Reading Captivate was so thoroughly unenjoyable that I found myself doubting how much I loved Need to begin with. Which is crazy, because I truly did enjoy Need and thought it was a great stand alone book.
So many probelems with Captivate I don't even know where to start. The story itself was....odd. There just wasn't a flow. Lot's of dangerous action scenes. Lots of pukey teen romace between Zara and Nick. But a clear plot never seemed to take shape. When everything was said and done, Captivate read more like a filler novel. There was no blooming romance, no intrigue or mystery to discover. We only meet a handful of new characters. And while their actions definately play a role in the story, we don't spend more than a few sentences with them.
Another issue I have with the story is the lack of growth seen in the characters. Granted, these are teens and the story takes place over a span of a fews weeks. But considering everything they have done and gone through ~ I expect a little more self discovery and character development. I think Jones expects the reader to accept the characters based on Need, rather than based on any insights in this story. While I found Zara to be a quirky, likeable girl in Need, here she is ridicuously attached to Nick and incredibly stubborn and singleminded. Zara and Nick's relationship ~ as many have pointed out ~ is barely tolerable to read about. I am ok with sappy displays of teen love ~ in small doses. Or if there is some danger or steamy scenes to balance out the, "I love you more than you love me" stuff. But Captivate was simply undying love. All the time. It was so bad that I was actually rooting against Nick in the battle scenes. Cause if he gets killed off, I won't have to read about him anymore & Zara is free to pursue a more interesting guy.
I just get the feeling that Jones wrote Need as a one time thing and never had intentions or ideas for a squel. But after it was published, Need's popularity encouraged her to quickly poop out this one. Clearly, this series is now meant to at least be a trilogy but I don't know if I will be inspired to muddle my way through another mess.