Crave – Melissa Darnell

Savannah Colbert is back at Taylorsville High after a life-threatening illness, feeling more like a freak than ever. People are looking at her differently, staring and giggling. Except golden boy Tristan Coleman, who suddenly can’t keep away. Savannah’s falling under his spell.
But the mysterious Clann, a group of witches with unknowable power and an unbreakable bond to Tristan, are watching.
Star-crossed by history, Savannah and Tristan have been forbidden since birth. Their love could endanger everyone and everything they know. But the craving has started and can’t be denied…

Teen angst, unrequited love Shakespearean allusions, secret societies magic and politics wrapped up in a world where the masquerade still holds sway.
As a straightforward teen romance this tale would still be excellent, but it is so much more. Savannah is a child of two worlds, literally, her parents from opposite sides in a war that has consumed centuries, her very existence could threaten the fragile peace that exists.
The major players are the next generation of witches who will lead the Clann in the future, but not everybody wants the status quo to be maintained, allegiances are shifting, jealousies are splitting old friendships and there are some who want to break free from the roles that seem preordained for them while others want to reveal themselves and ride roughshod over common humanity.
In Crave – the first book in a trilogy we only get a taste of this world that Melissa has created, we touch on some of the edges of Witch society and its structures and get a taste of the Vampire Court. Mention is made of other supernatural races and beings.
This is above all a love story and Savannah and Tristan are written with an electrifying chemistry, but also with the fears and neuroses that all teens have when it comes to love – especially those brought on by secret knowledge and the fact they have a history and different groups of friends who hate each other.

I enjoyed the teen angsty parts (because I am a sucker for those kinds of stories and always loved high school teen movies), Savannah’s parents had the whole Romeo & Juliet romance story going but I felt Savannah and Tristan were more along the lines of the Taming of the Shrew channelled through 10 Things I Hate About You. What made the story really fly for me were the insights into the secret world of the Clann and the Vampires, those touches were artfully done giving enough information to get an idea of the shapes of the society but not enough to see or understand everything.

I am now eagerly awaiting Covet and Consume to find out more about Savannah and Tristan and hopefully more about their parents who… wait I did not mention the parents, their roles are small but no less important – a Vampire and a Witch in love and on the lam until their lives are changed by a miracle – Savannah and the future leader of the clan who rejected his heritage but ultimately had to take up the mantle he denied.
I need to know more and hope that in the next two volumes Melissa will elaborate on this brilliant world she has created!

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