DEVOUR by Shelly Crane

TITLE: Devour
AUTHOR: Shelly Crane
RATING: 5 Stars
PAGES: ebook
PUBLISHER: Self-published by Author
SERIES: The Devoured, #1
SOURCE: Personal Library

Clara has it all. A wrestling star boyfriend, popular friends, all the right school activities...pretty much a perfect life...up until her parents died. Now she lives with the Pastor and his family and though they take good care of her, she feels alone. Then her boyfriend, Tate, starts to show signs of trouble when a new guy, Eli, comes to town. Clara is fascinated with him but hides it until something happens. Eli confesses to her that she gives him something he's never had before...something he needs. Everything is about to change for this normal pretty popular girl in a supernatural way.
(synopsis taken from Goodreads)

Oh my. I absolutely devoured 'Devour'! This addition to works created by a rising star of an author, Shelly Crane, blew me away. It's a fresh take-no vampires charming the school girl or preppy boy wooing the damsel in distress. Instead Devour is based on something newer to the word of Young Adult readings. Devourers. What drew me to this lovely read was not just the fact that in less then a year Shelly Crane has become a favorite author of mine but how different and catching this book is. Clara is your average American high school girl. She's fitting in, not really making a stand for anything yet is still a good person. Sure she stands by while her friends bully others but eventually Clara finds herself. And what an amazing journey that is! 

Set in the town of Big Timber, Montana we meet Clara, a high school senior who's recently lost her parents to murder only months ago. Not to mention her sister leaves her to fend for herself to re-enlist in the armed forces Clara is more then alone. But at least she has the Pastor and his family who took her in. I find Clara a refreshing heroine in Devour. She's not perfect. She makes mistakes, allows things to happen that she knows shouldn't. Too often authors build up heroines to be perfect in ways that they never make mistakes outside of relationships with their other halves. But Clara makes mistakes, and she actually learns from them. In Devour we watch her morph from an 'ice princess' into an actual human being capable of thinking for herself instead of following along in her group.

And then there's Eli. Gorgeous, violet-eyed Eli. Eli is an amazing counter part to this story. He's everything we females dream of in a guy: protective, gorgeous, honest, and he thinks with his brain! Really, it doesn't get much better then that ladies! From the very beginning of this story you're drawn to him and the mysterious air that surrounds him. We as readers find him just as unforgettable as Clara does. I love how Eli isn't afraid to let Clara know when he thinks she's acting wrongly i.e when the bullying occurs. Perhaps one of my favorite lines in the text was, "My conscience is clean. How's yours?" From this point on after Eli says that to Clara I noticed the biggest changes in her. Clara began to mature and realize the low things that were happening around her, and she took a stand on them.

I love the chemistry between Clara and Eli. And how he isn't attacking her like how Clara thinks of Tate's kisses. Instead, Eli is gentle with her. Not everyone enjoys being mauled all the time, and I think that it really says a lot about how deeply Eli has come to care for Clara. Ultimately their relationship is a constant roller-coaster ride but it's true and it's intricate. As you read Devour, you become attached to this couple that has seemingly impossible battles ahead of them and you cheer them on! As Eli quotes in Devour, "Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, and do so with all your heart."

When you read Devour expect a delicious ride on an epic love story. There are so many things occurring in Devour that it's easy to be devoured by the book yourself! Shelly Crane once more gives us something to keep us up late reading and smiling at. I'm certainly rooting for Clara and Eli and their adventures to be had in the second book, Consume, due out in Spring 2012! Until then, keep reading!

~ Book Crook Reviews

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