Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Author: Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A Children’s Books 

Series: Need #1
Pages: 306
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Release Date: December 28, 2008
How Received: Library

Summary: Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you'd have to fear.

My Thoughts:
As much as I hate comparing books to other books, I had to with this one. The beginning of Need was so reminiscent of Twilight, it wasn’t even funny. New girl in a small town, it’s cold – she hates the cold, she falls down on the first day of school as she’s walking to her new ride, the hospital near the end. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt myself going back through time when I first read Twilight. Hell, some of the lines even sounded the same.  

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book, and let me tell you – even without a clue about what’s going on at the beginning, this book delivers.

So, not knowing what was going on, I accepted the pixie “sub-plot” pretty easily. Werewolves? Okay. Were-tigers? Uhh... I’ll let that slide. No vampires? That’s where I draw the line. You have an entire army of these other mythical creatures, and no vampires? That’s just odd. But yes, despite the seemingly normal title, Need IS paranormal with lots of shiny creatures.

Our main character, Zara, is dealing with loss, a new romance, potential stalker, and phobia on top of phobia. She’s depressed, hollow, and stubborn. I think she was meant to be portrayed as a strong character, but she’s really just a stupid one. She goes to danger and ends up with concussions, broken limbs, etc. I mean cmon... There is only so much physical harm the body can take. Have some self-preservation. If she had waited for half of the bad scenarios she got caught in, I’m sure there’d be more favorable outcomes. I loved Issie – she’s hyper, eccentric, and loves bunnies. Who wouldn’t like her?! She was a nice, bubbly contrast to Zara.  I also liked the fact that there was a parental figure in Zara’s life – that almost always seems to be missing in YA novels. Betty was so badass for a grandmother, and it seemed like she bended over backwards for Zara.

The novel didn’t drag too much, if at all. A lot of the story revolved on moving forward, and action from here to there. Something was always happening. And goodness, PLOT TWIST GALORE. I was only able to predict one plot twist, and that was only because it was super obvious. I’m usually up to par with some plot twists, but goodness, I did not see at least 2 of them coming AT ALL. My mouth hung open – it takes a lot to do that, so kudos to Need for catching me off guard so badly.

I love that the title Need incorporates into the story, in a way I wouldn’t have expected it to – I thought it was more of a need for... romance, or saving, or some sort. You’ll see what I mean. But it was super cool. =)

Cover Musings: THIS COVER IS GORGEOUS. Gah! I’m in love with it so much. I love it even more now that I know it actually has significance and ties in with the story! Sooo much love.

Memorable Quotes:
“It’s a lot easier to understand things once you name them. It’s the unknown that mostly freaks me out.” (pg. 1)

“'The keys are right here
She drew an arrow pointing at the keys, next to the note on the table, like I’d miss them.” (pg. 19)

“I used to be the type of person who was always in motion, always doing things, writing letters, running through the streets, laughing with my friends, moving. Always forward. Moving.
                Then I got stuck. My dad died and the only words I hear are death, deadly, stillness. To never more. No forward. No backward. Just stuck. Gone forever, like my dad, a blank screen on the computer, an old photograph in the hall with no spirit in it, an ice patch on a road to nowhere, nothing. Just gone.”  (pg. 62)

“Nick laughs. Dimples crinkle up the skin near his lips. I will not look at his lips. How can he never have used those? That’s a crime against humanity right there.” (pg. 101)

“Fear pushes my feet faster, makes my heart speed up too fast. It pounds against my chest, trying to escape. But from what? A voice? A shadow? I came out here to find him. He’s found me.” (pg. 111)

“Everybody has fears, right? But how many of us have my fear? Enough, it seems. Because there’s a name for it.
Fear of oneself” (pg. 306)

Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: Need was a pretty good book – I’d recommend this to any YA lovers out there. The pacing was good, the characters were enjoyable, and the plot was semi-unique. The inclusion of phobias made this a rather fun and quirky read – much like our main character. Zara’s and Nick’s romance was sweet, and I actually enjoyed seeing how it progressed. This actually would have been a great standalone book, but I realized it’s a series, so I’m rather curious as to how the story will expand.

Rating: 4/5

Random, fun phobias in the novel that applied to me:
Fear of being stared at.

Fear of being the third wheel

The fear of darkness

Fear of being ridiculed

Fear of being alone

** This post is a challenge entry for the September Spectacular Challenge


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Your comparison with Twlight kind of put me off - ok so I enjoyed the book but do I really want to read something that is so similar? Thanks for a very honest review.

Steph said...

LOL I loved your review. I haven't read Need yet but I have seen it around. I really love a book that can suprise me. I am really got at guessing what will happen so when I am wrong it is a great thing. Thanks for joining the September Spectacular!

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