Crave by Melinda Metz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Crave intertwines the reality of a girl who has lived in the shadows of her illness with the fantasy that a `promising' new treatment provides for her.
Shay, 17, is sick; tired of being labeled as the `sick girl' and wanting to experience life but accepting that the normal high school experiences are beyond her physical limitations. Her best friend, Olivia and her Mother are always hovering, telling her what she can't do-- reminding her more like. Everyone treats her like a porcelain doll, she's to fragile, always passing out and spending countless hours in a hospital bed.
Enter her step-father, Martin a prize-winning physician/scientist who specializes, in of all things, blood disorders. He starts treating Shay with a new type of blood transfusion and suddenly she is feeling much better, amazingly better plus there's a bonus to the transfusions; as she's receiving them, she experiences bizarre visions/dreams where she's another person named Gabriel. Each transfusion shows us more and more of Gabriel's life. Gabriel's experiences are exhilarating to Shay and the visions she experiences convince her to `seize the day' so to speak. Shay starts to CRAVE the transfusion both for the strength it gives her and for the chance to experience Gabriel's life.
When Shay meets Gabriel it's under shocking circumstances and pretty much everything she's always wanted falls right into her lap; she definitely gets more than she bargained for. Shay finds out that things aren't always as they appear and soon she's on a harrowing trip. Where it leads--you'll have to read the book!!!
I think the reason it worked so well is that Shay grows to know Gabriel through the visions and Gabriel finds compassion and courage in Shay through the risks and chances she takes for him. It's a different twist on the genre and I'm all for that. Not real big on the cliff-hanger ending! I can only hope the sequel will be out soon.
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