Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Author: Carrie Jones
Author Online: Twitter Website
Series: Need Series
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Release Date: December 23, 2008
Format: Hardback, 320 pages
My Rating: 2.5/5
Buy It: Amazon Barns & Noble Book Depository
Summary: Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal. Wrong.
Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara. With suspense, romance, and paranormal themes, this exciting breakout novel has all the elements to keep teens rapidly turning the pages.

My Review:
Zara White is making a big move from Charleston to cold and lonely Maine. Ever since the death of her beloved stepfather, Matthew, she hasn’t been the same. Her mother fears she may be in danger of herself, thus, sending her to live with her grandmother. But things in Maine are far less boring than she ever imagined. And she is caught in the middle of it all.
On her first day at her new school, she meets Nick Colt. Tall, dark and cocky, he has a hero-complex and feels as if he should protect almost everyone and everything. That is explained later on in the story.

To me, all of the characters in Need never really grew as characters. They just sort of moved on. It is an easy read, and on some chapters more than others, it will keep you saying, “Just one more chapter! Then I’m done!”
But that doesn’t always make a book. And it doesn’t always make it memorable.
My first thoughts while reading this book was that it seemed and started off like every other YA book I have ever read.
While the opening line did pull you in, and made you want to know more, what I got wasn’t more. It was just filler.

This book is told in first-person, Zara being the narrative, and I have to say, I didn’t really like her voice. She seemed like your everyday Mary-Sue to me. Maybe I am being too hard on this book, or maybe it is just the writing I did not like, but this book just didn’t do it for me.
Zara didn’t seem real to me. She didn’t speak like a real person. She didn’t act like a real person. She just wasn’t real. So in the end, she didn’t feel real to me. And if by the end of a story, the catheters didn’t feel real to me, I’m very let down and disappointed.
I can think of a list of reasons why this book was not my cup of tea, and I suppose I should list some of them.

Zara herself, I just didn’t find her likeable. Maybe that is just me, but she seemed pretty annoying most of the time, and she didn’t really have a personally.
Her friend, Issie, didn’t really have a part. She was just there to, well, be there..

It was like after two or three days of knowing Zara, her ‘friends’ wanted to tell her all of these secrets that people in the real world would never tell someone they had just met.
And while this book is about pixies, and I suppose does need an unrealistic feel and atmosphere to work, I felt that the author could have gone about this better, and maybe could have given some reason as to why they trusted Zara so much in such a short amount of time, other than the fact that she was new and they liked her before she’s nice to them.

Issie’s favorite word was ‘cool’. She pretty much only said that word the whole book. And that is another reason why I thought Zara didn’t have a personally. She was always taking lines and words from all of the people around her. Issie started saying “Not cool” a lot, so Zara started saying it.
I’m not even going to say that that is not cool. Man. I said it anyway…

Zara didn’t know when to react, and when she was over reacting. There is a scene (kind of a spoiler, but not really) when she tells Nick that what ever he is hiding—what ever his secret is—he can tell her. She will be there for him. So he tells her his big secret. What does she do? She freaks out, of course. She starts yelling at him, trying to get away from him, all of these things which, I’m sure, is a normal way to act if someone were to tell you what Nick just told Zara, but she did say that it was okay for him to tell her anything.
And then, (another spoiler, sorry!) she is kidnapped, and when she finds out who has taken her, she is calm as can be. She doesn’t put up a fight. She talks to them! She almost enjoys herself there. At least, it seemed that way to me. If that’s not messed up, I don’t know what is.

Nick. The hero in this story was, well… a jerk. But I did like the fact that he didn’t take any crap from Zara. I like it when the hero can be soft and caring; willing to do anything for the heroine and also know when enough is enough. And to have a backbone, that’s always good.

To me, this book had a lot of clich├ęs. It wasn’t that original. But that doesn’t mean it is a bad book. It is a book about fairies—pixies, whatever you want to call them. It’s about supernatural things, and it’s just that—nothing more, nothing less. I thought that Carrie Jones had a lot of things to cover with this story, and it was just pushed far too long. The things I did not want to read about seemed to go on and on, and the things that I did want to read about ended before I could say it was there.

While you may catch yourself thinking of other things while reading this book, or sometimes skipping a line or two, you will still find yourself wondering just what is going on, and hanging in there until the end of the book.

I recommend this book for ages 12 and up, since it is a pretty clean-cut book, with very little—if any, now that I think about it—profanity.
With so many YA books almost going overboard on such taboo and sexual situations you find on the shelf nowadays, this book was a breath of fresh air, and I applause Carrie Jones for putting together a YA book without buying in on all those meaningless topics.


  1. Really enjoyed your review! I tried to review the series on my blog but this review is WAY better. I was like you and had mixed thoughts about this. I really didn't know what to think. It was the reactions of the characters that kind of bugged my ALOT! But looking back I think I was a bit too nice with my 3.5 rating...

    Anyway, really enjoyed the post. Just found your blog so I am going to go and have a good snoop around. Can't wait to read more.


  2. Thank you, Alex! That means so much! :)I'll have to read your review--I'm sure it's great!
    Thank you again, and I'm gonna go check out your reviews/follow your blog right now! :)

  3. I read this book and felt the exact same way about everything you said. It wasn't real and the characters didn't do it for me. Building characters in books is a big deal to me and to me the characters were just saying things, not expressing who they were.