5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Zara has been unceremoniously shipped off to Maine to stay with Grandma Betty in the middle of nowhere during a frigid winter. According to her mother, Zara just hasn't been herself since her step-father passed away, and all of this is apparently supposed to help.
Before Zara even has a chance to snap out of the depression, her attention is drawn elsewhere by a mystery surrounding a local boy's disappearance. Oh, and then there's the strange man who seems to be stalking Zara.
She knew Maine would be a change of pace, but she didn't know she'd be running for her life...much less running from evil pixies!
When the fantastical pixie element is introduced, the excitement is enhanced, and much like WICKED LOVELY and other books of this caliber, the introduction seems natural and believable. These elements don't seem to overrun the story, but compliment it instead.
Author Carrie Jones (GIRL, HERO and other books) has a way of creating unique characters and supplying them with strong voices that seem immediately familiar to the reader. Zara's character is no exception. This immediate familiarity helps engage readers from the very beginning and hold their attention until the very end.
Aiding the familiarity of the voice in this book is its backdrop of Jones's home state. Here, the blistering cold and the frustration at being snowed in comes through loud and clear as we suffer through the Maine winter right along with Zara.
All-in-all, this is a read you won't want to miss, especially if you're a fan of contemporary fiction with fantasy woven in.
Reviewed by: Julie M. Prince
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2011
Zara is shipped out to stay with her, frankly quite awesome, grandmother in Maine after the death of her Dad. As soon as she arrives, it's clear things are not as they seem-from the weirdo stalking her to the disappearance of local boys. Along with her new school friends, Zara needs to figure out what is going on before creepy stalker man gets too close...or anyone else disappears.
As a slightly-too-old-for YA reader I have to say I opened this book with kind of low expectations, maybe even a touch of cynicism. I think just about every angle of supernatural teen romance has now been covered...several times over...and in the need to get their vampire/fairy/werewolf/witchy offering out there I think many writers have overlooked a couple of things...such as a character that is actually likeable! Or how about writing that is actually good??
So, like I said, low expectations. As it happened I didn't need to worry. Carrie Jones has managed to create a character that is both likeable and realistic (there's no banging on about how insanely 'gorgeous-without-realising it' she is). While it's hard to empathise with a character who is angsting about their teenage vampire boyfriend, it's not too hard to imagine how difficult life must be for a teenage girl who just lost her Dad and, above all, is trying to come to terms with that.
The romance angle is fairly standard-boy meets girls, boy comes to rescue a few times etc. I don't think Jones will keep it too one-dimensional for long though, so I'll watch that space.
All in all, it's well-written escapism and I'll definitely be checking out the next installment.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I really enjoyed Need, which I'm glad about. Prior to reading it, I'd read many mixed reviews, so I wasn't sure what I'd make of it. My verdict: pixies are my new supernatural interest. Thanks for that, Ms. Jones!
The one thing that stood out for me was Zara's unusual knowledge of phobias. I hardly knew any of them, and came away from the book feeling very well educated. I also think I have a few of these phobias, but hey, I'm sure I'm not alone. (Big spiders? No thanks!) Starting each chapter with a different phobia explanation was inventive, and I hope Captivate does something equally cool.
I related to Zara quite quickly, along with her friends Devyn and Issie. Aside from the fact they figured the whole pixie thing out very quickly, they were realistic and likeable, and I can see their friendship developing more in the sequel. I could have done with less of Zara's Amnesty International talk, though I do like that she had a passion for something other than fashion and boys. Speaking of boys, Nick was a fantastic male character: hot, strong, brave... exactly what a girl needs. I'd like to see more of him, please!
Carrie Jones created a creepy setting in Maine, and made it a believable place for evil pixies and supernatural beings to live. Her writing was compelling, the twists were surprising, and I loved the pixie mythology she included in the story. I think Twilight fans will really like this one, and I for one can't wait to read Captivate.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As a lover of YA fiction, when I found this book on Amazon.com, I jumped on it. Early reviews said that it was similar to TWILIGHT by Stephenie Meyer, so I thought that it would be great, but also hoped that there was enough difference to make it special.
The story is about Zara White. Following the death of her stepfather, Zara's mother decides to send Zara to the quiet town of Maine to stay with her stepgrandmother, hoping that the break and change of scenery will help Zara to come alive again.
As she is about to leave, Zara sees a man who then keeps re-appearing as though he is stalking her.
At first, Zara finds it difficult to adjust. Feeling bitter resentment towards her mum for sending her away, she struggles to get used to a place which is much colder than her beloved Charleston.
But things start to get a bit strange to say the least. It turns out that the stalker guy is no figment of her imagination - he turns up in Maine too. And why do people tell her not to go out at night, or suggest that when in the woods she should wear her coat inside out? Is everyone crazy or are there things in Maine that she doesn't yet know about?
That is about the basic plotline. I don't want to give too much away. While there are some similarities to the premise of TWILIGHT, I do feel that NEED is different enough to make its own statement. Zara, for example, is actually a pacifist - she supports Amnesty International. Violence and violations of human rights are not acceptable to her. However, NEED does fall into some of the usual traps of YA fiction. Zara, although a likebale character, does become slightly irritating as she continually seems to do stupid things which put her in danger. Plus, the focus on her relationship with another character Nick becomes so repetitive that it just gets sickening. The number of times she describes him as beautiful and harps on about his physique does get tedious. I know teenagers fall in love deeply and there are intense emotions for them, but rather than creating solid romance, at times it was a little too much to stomach.
Overall though, a good enough read - and by the ending, probably awaiting a sequel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2009
I bought the book because I was looking for another Twilight, supernatural-romance experience. Therefore, I would excuse some similarities but this book simply overdoes it. It copies Twilight down to the very last character trait of the protagonists and mirrors storylines in the extreme. Again, one might be able to live with that IF the writing were good - which it isn't. It is horrifyingly poor and the plot obvious. I wasn't expecting a great book but this one managed to push me out of the story with every other word, or indeed every time the Bella - oops, Zara - character described her were-Nick as 'beautiful'. Beautiful. Beautiful. Show, don't tell, I think is how they say it.
Don't fall for the great story description. Yes, there was awesome potential but the author just doesn't deliver on it. Do not buy this book, it is awful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2012
The first thing I loved about reading Need was the length - it was short, snappy and to the point, it had one of those very focused plots that make it easy to get into and to finish. Another great stylistic feature was how each chapter was titled with a phobia that related to what is happening in the story - I really loved that.
Initially I found myself thinking that Need had a very `samey' storyline. It's about a girl who moves to a small, cold town where she misses the heat. She starts a new school where everyone already knows her because it's a small town. And two guys immediately like her - Sound familiar to anyone? Once the storyline got going it was different, I liked that once things started unravelling the pace picked up and continued to move fast. I hate when as a reader you know what the mysterious man is, a pixie, yet you have to wait 100 - 200 pages for the main character to figure it out and accept it. Not with Need, I think it was around the fifty page mark where she first hears about pixies, which was pretty refreshing.
As for the main character, I feel very conflicted about Zara, I liked her narration, it was very easy to read and I loved how passionate Zara was about Amnesty International but at certain points I found that her passion was kind of a token gesture. However I really loved that Zara was good at running and was actually looking forward to P.E. This is so unlike me but I found it refreshing because sometimes you wonder if authors are just writing characters that are more like their readers - bookish, uncoordinated girls like myself.
As for other characters I was very fond of Nick with his hero complex and constant need to protect others. However I wasn't too keen on Issie and Devyn. I liked Issie but she just seemed a little bit... unrealistic? I can't describe it, she was like a child on a constant sugar rush, the kind of person I've only seen in books. However she was kind of on the periphery and not very involved in the plot. She didn't get a lot of page time that would have allowed her character to be show cased better and more developed. I think she may grow on me after learning more about her character/background.
As for Devyn, I was glad to see a character in a wheelchair, I hate how under represented such characters are. However I just really disliked his character - one time Zara is rambling on about Amnesty International, he covers her mouth to shut her up and won't take it away until she agrees to stop. I had to try and refrain from throwing the book against the wall because this made me want to slap him. The thing that upset me most was that Zara thinks that it's okay. He also did this, or variations of this, to Issie, and it just frustrates me because it is not acceptable. This is even more frustrating since if it was a girl doing it to a guy he'd have a go at her but no, we females have got to sit there and listen to these alpha males apparently. Also the supreme irony of Devyn shutting Zara up about Amnesty, an organisation all about the freedom of speech.
While Need isn't my all time favourites series I think it is a simplistic, easy, fantasy series and is perfect for fans of fantasy or those first trying out the genre.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2011
Need by Carrie Jones is not what I expected. I go through phases of being turned-off by paranormal YA and phases where all I want to read is something a little more fantastic. I'm going through a latter phase at the moment, and I think I picked up this book at the perfect time.
I love the quirkiness of Need. The main character, Zara, is obsessed with phobias. There's a phobia for everything from fear of flying, to peanut butter to the fear of being alone. Zara believes that if you give something a name it makes it less scary. And she needs that sort of comfort at the moment, as she's just lost the only father she's ever known. And in her depression and grief, her mother doesn't know what to do with her. So, she sends Zara away from her home in Charleston to a cold sleepy town in Maine to live with her grandmother.
Even before leaving Charleston, Zara has believed that someone's been following her, stalking her even. She hopes that by coming to Maine, the man will have disappeared. Only he hasn't. She sees him just outside the airport, and again at school. He points at her in a really creepy fashion. Luckily, Zara falls in with a friendly bunch of students at her new school: Devyn, whose recent accident sees him now in a wheelchair; perpetually happy Issie and hot loner Nick. With her new friends' help, Zara must discover who the man stalking her is, what he wants from her and how to protect herself, her grandmother and her new friends.
I knew beforehand that the paranormal creature we're dealing with in this series of books are pixies. I'm not an expert on pixies at all. They seem like a type of fairie and I'm not a fan of fairie fiction, but this one worked for me. There was enough plot-wise that I wasn't aware of to keep me surprised and guessing. I liked the friendship between Zara and Issie and Nick was suitably hot. I'd have liked a little more tension and build-up, but that isn't a big issue.
I think it was Zara who really kept me interested. Her love of running and phobias made me smile, whereas her grief for her father is very apparent. I thought she reacted to the bizarre new information and how it changes her world reasonably well and she's pretty brave in the face of extreme danger. I am pleasantly surprised with this book and I can look forward to the next two books in the series! :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2012
Need is about a girl called Zara White who after her step-dad's death is sent to Maine to see whether living with her grandmother will help with her depression. However there is a sinister man seems to be following her around and may be linked to her step-father's death.
Need is an interesting YA paranormal book which is full of suspense, romance and action, in a world filled with weres (were-tigers, werewolves) and pixies. But what I really love about this book are the characters, the four friends Zara, Nick, Issie and Devyn work really well together and have a good chemistry. Also the romance is a part of the story line but does not take it over like some YA paranormal books.
The baddies are really creepy and I would not want to meet them in a dark alley. But they are really fascinating and it is easy to understand and empathise with the main baddy. There is a lot of twists in the book and I could not guess what would happen next.
Need is a brilliant series and you really NEED to read this, I would recommend this to anyone who likes YA paranormal romance with a twist.
P.S. I love the phobias
on 21 October 2012
After the recent (strange and sudden) death of her beloved stepfather, Zara loses herself in learning ridiculous amounts of phobias and writing firm letters to Amnesty International. So Zara's worried mother decides to send her to live with her grandmother, in the cold and isolated town that is known as Maine. But being new pretty much everywhere around there, especially at school, makes Zara feel even more secluded. And it's not Zara that only feels this way, after the recent string of boys going missing in the woods, and the who is the mysterious guy that Zara keeps seeing everywhere? The one that leaves the trails of glittery gold dust?
She knew Maine would be different..but not that she'd be stalked by a creepy guy, who Zara's new friends, Issie and Devyn believe to be a pixie king? What the hell is going on around here?!
But the pixie king is real and he's not the happy-little-fairy-that-plays-in-the-bottom-of-your-garden type, but one that is controlled by disobedient needs that are causing innocent boys to disappear. Zara is not sure she's ready to find out where exactly she come's in to this twisted tale.
Lots have assumed this is another Twilight imitation, but it is not. It's a dangerous tale about grieving, darkness and a whole lotta falling-in-love. The sinister setting was so atmospheric, and realistic, a successful combination of writers like Stephen King, Melissa Marr, and Cynthia Leitich Smith as well as the infamous Stephenie Meyer! Everything is just so graphically enhanced..wow!
Carrie Jones has presented us with a touching novel, full of emotion and suspense, I know for a fact that even the most reluctant of readers will not be able to put this down. Seriously, you NEED to read this! Like what I did there? No? You are very hard to please!
on 12 July 2011
I was first drawn to it by the beautiful cover. I love her gold lips and really wanted to know what the significance of the gold was. Well now I know, but I'm not going to tell you just in case you haven't read it yet *grins evilly*.
We meet Zara as she's travelling to Maine to live with her grandmother after the death of her father. She's still grieving and does not want to be there and she's really pee'd at her mother for sending her away. To deal with her fears and frustrations, Zara has this strange coping mechanism where she reels off the names of phobias and what they are a fear of. I learned that there are some really strange and peculiar phobias out there!
As the story progresses we begin to realise that her friends and family are not all they seem, neither is the weird man that's been following her. I liked how open minded Zara was about the things her friends were telling her and I enjoyed her way of thinking, although I have to admit that sometimes she really did have stupid ideas that had me yelling at her to stop being so dense! On her first day of school, Zara met Nick, a good looking guy who she becomes friends with although she really would like it to be more. Nick was totally cute, even when he was angry and he made the perfect `love interest' for Zara.
I thought Need was an awesome paranormal story, with Pixie's and Were's galore. It's a really quick read and extremely engrossing and has definitely left me really excited to start Captivate