Pain shoots through my head.

Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain.

The white world goes dark and I know what’s about to happen.

Zara White suspects there’s a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She memorizes phobias and chants them when she’s nervous. And, okay, she hasn’t exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But moving to a shivery Maine town to stay with her grandmother is supposed to be the perfect fix–so her mom says.

Except, this new plan of getting way to help Zara stay sane? Yeah, not working. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara’s imagination. 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 are pointing to Zara.

Need by Carrie Jones is a tough book to review – while reading it I was totally engrossed and fascinated. It has a creepy vibe that makes you want to close the curtains and stay out of dark rooms. I liked the main character’s habit of quoting phobias – it was a clever quirk. I finished the book very curious to read the next one. But then, as I mulled over the story for a few hours, I found myself very disappointed.

The book is written in first person as always seems to be the case lately. However, instead of the usual first-person past-tense, it is written in present-tense… This is odd and very jarring at times. “I walk here. I do this. I trip. My aunt laughs.” The descriptions are barely there.  Which really works during the creepy, in-the-dark scenes but most of the time leaves you guessing. Part way through the first chapter, I actually flipped back to the beginning looking for the description of the main character, thinking I had missed it. I hadn’t. There’s a scene where the main character is startled by a car and jumps into a ditch – then she’s apparently all scraped up and bleeding – which was a much more extreme tumble than I’d imagined. There’s also more than one instant where the editing suffered – who was where would get confused or a character would be in two physical forms at the same time. Seriously – an eagle lands on the outstretched, gloved arm of … a werewolf in wolf form? Oops!

The main character is a little too obsessed with her world causes – I got very tired of the preaching. And I had originally picked up this book because some reviews described her as “Bella with guts” – um, no – try Bella without brains. Or more brainless. Your pick. 😉 She was always either freaking out or running headlong into danger with nary a thought.

That being said, those are minor issues. My biggest problem with “Need” ended up being the “need” behind the title.

Spoilers Follow!! Do not read unless you want the beans spilled!!! The pixie King must mate or else lose magical control of pixie kingdom? Until he can mate with his specific chosen one, he has to drain the blood from teenage boys?! Okayyy… And why is Zara’s mom ‘the one’? Why not pick a pixie who wants to be queen instead of a human who wants nothing to do with it? The correlation between the “need” and the proposed solution just didn’t make sense. Neither did the band-aid. And I never understood why the main character (and certain others) were supposed to be important in the first place. The bits of the sequels that I have read only confirm that the niggly doubts from the first book are fanned and flamed in the sequels. I’d recommend Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston instead…

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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