Need by Carrie Jones

(Need, Book #1)
Young Adult, Urban Fantasy

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's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, 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 point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you'd have to fear.

 "Friends help friends help pixies."

My best friend was reading this series and kept recommending how addicting and wonderful the first book was. At first I wasn't sure when I was reading the first few pages, they were short, introspective chapters similar to Girl, Interrupted (which I'm not crazy about.) I found myself giving a damn pretty quickly, though, and this book ended up getting me so glued it would have taken physical intervention to get me off of it.

So yes, while the very beginning was a little tough to chew, I soon became enamored by the main character, her realism and her unique outlook. She has this thing with phobias. She studies them, memorizes them, recites them in her head when she's nervous, bored, encountering new people, things, places. She's sent to Alaska to stay with her grandmother (not the little red riding hood kind, either, but a strong personality type) after her father dropped dead in front of her from a heart attack. Apparently her emotions are so numb she's barely living and everyone's worried about her.

At school she starts making friends with unusual but awesome people, and finds that there is a strange guy following her around. This was focused on with the book's back blurb, and around the halfway point of the novel this really takes off as being what fascinated me so much. Even with this, though, it takes a serious backstory in the first half as Zara notices him (sometimes) but mainly focuses on getting close to the other characters.

I won't spoil who the man turned out being but it's epic, and I won't spoil what he is or what he wants as that would be mean. Let's just say it's intriguing, and even if he's "bad", I really dug his character and loved the interactions. So the villain rocked as being dimensional, and the good guys also worked as being convincing, particularly the hunky Nick and the dingy but cool friend Ziggy. ( Think that's her name anyway, I'm terrible with names)

There was "some" clicheness - especially the high school popular kids being traditional jerks. Also, I did guess who the bad guy was before it was revealed a few chapters prior. Jones made it obvious on the boyfriend with plenty of cutely dropped hints, too.

Overall, while Zara may start out hollow and numb, she does not full the book down and comes across believable and sympathetic. Her compassion and inner strength shines all the way. Her friendly, but strong and passionate nature make her a dazzle amongst many other YA fiction-birthed characters. And even if the middle was mildly interesting but not cliffhanger-rich, the middle peaked to an epic intrigue that never let up until the page closed. 

It made me curious too to check out some book and reading related phobias:

  • BIBLIOPHOBIA - Fear of books, mainly fear of only one kind (such as textbooks or fairy tales). Can also narrow down to fear of reading out loud, or not reading well and fearing having to read and someone finding out.
  • MYTHOPHOBIA - The fear of legends. Can tie in if the legend is written down.
  • ABIBLIOPHOBIA - The fear of running out of reading material.
  •  LOGOPHOBIA - The fear of words.

   Book Quotes:

“It's hard to save the world when you can't save yourself” 

 “It's a lot easier to understand things once you name them. It's the unknown that mostly freaks me out. I don't know the name of that fear, but I know I've got it, the fear of the unknown.” 

“... we all need a little bit of rescuing from time to time. It doesn't make us weak.”