Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy
A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young is not a book about angels. But it’s also not not about angels. Charlotte is a Forgotten, which for all intensive purposes is an angel, but without any sort of religious connotation. She’s more like a New Age angel. She doesn’t know what she is except that for the past few years she’s been sporadically struck with a compulsion, a Need, to help people. And the Needs are becoming more debilitating and more frequent.
Charlotte has a pack of very interesting people in her life including Sarah, her seemingly shallow and promiscuous best friend; Mercy, her saint-like adoptive single mother who collects foster kids and is too soft to ever discipline them; Monroe, a doctor at a volunteer clinic and surrogate father with questionable motives; and her boyfriend Harlin who was easily the best thing about this book. He’s got a bad boy vibe in all the ways a girl could want, but with a warm and compassionate side. With the exception of Harlin, the other characters unfortunately all came off as fairly cliché.
My biggest problem with A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL, however, is that practically every supporting character has a subplot that is introduced but never resolved. At all. I could understand if a couple were left open for the next book in the series, but all of them? There are at least five that are started and then just left hanging.
I also think that Charlotte had too many Needs. A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is a relatively short book, only 272 pages, and yet there were half a dozen or more Need scenarios that each had there own mini story (most of which struck me as soap opera-ish). I wish that number had been cut in half and more time given to developing the relationships Charlotte had with Sarah, Harlin, and Monroe.
Overall, despite my criticisms about the cliché characters and unresolved subplots, the writing is good and I always applaud an outside-the-box premise. I also appreciate the choice the author made in the end to stay consistent with the world and rules she established throughout the book. I was half afraid she would just wave away the problems and deliver a typically HEA, but she choose the harder and ultimately more fulfilling path. It is a huge cliffhanger and I’m still not sure I even understand the very last chapter, I can only hope the answers will come when the sequel, A WANT SO WICKED, is published in 2012.
References to homosexuality. References to molestation. References to sex. References to oral sex.