Author: Carrie Jones
Series: Need #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Genre: Paranormal YA
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.
Urgh...I don't quite know where to begin on this book. I don't like writing reviews that bash the novels, but to be perfectly honest...I have never felt like something wasted my time more than Need. There were a few redeeming qualities, but overall, I can barely remember what I read. It was the most unoriginal, unbelievable, cheesy book that I have read in months. I feel bad for saying this because perhaps it isn't what the author intended, but it really feels like she was just capitalizing on the surge of paranormal YA love that's been going on lately. This world, these characters, all have absolutely no life. I love it when an author's world spills onto the page and takes a life of its own, but these characters left me cold and irritated. They are cookie cutter pieces that when forced together make a YA novel that looks interesting enough(I really did like the cover), but is just a way to make money. It was Twilight, on the other side of the country, with pixies instead of vampires, and lacking in any form of plot or character depth.
Things I liked:
- The quirkiness of Zara's phobia naming was pretty interesting. I liked seeing how the phobias applied to each chapter, and it gave Zara the semblance of a personality.
- The dialogue between Gran and Zara. Gran was my favorite character. She was the only one who had a personality, even if it was slightly cliché. She jokes with her grand daughter, creeped on her grand daughter, and pretty much single-handedly dominated in the sarcasm department. I loved her. I wish my grandma was just like her.
- The concept of the pixies. I love the fey, and everything fey related. I liked that Jones created a history that included fey, weres, elves, etc. By having an actual history to look back on, it makes the present day characters seem much more realistic.
- When Zara arrives in Maine, she walks into school and makes friends and enemies on the spot. Literally, she walks into the office and the pretty popular blonde girl sitting there looks at her scathingly and decides that she hates her immediately. Then the hot over-achiever guy takes her to class and wants to be best friends. Um...why? Even the mean girls in my high school needed a reason to hate someone...they didn't just pick a random person on the spot to despise...There was no reason for the hate, no reason for the love, and the friends she made are such carbon copies of the cliché group of high school friends that its pathetic.
- When said unoriginal friends find out that Zara is being stalked, they rush to the internet where they google stalkers, and guess what? They decide that the stalker has to be a pixie. And Zara's all " What? OMG? No Way?! Ok then, Pixies it is!!" Then they throw in weres for good measure and all decide to believe in them too. The fact that these kids just randomly pick up some book in the library and articles on the internet and then they magically believe in pixies was so laughable, I almost put the book down right there. SO unrealistic. There is no evidence, no pixie or were friends that demonstrate the paranormal, nothing...and they still believe? That’s like me finding out someone stole my mail and deciding that it MUST have been the elves and dwarves that did it...totally unbelievable. Which brings me to my next point.
- So we find out later in the book that the Pixie King wants Zara's mom as his queen, and that she ran away from him so that she wouldn't have to become it. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to send your daughter to the very place that you ran away from to "keep her safe"...sounds logical to me. Because the King so won't use your daughter to trap you, and who knows with pixies...incest might not be frowned upon so you might have just sacrificed your daughter to the pixie king in your place...
- Zara herself was a flat, boring character. She barely thinks for herself, outside of naming random phobias. She accepts the idea that pixies exist without a blink, then when she finds out Nick is a were she has a panic attack...in the same boat, Nick IS a were and claims he loves Zara (after like...3 days mind you) and he gets angry and has a freak out when he realized Zara is half pixie...hello racism...or is it speciesism? Every issue is so overblown and dramatic, I found myself rolling my eyes more than scanning the pages.