Thursday, 12 April 2012

Crave - Book Review and Interview with Melissa Darnell


Melissa Darnell

YA paranormal Romance
Book #1 of the Clann Series

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….
‘Crave’ is a beautifully written love story about the forbidden romance between the two main characters, Savannah Colbert and Tristan Coleman.  With the book flowing seamlessly from one view point to other, I particularly liked how the story was told form their dual perspectives, as it made it easy to relate to and understand the motivations behind both characters choices.
Also while I think that this book gets off to a slow beginning, it really picks up after the first 100 or so pages, when readers will suddenly find themselves totally immersed in a world of magic, betrayal and heartache. Yet while ‘Crave’ is listed as paranormal romance, it is the romance that really dominates this story. However, Melissa Darnell has also created a unique plot line which is full of vampire and witch mythology, all of which adds supernatural zest to the story.
 As for the characters, Savannah was very interesting. Coming to terms with her half-witch, half-vampire heritage, she was usually the one who caused most of the trouble and problems within the story. While Tristan was simply the very nice, swoon-worthy, guy with a secret whom you can’t help but like – But the romance between them was very sweet and genuine. I’m really interested to see how their relationship develops in the next book.  However I felt that some of the secondary characters needed a little more depth and fleshing out, but generally they all played their parts well.
 Yet all in all though I really enjoyed ‘Crave’. The last few chapters are particularly gripping and it ends on an intriguing note. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy so fans of Y/A Paranormal Romance, this is book is definitely one for you to check out.

Interview:  Questions and Answers with Mellissa Darnell

1)     What gave you the idea for Crave and how long did it take you to write?
When the YA vampire craze started to take off, as a long time lover of vamp romances I was thrilled but felt the genre was really missing something… namely a vampire heroine. Why should the boys get all the fun here?! But I wanted to see her start off as a normal, clueless human and then have to experience this crazy transformation process as well as learn how to deal with the final result of becoming a vampire.
I also wanted a real Romeo and Juliet forbidden kind of love, one where both the hero and heroine were equally powerful, equally interesting in a paranormal way, and equally dangerous to each other so the forbidden aspect of their love would have a huge rippling effect not just on each other but on their worlds as well. When I considered what kind of hero could possibly be as strong and powerful as a vamp, the answered seemed natural… a male witch.

Once I had the basic premise down, it took me about a month to plot the outline, a month to write, and a  year to revise it to the point of where I felt comfortable in submitting it to Harlequin Teen (this was when they were a fairly new imprint and were still accepting unagented manuscripts for submission).
2)    When writing did your characters behave as you wanted them to or did they change the direction of the story?
My characters CONSTANTLY want to behave in ways that I didn’t originally plan for! Honestly, sometimes it’s like herding cats while trying to write a rough draft, because I don’t start writing a new story until I can see it like a movie in my head (and by then I feel like I know my characters better than real life people). This is why, while I’m a Borg level plotter and can’t start a new story without a fully detailed Plot first, I have learned to be flexible and consider “character input” along the way.

When it comes to dialogue, however, I don’t even attempt to plot it anymore… I just keep a rough goal in mind of the high points that should be hit and the eventual end result needed for a scene, then I let the characters hash it out among themselves on paper. In writing rough draft dialogue, I am definitely only the mediator!
3)    Do you already know how the series will end or is it still a surprise for you to?
Since my editor and I already plotted out the third book ‘Consume’ (due to be released by Harlequin Teen in 2013), I do know how the Clann Series will end for at least a few characters. But there are one or two characters whose futures are still unclear, which may get resolved in a fourth book someday. J
4)    What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing Crave?
I didn’t face any challenges when writing Crave. However, revising Crave was fairly challenging!  It was originally 160,000 words in length and had to be cut down by 60,000 words before the acquisitions team could consider offering a contract for it. That’s the length of some category romance novels! But the hard work was more than worth it when Harlequin Teen ended up offering me a 3 book contract. J
     Do you read YA books and if so, what are your favourites?
So far my favourites are:
-         The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-         Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
-         Hex Hall Series by Rachel Hawkins
-         Beautiful Creatures Series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
-         Soul Screamer series by Rachal Vincent
-         Curse Workers Series by Holly Black
-         Night World Series by L.J Smith
-         The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading by Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance

Thank you so much for answering my questions!
Thanks for having me here! If readers would like to know about the Clann Series, including when books #2 Covert and #3 Consume are due out, this information is available along with lots of interactive fun stuff like online Clann Series playlists are available at and . Readers can also contact me through these sites anytime!


  1. I'm getting more excited about this book with every review I read! Great review and interview, Sarah! :)

  2. I'll be honest; I've heard both the good and bad about CRAVE, but I am very much looking forward to starting it for myself so I can make up my own opinion about it :) Thanks for sharing! The author seems like a really nice, down to earth, type of gal :)


  3. This book is absolutely wonderful. Even if you are not a vampire fan, I still think this book should be read because of how original and different this book is. It focuses so much more on the characters as people and their relationships, not so much on the fact that they are vampires or witches. I cannot wait to get my hands on the second book!

  4. Crave is such a refreshing, intoxicating paranormal read. The mix of paranormal lore and the rich mythology Melissa created to bring her story to life made it hard for me to put this story down. The story line itself is fast paced, engaging, and includes some surprising twists that were both predictable ones I didn't see coming. It's a story with a well written forbidden love story I enjoyed getting lost in and in-depth characters I enjoyed meeting. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in this series!

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