Review: Need by Carrie Jones

January 22, 2010 Review 8

Review: Need by Carrie JonesNeed by Carrie Jones
Series: Need #1
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on April 1st 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Pages: 336
Sexual Content: Kissing.
Reviewed by: Abigail

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since she's had a pretty rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, and her stepfather just died. Her mother's pretty much checked out - in fact, Mom's sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to "keep Zara safe." Whatever that means. Zara doesn't think she's in danger; she thinks her mother just can't deal.Zara's wrong. The man she sees everywhere - the tall creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road - yeh, he's not a figment of her imagination. He's a pixie. And not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine's got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures, like pixies and were-people. And they seem to need something - something from Zara...Look for the other exciting books in the Need series: Captivate, Entice, and coming next year, Endure!

Literaphobia-The fear of reading bad books. I've suffered from that phobia ever since I got hooked on phonics a kid.  But my fear was unfounded with Carrie Jones paranormal love story, Need.  If Twilight and Wicked Lovely had a book baby, it would be Need.

Woods and werewolves and pixies…oh my!

Zara is hollow inside and has been ever since her dad died. Thinking a change of scenery will wake Zara out of her coma-like trance, her mother ships her off to her grandmother in a little town in freezing Maine. Her mother succeeds far beyond her expectations, however, when Zara awakens not just to her life again (through the help of the brooding Nick), but to a dangerous world of ravenous pixies where her own soul may be the price demanded to save the lives of others.

The character of Zara is an extremely well written, very real, portrayal of a girl barley existing after a tragic loss.  She has a quirk, a cooping mechanism, of mentally running through lists of other people’s phobias when she is scared or uncomfortable, in fact the titles of each chapter of Need is a different phobia.

The author uses the present tense throughout this book (except in flashbacks) very effectively. This is a welcome trend that I'm beginning to notice in more and more books, especially YA books (The Hunger Games come to mind). As I reader, this tense allows me to feel like I'm experiencing the story as it happens, to almost be a part of the story.

There is a romance in Need, but unlike many books in this genre, it really isn’t the focus of the story.  At its heart, Need is Zara’s story.  How she copes with loss, new friends, family revelations, and her very way of life.  Falling in love is only a part—a good part, but a part nonetheless--of her story.

My only real complaint with Need is how easily Zara accepts the paranormal aspects of her life.  A few bizarre things happen and she immediately jumps to a fantastical conclusion without a hiccup.  In reality, I can’t imagine someone acting that way.  To add insult to injury, once she decides the paranormal explanation is the only one, she does an internet search and blindly believes everything see reads on one site without ever questioning its reliability.

All in all, the writing style is a notch above most in this genre, the character of Zara is extremely believable and likeable, her love interest tortured yet loveable, and the story is imminently readable.  Yay for me that Captivate (Need, book 2) is available now!

8 Responses to “Review: Need by Carrie Jones”

  1. Precious

    Great review! I liked how you pointed out about the use of present tense. I rarely see that used in a novel. Zara sounds like a really good character – real and believable.

  2. Book Crazy Jenn

    AWESOME review! I cant wait to pick this one up, I have captivate on the way, so I need to read this one SOON! 🙂

    Thanks so much for your review!

  3. Jo

    "If Twilight and Wicked Lovely had a book baby, it would be Need."

    This is such a great thing to write. ;)~ I've added this to my TBR pile (just waiting for the holds list at the library to get to me). Great review!

  4. Donna [F.D. Ramblings]

    I bought Need! I'm double glad I did too. Great review, TwiLovely baby, huh? Well, I haven't read Wicked Lovely so I'll have to take your word on it. Will read this one soon. I hear Captivate is really good also.