Need by Carrie Jones

#10 of 200

Original Language: English
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Country: United States
Publication Date: December 23, 2008
ISBN: 1599903385
Page Count: 320

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. 
Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. 
Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. 
Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” 
Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal. 
Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. 
He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. 
He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. 
And he’s trailing Zara. 

Carrie Jones’ Need is aiding the effort to provide Young Adult Readers with new forms of supernatural, and romantic, fiction. Zara White is depressed after the death of her Step-Dad, the only Father she has ever known. Her Mother doesn’t know how to handle her and sends her to live with her Step Grandmother in cold, wintry Maine.

Unfortunately for Zara, she doesn’t get much chance to relax. There is a guy stalking her, and he is leaving a trail of gold dust behind him. According to Zara’s new friends, Nick, Issie and Devyn, this can only mean one thing. The Pixies want Zara.

Need is a new branch of the extensive supernatural young adult reading tree. Since the massive popularity of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga, the paranormal genre has blossomed and is full of werewolf and vampire stories. Some authors are looking outside the traditional paranormal box, such as Tricia Rayburn’s Siren, and now Carrie Jone’s Need books.

The books are aimed at the same audience as Twilight. It has the same voice, the same fragile but determined heroine narrator with the same obsessive tendencies of Twilight. Zara White is neurotic. She quotes phobia’s to suppress her fears, she is overwhelmed by the attention of all the good looking boys at school and she is completely dense. In some reviews there is a trend to compare Zara and Bella Swan, they have the same attitudes and the same reliance on their buff part-human boys but they are also very different.

Where Bella is completely reliant on Jacob and Edward for her protection, and sanity; Zara goes out of her way to keep her friends safe. It is as though Jones has gone out of her way to make Zara a more independent character than Bella. Yet, she is still an annoying protagonist.

Super liberal Zara is a member of Amnesty International, she is a pacifist, a hippy, a young woman with strong moral beliefs. Or so she wants to believe. It doesn’t take long for Zara’s constant moral preaching, concerning the situations in Darfur or the War on Terror, to annoy you. She never stays on one topic long enough to educate the reader and seems merely fickle in her support. As for being a pacifist, it is a word largely used and a action rarely seen.

“What does that mean? Don’t do anything stupid? I bet he wouldn’t tell Nick not to do anything stupid. But because I am a pacifist I say nothing.” (p142)

The word pacifist is thrown around like an identity anchor. Jones wants us to believe that the events of the book drive Zara away from her natural instincts and urge her to act with anger, with violence and without remorse in order to save the community. The problem isn’t the change from anti-violence to vigilante, but the repetition Jones uses. Jones writes as though she needs to justify the why of things, why Zara is defending her friends, why she supports Amnesty International and so on.

Another issue is Jones word choice and phrasing. While at times justified, Jones’ description of Zara feeling ‘Spidery’ or ‘Squiggly’ seem infantile. Just like when Zara rescues a dog and repeatedly refers to it as ‘doggie’. Jones’ representation of the mannerism and speech of 17 yr olds is somewhat off base. Having only just based that age myself, I resent the idea that we are as shallow and childlike as Jones portrays. Most 17 year olds can say ‘dog’, or ‘tingle’ without needing to dumb it down to childlike imitations of the intention.

However, the plot of Need is both original and intriguing, and the portrayal of pixies was exciting. Jones has developing an interesting supernatural plot that has plenty of room to develop in further novels. The next books in the Need series are book two:Captivate and Book Three:Entice.

An interesting read that is definitely aimed at younger female readers. Pick it up if you are interested in a different paranormal angle.

Raiding Bookshelves Rating
Judging by the cover: Cover comments: Although you can’t see it in this picture (I wanted the size to match the others), Captivate, and the Need series, all have beautiful covers. The gold emphasis on each cover reflect the focus of the story, while tying in with the gold dust of the Pixie King. The Pixie kiss, mourning and strength/seduction. The black backgrounds and the model’s pale skin contrast against the the gold glitter beautiful.

Originally Posted: 14th January 2011 (Raiding Bookshelves)

1 comment:

  1. is there not a 4th one cause im really confused? i love this series and i have high hopes and was wondering?


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