Crave, Book 1

Book review by
Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media
Crave, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Just like Twilight, but set in Alaska with more swearing.

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

It's always interesting for fantasy fans to see variations on vampire and shapeshifter lore and how the rules of magic are applied. You'll also find some of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" quoted.

Positive Messages

Though it doesn't come through very strongly until the end: Be the hero in your own story and don't wait for someone else to save you. Also, it helps to talk about loss and trauma with trusted friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Grace is about as naive as you can get in the first 300 pages of the book. She's always in trouble and being rescued and doesn't know why she's a target or who her enemies really are. She also accepts some creepy behavior from her love interest, Jaxon. He's controlling and often angry -- a bad relationship choice for anyone. He softens up a bit when she learns his secrets, but he's still an angry, intense guy. Grace finds and wields some of her own power near the end of the story, but little is said beyond her wanting to play the hero. Some diversity in the minor characters, with an LGBTQ best friend and Black, Asian, and Native Alaskan characters at the boarding school.


Brutal fights among supernatural creatures where wings are torn and blood is drained by fangs and a bullet pierces someone's chest. One person is stabbed to death, and it's well described. Flying glass severs an artery, a fall sprains an ankle. Someone is drugged, tied up, choked, almost killed as a sacrifice, and two characters nearly die from blood loss. Repeated mentions of the main character's parents' death in a car crash and how she had to be the one to identify their "mangled" bodies at the morgue. Unknown human bodies described hanging from a cave, dripping blood.


Many scenes of kissing and groping and biting necks for pleasure that are quite detailed. Mention that the main character would give her boyfriend everything, but that it was too early in the relationship. Innuendo in a chapter title: "Is That a Stake in Your Pocket ..."


Lots of "f--k" along with the short forms used in texts: "af," "FML." Sprinklings of the rest: "s--t," "damn," "bitch," "douches," "ass," etc.


Practically a commercial for the snack faves Pop Tarts and Ben & Jerry's. Many mentions of Netflix viewing and the show Legacies. Jaxon gives Grace a copy of Twilight as a present.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Crave is the first book in a series that will remind you very much of Twilight. In fact, the hot vampire love interest, Jaxon, gives Grace a copy of Twilight when she still doesn't know he's a vampire, hoping she'll figure it out. The sexual tension is the same: lots of longing and kissing, with perhaps a few longer scenes of kissing and more sultry details than Twilight. (Author Tracy Wolff has also written erotica and it shows, though the sexual content is toned down significantly for the teen audience.) Parents who had a problem with Edward's possessiveness and angst in Twilight -- sorry, Jaxon is that way, too. Jaxon is even angrier, though, and once again you may be prompted to have that not-so-fun talk about what a healthy relationship should look like and how to handle stalkers and worse. Expect Grace to get injured and saved a lot, and expect some intense supernatural creature fighting. One character is stabbed to death and others sustain injuries and blood loss. Grace often mentions the death of her parents in a car wreck and how it brought her to her new school. Language is pretty raw with lots of "f---k" and its text-friendly variations, and plenty of everything else. You'll find some diversity in the minor characters, and Grace's best friend back home is LGBTQ.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written byAri.123 March 28, 2021

A really great story! I recommend it!

This story is really great. it has so many clues in it and the mystery all wraps together in the end, I loved it. I recommend for teens 13+
Teen, 13 years old Written byBookWormGirlHZ February 21, 2021


BEST book ever!!. It does go into a little bit of detail with the kissing scenes but other than that, the book is definitely worth the read. It is good because... Continue reading

What's the story?

In CRAVE, weeks after Grace's parents die in a car crash in San Diego, California, she arrives in Alaska to attend a private boarding school run by her Uncle Finn. Her cousin Macy picks her up at the airport and drives her in a snowmobile to her new home: a creepy, cool castle in the middle of nowhere. She only has moments to take in the splendor when Jaxon, the rudest, hottest, most intense boy she's ever met, corners her and tells her she's not safe at Katmere Academy and she should leave. She's almost as dizzy from that encounter as she is from the altitude sickness. Who does this boy think he is? But as strange accidents keep happening around her, she's beginning to wonder if Jaxon is right and she's really far from safe at this school that keeps far too many secrets from her. Too bad she's fallen for Jaxon and can't imagine letting him go. Heading back to San Diego may be the one thing that can save her life.

Is it any good?

If you have your Sexy Vampire Novel bingo card handy, you can check off these boxes for starters -- clueless and accident-prone female hero and angsty and possessive vampire hottie. Add to that extra vampire powers (telekinesis!), shapeshifters who hate the vampires, plenty of warnings to stay away from hot vampire, checked-out male figure in girl hero's life (her uncle here), and rival love interest who's actually nice and would make a much better boyfriend. So, what's different, you're wondering. Crave is set in a creepy castle boarding school in the middle of Alaska, teens all have phones and text each other, and everyone swears a lot more.

Readers who loved Twilight will dig this book, too. Even if they're pretty mad at Grace for not figuring out her boyfriend is a vampire for more than 300 pages. That must be some kind of record, especially since Jaxon actually gives her a copy of Twilight as a gift. Readers who like a balance of fantasy world-building and romantic interludes will find the former lacking and far too many pages of Grace's many, many thoughts. Tracy Wolff is an author who churns out a lot of books and doesn't bother editing down redundancies. But vampire novels are back and will always come back, and she really needn't bother with that kind of painstaking work. Books like Crave will always have an audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what drives people to vampire romances like Crave. Why do you think they're so popular?

  • Jaxon is one of those brooding, possessive, angsty guys everyone warned the main character about. So why is Grace still so attracted to him? Why do these kinds of heroes show up so often in romances? Would they be good dating choices in real life?

  • Will you read the rest of the series? Will you read more vampire romances? Why or why not?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love vampires and romantic fantasy

Themes & Topics

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