Author: Suzanne Young
Genre: Paranormal (YA)
Publisher: Baltzer and Bray
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need.a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.
What would you do if you could save those around you from the worst decisions of their lives? You could step in during their time of need and give them the push into the right direction to save them extreme heartbreak. You'd do it in a heartbeat right? What if you were forced to do it? That if you refused, your body was torn up with pain so extreme you can barely walk until you told the person whatever it was they needed? And what if everyone you've ever helped forgot about you the moment you weren't needed, and eventually no one you've ever known from your parents, to you boyfriend, to you best friend knew who you were anymore? And eventually, the need that compels you to help others will force you to destroy yourself to give everyone you've ever been in contact with one pure moment of peace...Yeah...that pretty much sums up A Need So Beautiful. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. I sat down expecting to read for about a half an hour or so. Three hours and an entire coffee pot later, I finished the book and still wanted more.
For a lot of the book, you are kind of bumbling along in the dark right along the main character as she tries to figure out why the compulsions keep happening to her and why they are coming more frequently than ever. My favorite parts were when Charlotte was actually in the thrall of the Need and she would just go up to some gang banger and save his future, or get a man to not commit suicide and all sorts of other things. I was kept interested throughout (though I will say that a lot of the plot was easily guessed...it wasn't bad, but if you like unexpected twists and things, there aren't many in this book other than a minor one near the end that hint that there might be more books about these characters). I really enjoyed all of the characters, major and minor. Though you don't have to like all of them, you can definitely appreciate their depth and the thought that has been put into each and every person that crosses Charlotte's path.
In several different books regarding angels, there is often a main theme of a "purpose" or a need to help others in some way. However, this book was completely original, despite having many similarities to the typical cannon of angel books. Though they never said the words angels, the imagery was unmistakable.The Forgotten are basically angels, both the normal white light and halo kinds in addition to the fallen angels. The "good" people who were Forgotten started glowing gold before they burst into a blast of golden light that brought peace on earth. Then there were the "bad" Forgotten who had forsaken their calling and, thought they held the illusion of beauty, beneath it lay skin cracked, grey and black with rot and decay. *shudders* These former Forgotten are then called Shadows. I would really love to have a little more back story of both groups. I wanna know how they started, who started them, are they connected to god, and what their history is. Lately I feel like I'm always left asking for more than my books are willing to give me lol.
Holy Hotness...oh my GOD Charlotte's boyfriend Harlin is SO effing amazing. He's so swoon-worthy I' practically having hot flashes just writing about him right here. (side note...I really liked how Young started out the book with Charlotte and Harlin together. There was none of that YA angsty "does he like me? are we destined for each other?" bull***t.)Harlin is FER SURE someone I wish I could pop out of fiction-land and bring to life so that I could play with him as my very own. He rides a motorcycle, paints, and tastes like cinnamon (yummy). Also he is super protective of Charlotte and takes care of Char's best friend Sarah when she's fatally ill. Talk about hero mentality...ow ow!
I give this book 4 Keys out of 5. Another fantastic read. I will definitely check out any other books in the series if Suzanne decides to write any more, which I hope she does. I really liked this book. I would love to learn more about the other characters and see where Young can take this series. It kind of fits in the angel books category, but at the same time it has the feel of something completely different. I'd say you should definitely check it out if you get a chance!