Monday, May 14, 2012

Review "Need" by Carrie Jones

Need (Need, #1)
Need (Need #1)
Publication Date: December 8, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Paperback 306 pgs

     Zara White is having trouble dealing with the death of her stepfather. She's going through the motions but not really living. Her mom decides to ship her off to Maine to spend time with her grandma, Betty. While in Maine weird things start happening to Zara. First, she thinks she might have a stalker. Then, someone keeps calling her name trying to get her to go into the woods. Lastly, she keeps finding trails of gold dust in unusual places. What is going on in freezing Maine and what does it have to do with Zara?

     One of the things I really felt set this book apart are the unique chapter headings. Each chapter is started with a phobia and what that phobia means. I also like that the main character is a member of Amnesty International showing how she cares about improving the world even though her world has fallen apart. Need is set in Bedford, Maine which is described as a snowy, frigid place that can be quite scary after dark. Bedford can be a creepy place it fuels her imagination, the sun sets early and is surrounded by eerie woods. I think the setting helped shape the eeriness that the characters felt throughout this novel. It sounds like the perfect town for some weirdness to take place.

     As I mentioned above Zara is sent to Maine because of her inability to move past the death of her stepfather. Zara slowly begins to move forward as she makes friends and gets into school activities like track and starting an Amnesty International chapter at her new school. Zara is set apart from other female leads because of how she memorizes phobias which she uses to calm her down whether she's nervous or scared. Her devotion to Amnesty International made me like her even more because it shows that she thinks about more than just herself. Even though she is still hurting Zara still wants to help others, especially those who can't help themselves. Zara is not into violence but will stick up for herself and her friends if she feels they are being threatened.

     When Zara goes to Maine we are introduced to all the new people in her life. Her grandma Betty takes Zara in hoping a change of scenery will help Zara move forward. Betty is sarcastic, caring, protective and makes Zara feel loved as well as welcome in her home. While at school she meets Nick, a loner, who Zara is instantly attracted to. Her excitement about Nick is cute and is contagious especially to me. I couldn't wait to see if something was going to happen between them. Nick like Zara has a need to save people which comes out when he is around Zara. Then there is Issie. She is full of energy, always optimistic, and completely adorable. She also meets Devyn a friend of Nick's and Issie's who she becomes friends with as he helps her deal with the craziness that has invaded her life since coming to Bedford. we also meet Ian who seems to like  Zara, he shows her around school and walks Zara to her classes. Of course there is a mean girl in Zara's new school, Megan. She dislikes everything about Zara and doesn't mind letting her know.  I really felt that these characters were able to make connections with each other that were believable. They seemed to gravitate towards one another.

     Need is an engaging story with great characters that came alive as I read. I loved the pixie lore that they discovered as well as the information they revealed about weres. Instead of just blindly walking into danger the foursome did research to try and figure out what was going on. I'm not sure why their local library had a ton of books on pixies but the books did come in handy for the characters. This was a re-read and I enjoyed it this time as much as I did the first time I read it.

     I'm a big fan of this cover. It's simple yet totally drew me in. I like how the gold dust that is talked about in the book is found in several different places on the cover such as on her lips and around the title. Plus, her neck is covered in creepy trees that seem to be pulling her in. Very Nice!