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The Need

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3.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,706 ratings  ·  1,203 reviews
When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. Startling at loud noises. Imagining the worst-case scenario. It’s what mothers do, she knows.

But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement.

Suddenly Molly finds
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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Miranda Reads
description
I have read my way through 315 books to bring you my Top 10 Books of the Year (video) .

Now you know that this one made the cut, check out my video review to see the others!
description

"You're scary, Mommy." Viv was laughing. "I mean, you're scared, Mommy."
Molly, archaeologist, mother of two (Viv and Ben) and possibly insane, has just stumbled upon a mystery so dangerous that she can feel her mind breaking.

It started at work. In "The Pit" - a dig site that contained dozens of vibrantly new plant
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karen
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST HORROR 2019! what will happen?

four months before pub date and it’s already clear that this is a very polarizing book.

it’s also a book best gone into blind, with no expectations about whether you will exit through the “love” or “hate” tunnel.

i know that’s a big risk, right - to not know anything about a book except that people have strong, and strongly divided, opinions about it? but it’s extremely landminey to talk about, because not only
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Tammy
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
My husband was out of town so I went to bed with a pile of ARCs fully intending to read several pages of each before making a decision about what to read next. I picked up The Need and woke up the next morning amid a slew of untouched ARCs with a large golden retriever contentedly snoring next to me. Clearly, I couldn’t put this book down.

With her husband away on a business trip, a working mother cares for her young children alone and hears footsteps in the house. This is a dark and unsettling
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Lisa
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
My thanks to Simon & Schuster, and Netgalley.
I really wanted to love this book. I didn't. I think the synopsis was rather misleading. Still, this book started strong. I was intrigued, and a wee bit freaked out! Quickly, I realized what was up. You will too. It's stated fairly soon. What I didn't get was all the lactating. I do understand how the author tied it all into being a mom, and all that goes with it. Yet, I kept thinking, "for shits sake, woman. Wear a pad or throw some toilet paper
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Diane S ☔
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019
Well............what a strange story. Speculative fiction has been hit or miss for me. This one a hit. Every mother who has juggled the many responsibilities in her life, I believe, will find this book meaningful. The less said better here, it's really better to read without any preconceived notions. I do want to say though, that despite the book summary, this is not a thriller. Yes it is intense in parts, but not for the reasons one would think. If you are in the mood for something different, ...more
Michelle
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This book had one of the best beginnings I have read in a very long time and I was so on board flipping those pages furiously to figure out what the hell was going on.

Molly, a young exhausted mother of two, works as a paleobotanist at a dig site where some strange, otherworldly items have been discovered. After returning home from work one evening she hears footsteps in the other room and her fear for her childrens safety is her only concern. The intruder does reveal themselves and they appear
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
First Impressions:

1. What the actual fuck did I just read.
2. I think my uterus just shrivelled up and died listening to the kids screaming mommy 50 times on the audiobook.

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I was going to skip this one since I've been avoiding thrillers centered around moms because there are only so many domestic thrillers I can read about drunk unreliable moms who just got out of a coma with cheating husband...

But apparently there's a sci-fi twist in this one and I'm hoping it will be another
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Brenda -Traveling Sister
The Need is a unique, complex, brilliantly written story that is one of the strangest books I have ever read. Now, this is a good one to go in blind however if you are like me and want to know what direction a story is going I think it’s good to read a little bit about this one before going in. It’s a hard one to review because I feel saying anything about this story might be a spoiler as it really is very original and a very different reading experience here. However, it’s very complex and ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Four dimensional, timeless space as infinity, between science fictional and supernatural, fear attracting, shocking stars!

WOW! This book is the dimension of imagination! It stands at the area which we call the TWILIGHT ZONE! NANANANANA! Eerie music theme stops!

This book is amazing mashup of Twilight Zone, Orphan Black TV series, David Lynch’s “Lost Highway” movie and Blake Crouch’s “Dark Matter”!

It reminded me of “Shatterday”episode of Twilight Zone( 1985, Bruce Willis was in- his good
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Zoeytron
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: public-library
I don't have kids, and am not particularly enamored of books that are full of kid stuff. The snuffling, the sticky hands, the tantrums, the whining. These things are not endearing to me. But it was the continual mentions of breast feeding and everything associated with it that absolutely wore me thin. The leaking, the aching, the pumping, the feeling of the milk coming down. . . please God, let it be over soon. Blerg! I swallowed my distaste and kept reading because of a couple of crazy good ...more
Linda
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
We become our thoughts.

Our thoughts, in time, become the battleground.

Molly balances on a hair's breadth between her professional life and that of distant wife and bleary-eyed mother of two. Her heart is wrapped up in the ribbons of mommyhood with four year old precocious Viv and toddling one year old Ben. Her husband, David, is out of the country on one of his musician treks. Molly's hired Erica, a young woman babysitter, to fill in the gaps.

The Pit.....

Molly, a dedicated paleobotanist, is
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Mackey
Sadly, I had no need for "The Need." This is an extremely fast paced, quick read; a fairly short book. It's sort of speculative fiction or perhaps more sci-fi. There are suggestions of alternative universes so whatever genre that applies to, that is sort of what this book is - however - it is so strangely written that it's more horror/domestic horror than anything else and the ending, well, you would have to read it to see why the ending is "the thing," except I really don't recommend wasting ...more
sue
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was ok


Help!
I don’t know where to start.

I’ve just read reviews on this book and I’m now thinking I’m kinda dumb. I just didn’t “get it”.

The writing is very good, but following the gist of the story made my head hurt.

I get that she has two young children, I get that it’s very hard work and that’s not to be underrated I’ve been there. Gosh, hard work, constant, no time for yourself but very rewarding.

She works as a paleobotanist

I loved it had short chapter and parts 1, 2 and 3.
For me I think it needed
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j e w e l s
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-bejeweled
THREE STARS

Apparently I had this gem on hold and one day ALL of my OVERDRIVE holds came to life! Yes, seven amazing little audio books to consume in 21 days. I buckled myself up and started in on them--I can do it, I can do it !!

In a very remote universe, The Need could be distantly related to The Vegetarian. It is strange, haunting and weird. LOL. How's that for a review?

Definitely targeted for new mommies feeling overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of life.

Of course, this audience
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Monica
Apr 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Interesting, not at all what I expected! I related to the exhausted mom juggling a young child, nursing baby, and job. Those descriptions were spot on! Other than that, the story takes a serious detour - one that is never completed or explained.

Overall this story had a lot of potential but was just not satisfying to me. If you enjoy an unresolved ending, this is the book for you!

Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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JanB
DNF @ 25%. The story took a very weird turn and I grew weary of hearing about the MC's pumping and constantly leaking breasts on every other page. Speculative fiction is not for me.
Justin
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Sometime before Christmas, I strolled into my local library with a handwritten list of books with corresponding call numbers. I’m a proud patron of two local libraries, my phone fully equipped with two different library apps, but I prefer this library. It’s closer, albeit smaller, but they always have the books I want just waiting to be checked out. I could put a book on hold and wait weeks or months at the other place, or just pop in to the smaller library and grab the book right off the shelf. ...more
Jessica Woodbury
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A fever dream about the deepest and most urgent fears of being a parent. I adored this book, it wrapped me very very tightly around its finger and toyed with me like a cat batting at a feathered toy. It is very hard to write about this book for people who have not yet read it. It defies simple categorization. It also defies tropes and expectations. It seems to be one thing then becomes another.

At first, this appears to be yet another entry in the wave of domestic thrillers. Then it
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Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
2.5 stars

This is a strange one! I have to check with my friends on who has read this!

I would love to analyze this novel in a more literary sense then my review could possibly describe it. It is deserving to be loved for the deeper meaning and defragmentation of it all. Perhaps it is a work of literary brilliance if you value its depth and hidden reasonings. It wasn't what I was expecting at a time with my brain tuned in on summer, light heartedness and beach reads. My mood was not fitting this
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Tucker
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Miranda Reads

Many thanks to Elizabeth at Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

okay, so Netflix totally stole this idea...

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” And the other woman said, Nay; but the living is my son, and the dead is thy son. And this said, No; but the dead is thy son, and the living is my son. Thus they spake before the king.
23 Then said the king, The one saith, This is my son that liveth, and thy son is the dead: and the other saith, Nay; but thy son is the dead, and my son is
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Luvtoread
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a uniquely different book on the complexities of a working mother with a touch of the supernatural.

Molly is the mother of two, a precocious four year old daughter and a baby boy. She also works full-time as a paleobotanist in nearby dig site. One evening she is traumatized by a masked intruder in her home and this sets the stage for a very strange and tense story that will leave the reader either loving this book or pulling their hair out while wondering "What the heck did I just read".

I
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Josh
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine being in two places at once; as a parent of young children, I can appreciate the appeal, however, this suspense filled surreal fiction centered around domestic family life flips the script on that notion to deliver a truly engrossing tale where nothing is quite as it seems.

Comprising elements of sci-fi and horror, drama, The Need has a little something for everyone. Primarily centered around Molly and her two young children, the story is complimented by a series of strange happenings at
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Carrie
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
OK, first I should admit that The Need by Helen Phillips was a book that quickly lost my interest and I had a hard time following this one from the start. There are plenty of people that love this one so it’s probably more a case of it’s me and not the book this time. The Need is a sort of weird horror, scifi mix that did remind me a lot of being tossed into the Twilight Zone for a few hours while reading and as weird as it sounds with me being a huge horror fan I was never that fond of the ...more
Bradley
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-shelf, horror
If this is one of those polarizing books people are talking about, I think I may fall into that meh category. I felt the same way about Baby Teeth, too.

Yes, motherhood. Fear for the kids. Maybe not *fearing* the kids, but this is one of those "immerse you in the realities of motherhood" thrillers that then get... strange.

I don't mind strange. I like strange. The stranger, wilder, the better. Give me something new, glorious... oh... well... This is a thing. Motherhood thrillers. Psychopathic
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Judy
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Very strange story and not at all what I expected when I started this book. I can't even categorize the genre because it was a mystery, psychological thriller, and sci-fi. I heard it called speculative fiction but I've never heard of that category before and don't have any idea what falls into it.

The story was well written and certainly showcases the fears of mothers, but with a very strange and creepy scenario. The beginning of the story got me interested quickly, but then it kind of slowed
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Sarah
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the genre here, and before reading I couldn’t decide if it would be more horror, more science fiction or thriller. It’s not quite science-fiction, more speculative, and more thriller than horror. It reminds me a lot of Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter.

Genre aside- the core of this book is about motherhood, and Phillips nails that part. In some ways, while reading this, I was relieved to know I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t crazy. My daughter is six, so a lot of the things Molly is going
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Elaine
Thanks to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Need.

This is my first book by the author and the blurb caught my eye so I went into this with an open mind.

Molly is a paleobotanist excavating a site known as the Pit of various archaeological items that defy conventional explanation or categorization.

At the same time, she is an overworked, exhausted, sleep deprived mother of two children under the age of five; her husband is a struggling musician who takes off when he gets a gig so, no surprise
...more
Lark Benobi
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: she-2019
A terrifically promising premise but the prose is very flat and the action so repetitive that I ended up feeling like it could have made a good short story. Also it’s one of those stories that relies on the protagonist keeping a secret so large and ridiculously against her interest to keep that I couldn’t take her dilemma any more seriously than I can feel sorry for those kids in horror films who insist on investigating the noise in the basement themselves rather than calling 911.

This premise
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Rachel
Right book, wrong reader. I don't have much else to say. I think The Need is a smart, unexpected book that blends genres and arrives at something unique that I can see working for plenty of readers who are willing to embrace a bit of weirdness. I just don't like books about motherhood, and at the end of the day, that's what this book is. The science fiction/speculative element is only there to enhance the main character's anxieties about juggling motherhood with her career, and if that's a theme ...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
Did I miss something here? I’m not sure. This book raised a number of tantalizing and mysterious situations, but then all the MC did was breastfeed her infant son and take care of her toddler daughter. Big wasted opportunity with this one. At least it was a very quick read.
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Play Book Tag: The Need by Helen Phillips / 3 stars 1 18 Oct 22, 2019 09:42AM  
Prize Readers: 2019 NBA Fiction Longlist: The Need 4 24 Oct 08, 2019 07:53PM  
Mt. Lebanon Publi...: The Need by Helen Phillips 1 27 Jun 11, 2019 05:16PM  

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Helen Phillips is the author of five books, including, most recently, the novel THE NEED. Her collection SOME POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS received the 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award. Her novel THE BEAUTIFUL BUREAUCRAT, a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her collection AND YET THEY WERE HAPPY ...more
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“Moment by moment, maddened by them and melted by them, maddened / melted, maddened / melted, maddened / melted.” 1 likes
“She wondered if other mothers experienced it, this permanent state of mild panic, and worried that perhaps they didn't, that perhaps there was something wrong with her.” 0 likes
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