Friday, March 20, 2009

Review: Need by Carrie Jones

Need is the latest big YA push, written by Carrie Jones (author of Girl, Hero; Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape); and Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend.) It's billed as a Twilight read-alike, and that's mostly what it is.

The main difference is that there aren't any vampires. There are pixies instead! Also, the protagonist, "Zara," yes there's a reason for the funky name, is a rabid liberal, and for that I can see no reason. It's just annoying. I don't have anything against liberals, I just wish they wouldn't be all up in my face, and it'd be better for their cause if they didn't act like dumb, whiny, totally genre-blind teenage girls the whole book. Also, the writing is in first person, present tense, which is sort of jarring.

Those things aside, it was a very engaging read and I enjoyed it. While it sounds EXACTLY like Twilight in the first few chapters, you quickly realize that there's more going on here. The characters are more confusing and believable, and the mystery/horror factors get center stage. There's a lot of good imagery and some fascinating red herrings and surprises. I loved almost all of the characters besides Zara, they're very down-to-Earth and funny.

The writing wasn't as good as it could've been, and the ending was a little weak. I ended up rooting for the bad guy, but even aside from that it wasn't quite as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. There's definitely room for a sequel and I really hope she writes one, because there are a lot of things I'd like to see addressed more in-depth and I think she could work out the kinks in this one and end up with something really great. The basics are excellent, just the execution is shaky.

Need isn't the Best Book Ever, but it's definitely worth reading if you like the genre (YA, fantasy/horror/romance.) It's also recommended for Wicked Lovely fans, and definitely check it out if you liked Twilight or the idea of Twilight but not the way it was handled. (Another book even better for that purpose would be Evernight, which I liked way more than any of these others. Full review here.)

Buy Need


  1. This is the second time I've seen this book recommended for Twilight and Wicked Lovely fans.

    It makes me feel a bit strange because while Twilight was just alright for me, I absolutely loved Wicked Lovely. Am I blind? Are they really just alike? Please advise. :)

  2. I think it's less a matter of the three of them being the same as Need being similar to each of them. I don't see a lot of overlap between Wicked Lovely and Twilight either, but I do see resemblances between Need and each of them.

    Of course, since faeries haven't (quite) cornered the market yet, it may just be the faerie thing that keeps it next to Wicked Lovely in my head. It's hard to tell with these subliminal connections.

  3. Thanks for the review my daughter is twilight all the way and we were looking for something to read after that. THanks also for stopping by my blog and good luck on the contest you entered

  4. This one's on my pile, and I'm hoping to get to it soon. Your review made it even more intriguing!


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