Crave (Crave (Quality))

Crave - Laura J. Burns, Melinda Metz Warning: Major cliffhanger ending!The strapline: 'It's all in the blood' is spot on and has more than one meaning. As does the title Crave. This book twists things with a human heroine who needs blood to survive and a vampire who seems more vulnerable and human than most humans, rather than a monster.Seventeen year old Shay defines herself as others do, as The SickGirl. The SickGirl can't do normal things because she has a rare blood disease that leaves her physically weak and receiving regular blood transfusions with numerous stays in hospital. Her mother has dedicated her life to finding treatments and possible cures, even marrying Martin, a wealthy award-winning specialist in Leukaemia. He's abandoned his prominent career to help her. Everyone treats The SickGirl as delicate: the other students, the teachers, even the principal. No one dares yell at her or upset her for fear of being seen as mean. Everyone cuts her a break even when she doesn't want or deserve one. And almost everybody has difficulty when she just wants to be "Shay".During new blood transfusions Shay finds herself in the body of Gabriel who she comes to realise is a vampire. She witnesses events from his life and doesn't know where these visions are coming from and worries it's her over-active imagination but they also inspire her to live her life the best she can because she knows that even though these new transfusions have given her strength, she's dying and it's only a matter of time before she takes her last breath.Her new high-on-life attitude sees her taking risks, sometimes stupid ones, that shock and upset her friends and mother. They blame it on the new treatment instead of realising Shay's need to catch up on all the normal rites of passage that teenagers experience like first kisses, running, going to parties, getting drunk and generally having fun. Then she has a Gabriel-vision of her step-father's office. She breaks in to find that Gabriel is real and chained up. At this point we're halfway through the book. From here the adventure begins. Shay is horrified her step-father could do such a thing and Gabriel is furious and wants vengeance so he kidnaps Shay and escapes. Both are confused by each other. Gabriel's used to seeing humans as the enemy but Shay is different, her visions of his past upset him but he's drawn to her unusual but familiar scent, and refuses to see her as The SickGirl and demands she never uses those words again. She's also kind to him, generous and unafraid of his vampire-status but Shay finds it difficult to reconcile her growing feelings for vision-Gabriel and the Gabriel right in front of her who seems more cold and cut-off from life. I loved the first 80% of this book and remember thinking it was a brilliant original story but that last 20% was rushed and started to echo other YA books. Plus I'm a little miffed that it ended on a whopper of a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers!If you're a Roswell (TV show) fan then you'll see some similarities in Crave as the authors were both writers for the show and the accompanying books. As a result, the book could easily be transferred to the screen.I regret not getting this in paperback, instead I bought the ebook because I couldn't wait for physical delivery. The cover guy, Gabe I'm guessing, is hot with his blue eye and phoenix tattoo and his beloved sunset in the background.I'm interested to learn why Gabriel feels so guilty about Sam (hopefully it's not the most obvious conclusion) and wonder what the truth is and what the effect will be when Shay finds out. Unfortunately, I have no idea when my curiosity will be satisfied because there's no information on the sequel but fingers-crossed I won't have to wait too long.I can't give this 3 stars because that would be a slap in the face for the authors who've managed to portray the SickGirl and the psychology behind her situation and behaviour so amazingly well that I wondered if one of them had actually lived this role but neither can I give it 5 stars because of that last 20% so 4 stars it is.