Author: Carrie Jones
Page Count: 306 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Genre: young adult, paranormal romance
Copy for review compliments of the public library
50 words or less: Zara comes to Maine to get a fresh start. What she gets are pixies, werewolves, drama, secrets, and maybe a few friends in the mix.
Sigh. There are plenty of critics of YA novels, especially paranormal ones, that argue that the books are less-than-classy because they're so formulaic, and while I personally think that argument is a load of malarkey, there are some books out there that seem to support that position, and unfortunately Need is one of them.
Receipe for a Novel
Take one awkward teenage girl, and:
Add one dramatic relocation (from Charleston to Maine;)
Add one curious, somewhat obscure relative;
Subtract another relative (her stepdad passed away;)
Add two potential love interests;
Subtract any school or life responsibilities;
Add a dramatic supernatural reveal;
Shake well; serve cold.
For added flavor, garnish with quirky personal habits and a dash of mythology.
That, in a nutshell, is what goes on in Need. Zara herself is an interesting enough narrator and heroine for the story and her awareness of her world and her own feelings and ideas is unique. Did Amnesty International sponsor this book? I'm just asking.
Nick as a love interest is a logical choice; handsome and mysterious and emotionally unavailable. Turns out Nick is keeping secrets; his, other people's, you name it. Seriously creepy things are happening, and Zara wants to know the scoop, but the most anyone is willing to tell her is "stay inside and don't go into the woods alone," and while that's good advice, it certainly doesn't do anything to set Zara's mind at ease.
Need took a long time to get going, but once it did, it clipped along at a good pace and set up a believable world and conflict. We learn a lot about Zara and I'm definitely intrigued as to how all those mysteries and conflicts will play out in future books.
I will say this: I read Captivate right after this and it blew my socks off, as you'll see in that review. My advice is, if you're interested in reading this series, get Need and Captivate at the same time and pretend they're one long book. There's plenty of stuff in Need that's important to the overall series, so, like most oldest children in a family, it gets the burden of, and the low rating for, paving the way for everyone that comes after.
Overall Grade: By itself- C. Together with Captivate: A
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