Cracked by Eliza Crewe has been one of my favourite books of the year so far: when I reviewed it I said “it was a funny, dark and witty read that I quite literally couldn’t put down” – which is precisely the best way to describe this book. Unputdownable. It is a word (or at least should be)! To give you a taste of just how brilliant Meda is, I have her here to introduce herself a little. Perhaps I should’t let myself get too close to Meda, after all, she could just gobble up my soul if she wanted, but she’s compelling (and cute!) and definitely interesting, so… I think I’ll take my chances! （＾＿－）≡★
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.
Meda: introduce yourself briefly—who are you and what are you all about? What’s your story?
I’m just your typical teen girl, who’s into typical teen things: art, junk food, devouring the souls of my enemies. You know, the usual.
You eat souls? What does a soul taste like and what’s your favourite flavour? If you could have a soul on a plate, what garnish would you have with your souls?
Souls are like a box of chocolates–who cares which flavor you get? It’s chocolate. I’d garnish with cilantro. It’s the taste of fresh.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why? Do you think it describes you, or it’s just a cool animal to be?
A praying mantis. They sit there, looking harmlessly in prayer when secretly they’re planning to eat your head.
If you were a colour, what colour would you be? What colour screams “Meda”?
Grey. The color of not-too-deep shadows. Black is too alarming. People see black and instinctively know a monster could be hiding. Under a bed, in a closet, the corners of a parking garage. But a shadow? It’s just a shadow–until it’s not.
What songs would be on a CD playing a soundtrack of your life?
Invincible by OK GO. Also that song from Jaws–you know the one. (du-na-du-na-du-na-du-NA!)
What character in literature do you most identify with?
If you were normal and you didn’t need to eat souls, what would you do with yourself? What would you want to be when you grow up?
Evil dictator. Actually, that’s still in the cards.
What would be your best chowing-down-on-souls theme song?
Oh wait, no THIS one is the soundtrack to jaws.
If you were a dessert, what would you be?
A cream-puff, naturally.
If your life was a video game, what kind of system would it be? An epic RPG? A tense first-person? Or a tricky adventure game? Why so?
I don’t know. Which one’s the best?
Eliza Crewe always thought she’d be a lawyer, and even went so far as to complete law school. But as they say, you are what you eat, and considering the number of books Eliza has devoured since childhood, it was inevitable she’d end up in the literary world. She abandoned the lawyer-plan to instead become a librarian and now a writer.
While she’s been filling notebooks with random scenes for years, Eliza didn’t seriously commit to writing an entire novel until the spring of 2011, when she and her husband bought a house. With that house came a half-hour commute, during which Eliza decided she needed something to think about other than her road-rage. Is it any surprise she wrote a book about a blood-thirsty, people-eating monster?
Eliza has lived in Illinois, Edinburgh, and Las Vegas, and now lives in North Carolina with her husband, her hens, her angry, talking, stuffed dwarf giraffe, and a sweet, mute, pantomiming bear. She likes to partially-complete craft projects, free-range her hens, and take long walks. Cracked is her first novel. She can be found on her website and on Twitter.