Tara Hall's Reviews > Need

Need by Carrie Jones
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Mar 28, 12

bookshelves: reviewed
Recommended for: Twihards
Read in April, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

First things first. Carrie Jones is a good writer. Don't let it be said I claimed otherwise. The book is first person from Zara's point of view. She has a very strong, entertaining voice that's rich with sarcasm, endearing insecurity, and ultimately bravery. And she has created a very interesting pixie lore that is somewhat traditional but a bit different as well. The sensitivity to iron is still there, for instance, but the wings/flight mechanics are pretty interesting.

But there are things in this book that I just cannot forgive. Chief among them is her treatment of depression. This is a personal thing, really. For the normal reader, this would be pretty meaningless. So skip this next paragraph if you want.

In the beginning, Jones describes Zara as "dead to the world" or "dead inside." She uses those phrases over and over. She can't have real emotions, can't really feel anything. Not an inaccurate description of depression. So her mother ships her off for a change of scenery. I'm on board for that, it can be helpful. But once she starts to have a romantic connection with Nick, that all disappears. Like, literally vaporizes from the character. Originally Zara was wearing a white string around her finger to remind her of her father. Eventually this isn't even mentioned for probably 100 pages or more, and then all of a sudden addressed in passing at the end. Depression does not work like this. Even if you want to argue "Zara wasn't really depressed," she sure acted like it, and this is NOT something we can make light of among teens. It appalls me to think that teens might learn these symptoms can be fixed with a cute boy and a few kisses.

Back onto an actual critique topic. Zara is quite possibly the most clueless character I've ever read about. On every page for the first 200 there are blatant signs that Nick is a werewolf. In fact if you don't know this from the first scene, there is something wrong. He always smells like the woods, he has way more facial hair than any 17-year-old boy should, runs abnormally fast, unusually graceful, she even finds dog hair in his car but he doesn't have a dog. The real kicker though, is when he comes to her in wolf form injured, she bandages him up, and when she leaves and comes back into the room he's there with a matching wound and the wolf is gone. Her response? "Where did the dog go and why did you steal his blanket?" ...Really? Either this author really thinks dramatic irony is hilarious or her MC is supposed to be dumb.

I never once believed the romance arc. In fact I never believed Nick as a real character. He is a teenage boy with a hot temper and a hero complex who happens to turn into a wolf. I never saw any more depth than that. He just instantly falls for Zara with no build-up. In fact the only feelings Zara ever describes about him are physical, how nice it feels to be near him, the long sections on how he's a great kisser. That's about it. Not that this isn't accurate to most teen relationships, but it's not enjoyable to read.

Finally, the similiarities to Twilight are just plain excessive. She moves from a warm climate to a cold one, gets a new car on the way, almost gets hit in the parking lot the first day, makes friends with a few outcasts, falls for the hot weirdo. The only thing different is the bad guy is a pixie and not a vampire (though he does drink blood). While Jones does have a stronger writing ability than Meyer, her plot devices, especially in the beginning are nearly identical.

You really NEED to save yourself some heartache and skip this read, at least according to me.
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