Saturday, 4 December 2010

Book review: Need by Carrie Jones

Summary (from Goodreads)

 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 review and thoughts
I got hold of Need from the library after I received the upcoming third book in the series Entice for review from Bloomsbury and I'm glad to say that I liked it much more than I thought it would. It is one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat and that you enjoy whilst reading it but you overlook some of the character and story faults that bring it down until you finish and have time to think.
Zara is a young girl who has lived in Charleston all her life with her mum and step father until her suddenly step father dies of a heart attack and Zara's mum sends her to live with her grandmother Betty because she is so depressed. However, Zara doesn't want to go to cold and snowy Maine and leave all her friends. However, once at school she starts making friends and discovers things about herself and her father that she never knew existed before. For the first half of the book, the scene was being set as Zara builds up trust with her friends as we get to know them and find out her possible love interest. Therefore, it took quite a while for the action to start happening but once it did, everything was very intense!
Zara is a very well developed character and I liked that the book was narrated by her in the first person. This meant I could really get into her head and feel the same fears as she did when she is frightened by the unknown in the book.  She is a very intelligent girl and is involved in Amnesty International by writing protest letters to captives of imprisoned innocent people, which I think is a quirky trait that makes her more three dimensional. As mentioned in the blurb, Zara also chants phobias she has memorised when she is scared and this was quite an interesting edition to the book. I think that what makes her such a likable character is that she is very realistic and down to earth for example when she has feelings for the gorgeous boy at school and he doesn't reciprocate them, she doesn't pine away from the world in a depressed state like some other YA characters . She is also very strong willed and faces and has the courage to face her fears without running away.
Together with her adorable and excitable best friend Issie; kind, quiet and self-confessed geek Devyn and another character who also eventually becomes a real part of their friendship group I thought the main characters made a hilarious group. I love how they were always there and willing to risk their lives for each other.
Zara's romance was adorable and I thought that she and her love interest (I won't give his name away) were perfect for each other. He was a very likable character too. Having read the sequel, Captivate too I know that this romance plays a core part in the plot.
I have only read one other supernatural/paranormal book so I am not an expert but I thought that the idea of pixies as the supernatural villainous race was refreshing and original amongst the many vampire books that are out there. It gives the book a chance to stand out as something different.
The supernatural elements of the book are not always at the forefront of the story with lots of it focusing around Zara and her friends at school and meeting up like regular teenagers do. I think that this balance between the supernatural and contemporary realistic life made Need work for me.
Verdict: I would recommend Need to people who like elements of fantasy and the supernatural and also books about contemporary teens as these two elements work hand in hand in this book!
The third book in the Need series, Entice is being released on January 3rd and I am going to start it tomorrow as I have a early finished copy from Bloomsbury. Thank you Bloomsbury!


  1. Thanks for the review. I'll definately check this one out.

  2. Great review. As someone who has read a lot of paranormal books, I found some of this book new and different and some of it rather predictable. I really loved Zara's character though and her foibles.

  3. I'm so glad that I helped you discover it Christy. I hope you enjoy it if you read it :)

    Becky- Yes, some of it is predictable but I think the characterisation makes up for that!

  4. Anonymous20:45:00

    Thanks so much for this review! I had to do a book report on this book......IN FRENCH! I didn`t understand about half of the book, although you make it seem very good in english :) thanks again!


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