friends can tell you that, hell anyone that I speak to for more than a few minutes will tell you that. Yeah, I ADHD overshare, it’s a problem. There are few things I like more than a supernatural school.

I think everyone sort of imagines what route the story is going to take based on the summary. Typically, I expect a book summary will sort of spoil the first third to half of the book. After all, they’re telling you the juicy bits to get you intrigued. Then they’ll take you on a ride for the last half to two-thirds. In particularly frustrating books it will spoil the first three quarters, and leave you frustrated because the back cover already told you all this. I don’t know who writes back cover copy for publishing houses, I’ve always written my own and it’s so hard to condense 100,000+ words into less than 250.

I’ll share my predictions that I had for Crave with all of you.

  1. Grace is going to learn about the supernatural world within the first 10-15 chapters. After all it’s a 175,000 word book, give or take a few thousand. We’re going to spend a long time catching our footing with her and diving head deep into that tasty lore.
  2. Speaking of Lore, we’re going to get so much lore and establish the world so thoroughly that the next 4–yes, it’s going to be a 4 book series, the 3rd was actually released as I was writing this entry–were going to build and build off of.
    1. I am so weak for Lore, so so weak. It’s one of my favorite things.
  3. Before Grace learns about the magical creatures around her, she’s going to suspect them, and pick on it super fast. She’s going to do research and in a supernatural school of course learning about other species would be easy. Maybe she’d learn about vampires even faster than Bella, in this book obviously inspired by Twilight.
    1. I’m not shading the Twilight inspiration. I have a whole folder of book ideas titled “Twilight But” and literally all of them are gay.
  4. Jaxon can’t feel things, so maybe he’s cursed? Or feeling things makes bad things happen, like Raven in Teen Titans. So, yeah, okay, I’m here for that.
  5. We’ve clearly got another age gap couple, since it says he hasn’t felt anything in 100 years. But, I guess, that’s the genre. As long as they wait until she’s legal to do anything frisky, I won’t be too mad.
    1. I will I had to come back to redo this section and I’m fucking seething about this line and I can’t even tell you why yet. You’ll see.
  6. Is the sleeping monster Jaxon? Is it a different monster? Are there monsters? I like monsters! I can’t wait to find out!

Let’s be real, would I even be here, telling you about this book if that’s the story we actually got? No. Of course we wouldn’t be.

I just… you’ll understand when I dive into…

Content

I’m surprised I made it as far into Crave as I did. By the end I had climbed out of my chair and laid on the carpet laughing in manic agony at the sheer stupidity. This is not an exaggeration. I did this. My partner took a picture of my third fall.

It was a very soft carpet.

I swear to god, by the forth floor time, I was on my face groaning. It has been a very long time since I encountered a story that made me this frustrated. I was angry because it was good. It had potential. It had everything it needed to succeed. And yet…

Well… you’ll have to wait for the content.

It has been some weeks since I started this. Crave has taken weeks from me. I also recently had house renovations done so I have not had my bedroom/creative space/life in order for well over a month. It’s killing me. It’s been ripping me apart, and driving me nuts. So now, I’m going to organize my thoughts. I have 2400 words, 15 minutes of audio, and the shredded remains of my sanity to make a coherent argument about why I was so fucking frustrated by this novel.

Maybe if there’s time I’ll talk about the sequel, which takes this pile of shit and builds an entire crap castle.

No, I haven’t read it, but I’ve read about 6 different summaries from actual fans, and I read the worst ending to any book ever thanks to online PDFS. An ending so bad that it made hardcore fans give up on the series. I can’t blame them, it’s pretty horrible. Don’t worry, I’ll cover it.

It might take a few weeks, but trust me… the straights aren’t okay.

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