Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Need by Carrie Jones


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

I started reading this maybe two days ago, finishing up late last night. It was a pretty quick read, in the fact that I didn't want to put it down because stuff just kept happening, but also because its relatively short and an easy read. The writing is pretty good, as far as young adult books go. It was an interesting twist: most fantasy books with Faeries in them use the term "faerie" and "pixie" as the same thing... it is not so with this book. Some books make pixies bad, some are good. This book takes pixies and makes them bad, while faeries are good. But enough rambling about faeries vs pixies.

Zara is an interesting character, although I feel the book doesn't develop her enough as I would like (of course, Stephenie Meyer is my hero, as is Jane Austen, and they both tend to have rather amazing character development). When I read that she collects phobias, I was thinking it was some supernatural thing, that she actually took people's fears from them. Nope. However, you do find out several interesting phobias in her mental listing of phobias, which she does when she's nervous or afraid. Mainly just afraid. Each chapter also gives you a clue as to what is going on by listing a fear and the meaning as its title.

Another downside to this book is the time that it covers is really only about a week! I don't know about most of you, but I'm used to reading books that cover more than that... say, at least 6 months to several years? Again, hard to really develop a character when you only read about a week of their life. If the author would have taken more time with the character of Zara and really developed her, I think the story would be much more fulfilling.

I've heard this book as being praised by fans of Stephenie Meyer, and the only thing I can see is a slight resemblance between Bella Swan and Zara (don't like cold, klutzy, seem to be drawn to creatures who would not exist in the real world, and seem to be prey for other types of otherworldly creatures). Hmmm... there is that in common. However, where Bella and Edwards relationship is very well developed (even just considering Twilight), there just isn't adequate time for Zara and her love interest to have their relationship be developed. Slightly disappointing on that front.

The story does take an interesting twist, although most twist and turns are really set up and completely expected by the time they roll around. I would stash this on my "eh, maybe I'll read it again" shelf... Those of you who are thinking about reading it because you like the whole otherworldly creatures thing it has going on, just wait. I can tell you other ones that are better (in my opinion). However, if you want something quick that doesn't end seeming like it needs a sequel, this would be a good one for you.

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