Sunday, April 15, 2012

NEED by Carrie Jones

Carrie Jones

Rating: C+
Synopsis from
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.

My thoughts on the book:
Need is a somewhat unique take on the typical faerie lore out there in the YA market. We're dealing with pixies here instead of faeries, though I'm not really sure what the difference is. I liked all of the characters (other than the bad guys), and I felt that they were fairly well-developed for a first book. The plot was intriguing, and the pacing was pretty spot-on. However, the writing itself wasn't the best. Jones worded things awkwardly, and at times I had no idea what she was talking about. If it wasn't for the awkward writing style, then this book would have probably gotten an A. As it stands, I can't give it any higher than a C+. I am hopeful that Jones will improve her writing in the following books, though.

Need had a lot of potential. Creepy-stalker faerie guy? Check. Hot love interest? Check. Quirky parental figure? Check. Somewhat strong main character? Check. Remote, but interesting setting? Check. I just wish that Jones had read her sentences out loud before she sent them to the publisher. Or that the editors had read them out loud and said, "hey, this sounds really freaking weird. We should have her reword this..." Here are some examples:
"Snow stains his hair white, sticks in his eyebrows. His face rivers into something warm." - rivers is not a verb. Seriously, someone should have caught this.

"His jaw is so straight and his eyes are so deep, like a tree where the bark is all textured." - okay, really? Your eyes are like trees? Umm if someone told me that, I'd smack them. 

Also, sometimes there were inconsistencies in the tensing. I think this book would have been much better in past tense.

Anyway, moving on. There wasn't much suspense. She hints at things like a three year old keeps a secret. I mean she seriously throws in way too many "clues" for anyone not to get it. Aside from the character reveals, which weren't a surprise, there were a few semi-surprises. I really hope that Jones becomes a more graceful writer by book two.

Other than Jones' lack clumsy writing skills, the book was actually pretty good. The plot was interesting, and I never got bored. I liked how Zara was obsessed with phobias. Her Amnesty International thing got really annoying for me, but the phobia thing was cool. I liked how every chapter was titled with a phobia that somehow tied into that chapter. Every character was quirky and a bit unique. No cookie-cutter characters here. And the main characters all seemed to develop a bit over the course of the novel. Not too much, but enough that it was at least noticeable.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to someone who's looking for a light read. The writing is awkward, though, (I know I keep saying awkward, but I don't know how else to describe it) so I'd recommend checking it out from the library first, just to be sure you actually like it. It's definitely worth giving a chance, though. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

Want to buy Need?
Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

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