By: Suzanne Young
Published By: Balzer & Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: Jun 21, 2011
Source: E-copy owned by Reviewer
Audience: YA Paranormal
So it was Harper ARC request time again, and this round I got A Want So Wicked, book two in this series, so naturally I had to read A Need So Beautiful first. I read it easily between home from work and bedtime, without other distractions. I thought it was fantastic way to kick off my summer reading binge! Plus, isn't the cover gorgeous?
We meet Charlotte in front of a church, waiting on her best friend. We also meet her boyfriend Harlin, former bad-ish boy rebel. While he didn't melt my butter, I found him very endearing. Charlotte appears to be the typical teenage girl, albeit slightly less self-involved than you would expect. That may be because of her Needs. Charlotte experiences other worldly compulsions to help others, which can be quite painful when she tries to fight them. She is a Forgotten, an example of pure love and peace in the universe - And she doesn't want it. All she wants to do is live. Onika appears and seems to offer it her help, but is she really just helping herself?
I love the flow and voice of Suzanne Young's writing and I feel like it stayed true to the age and wants and needs of a teenage girl. I saw where some reviewers complained the heroine was selfish - Have you met a teenager today? *shudders* But I digress. Was it a tad predictable? Yeah, a little. I wasn't looking for something complicated or a rival to The Grapes of Wrath. The author gives a fresh twist on angel-lore (though I would like to point out that the word angel is never applied to the Forgotten) and the heavy issues Charlotte faces are appropriately and seriously handled with a realistic amount of resistance and insecurity. Who would want to be forgotten by everyone, including their loved ones? I think that's a widely held, basic fear. (It could be a great book club topic...Just sayin')
And keep in mind that this is YA fiction - The authors write for their audience's level. It's SUMMER, people! Relax! ENJOY. And I certainly did enjoy A Need So Beautiful and I think you will too.
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences?