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Crush by Tracy Wolff - Review

by Mary Knutson 2 years ago in literature
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Storytelling at its worst or best?

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

From the hilarious one-liners to the death-defying odds, this book had me turning every page like my life depended on it.

While Crave had high stakes, risk factors in Crush were absolutely unfathomable. From the interweaving of subplots to the fang-tastic characters, Wolff does an amazing job threading the various aspects of great storytelling into one beautiful tale.

One thing I often find (in both literature and movies) is the writers spend so much time building up to the final battle, they can’t meet the expectations of their audience. That was most definitely not the case here. Spread across several chapters and about a hundred pages, Wolff’s final battle definitely delivers—and with recent reminders of the true risks— it is every bit the intense finale readers deserve.

Wolff has a gift for knowing exactly when and how to ease the tension with a well-timed joke, and she does it expertly in this novel; I was doubled over laughing on more than one occasion. As writers, we often forget to slacken the tension just enough to ensure it doesn’t snap at the wrong time or doesn’t loosen too much and lose all intensity from the scene. She did an amazing job of keeping both in mind throughout the story, it’s a delicate balancing act that Wolff danced perfectly.

Something else that really left me in awe was how Grace stood up and fought back against others pushing her around in her life. I’ll confess I was wary to see where it’d go, but I’ll be the first to admit, seeing her push back and fight her own battles—win or lose—was extremely gratifying to watch. While the main character was an absolute beast in dealing with all the crap that got thrown at her, she was also human: on the verge of a panic attack a few times and in tears at others. Wolff proved once and for all that it’s perfectly okay and totally possible to both have emotion and still be a total rock-star in your day-to-day life. Every character shows some major display of emotion at some point in the book and I absolutely loved that. Both guys and girls were shown crying tears of pain and sadness as well as dancing around in joy. This type of realistic and inclusive storytelling is a beautiful artform that we need more of in the world.

On top of everything else, the diversity in this book also had me squealing with glee, I was so excited to see representation from all different people groups. It never felt like the author didn’t know what she was writing and nothing about the characters ever felt forced. I was awestruck by how well Wolff wrote the various characters—they were all more than just their skin color or sexuality, every single character is a person first.

This book has been receiving hype for months and every ounce is deserved. From the brilliant storytelling to the characters and worldbuilding, this novel paints a clear picture that readers seek out and writers strive to accomplish. In a world of swipes and double taps, great stories are hard to find, but Crush soars above Mediocrity and into the realm of Excellence.

Wolff did an excellent job with Crave, but Crush totally left it in the dust. Crush is a wild ride of emotion and suspense mixed with jokes and drama. I was thrilled from the first page and can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.

With two more books to go, I can only imagine where Grace and her friends will find themselves next. Stay tuned for my review of Covet coming in March!

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Mary Knutson

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