Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary: "Meet Meda. She eats people.
Well, technically, she eats their soul. But she totally promises to only go for people who deserve it. She’s special. It’s not her fault she enjoys it. She can’t help being a bad guy. Besides, what else can she do? Her mother was killed and it’s not like there are any other “soul-eaters” around to show her how to be different. That is, until the three men in suits show up.
They can do what she can do. They’re like her. Meda might finally have a chance to figure out what she is. The problem? They kind of want to kill her. Before they get the chance Meda is rescued by crusaders, members of an elite group dedicated to wiping out Meda’s kind. This is her chance! Play along with the “good guys” and she’ll finally figure out what, exactly, her ‘kind’ is.
Be careful what you wish for. Playing capture the flag with her mortal enemies, babysitting a teenage boy with a hero complex, and trying to keep one step ahead of a too-clever girl are bad enough. But the Hunger is gaining on her.
The more she learns, the worse it gets. And when Meda uncovers a shocking secret about her mother, her past, and her destiny… she may finally give into it."
Review: WHERE HAS THIS BOOK BEEN ALL SUMMER?? I have been waiting and waiting for something this exciting, funny, and gripping to come along. This was a case of the exact right book at the exact right time... but I kind of think that anytime would be the right time for this book. It was a blast.
That being said, I didn't think I would love this book so much after the first chapter or two. That opening scene is pretty gruesome (plus, I'm not a huge paranormal reader) and I was furrowing my brows a little bit, wondering what I had got myself into. But I kept reading, and I am so glad I did. I really had a great time with this story.
Meda is a fantastic heroine. She is sarcastic and honest and smart. And she's constantly at war with herself. Not in an angsty way, more in a "I don't know what the right decision is, and I'm not sure I care about right and wrong anyway" kind of way. I liked that she sometimes struggled with her decisions, but once she made those decisions she stuck by them and moved forward. No dawdling in the past for Meda. Plus, she was really, really freaking funny.
I just have to give props to Ms. Crewe for avoiding all the annoying tropes found in so much of YA. There was no manic pixie dream girl. There was no brooding, secretive bad boy. There was no love triangle. The characters felt layered, not because they were contrived to be so, but because they felt real.
One other thing that really stuck out to me was the dialogue. First of all, there is a lot of dialogue, which I really like because it allows me to really get a feel for all the characters, not just our protagonist. Secondly, each of those characters had their own distinct voices. I felt like I could guess whose line I was reading without any context, just by the word choice and grammar, you know what I mean? It was really refreshing.
The plot was so entertaining. There were so many interesting surprises that I just stopped guessing what would happen next and enjoyed the ride. And that plot, while pretty large, really centered around a small handful of people. All of whom I adored. I loved the friendship theme. I loved Meda and Jo's relationship, in particular. I loved watching Meda grow. I loved how this book had a clear ending, while still leaving space for the sequels to expand. Pretty much, I loved this book and will definitely be reading the next two in the series ASAP. (Because I don't have to wait to read them - they're all out now!)
Review in a GIF:
Bottom Line: Gripping, funny, exhilarating, and everything else you'd want in a YA book. Please read this book so that I have someone to talk about it with! (Why is this series not more popular?!?)