Monday, July 30, 2012

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Title: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Pages: 267 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Read it on my Kindle
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: audiobook clip | book trailer | author website

A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful, #1)We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.


Review:


Don't enter giveaways for sequels to books you haven't read. I hope that lesson isn't necessary for anyone reading this and I doubt that it is, but I'll say it anyway. A Need So Beautiful was never on my radar simply because I wasn't interested, but I stupidly entered a giveaway for its sequel A Want So Wicked and won, meaning I had to read the first book. It didn't feel right to win a sequel from the publisher and instantly get rid of it without reading it, so I got myself a copy of the first book and started reading.

I didn't expect terribly much from the novel and that's what I got: not terribly much. Not to say it's oatmeal in the YA supermarket, though--it's got some great highlights. Charlotte was sympathetic and I understood her conflict is written very well, as are all the scenes where she gives in to the Need and helps people. The climactic scene and the Need Charlotte fulfills just before then nearly made me cry! The other characters didn't quite get the same depth, but they weren't annoying caricatures either. I got the lesser of two evils.

A little more focus on the capricious nature of Charlotte's gift (why this person and not this person when both are equally deserving and in need of help?) would have been great. The length of the novel is perfect and I don't think it needs extra pages added to it just for that; cutting down on the huge focus on Harlin and replacing it with a little philosophical stuff would have worked. Their romance was a little cloying, especially because it didn't feel authentic to me and I didn't care about whether or not things worked out for them, and that reduction wouldn't have bothered me at all.

For most of the novel, I was bored. I skim-read at least eighty percent of the time and kept trying to wander away to something else. Only my determination to get this finished today got me through to the end. Charlotte's dilemma was well-drawn, but for the most part, I had no emotional investment in the novel and there wasn't much to keep me reading. Whether it was my YA expertise coming out or issues with the novel itself, I saw much of what was thrown at Charlotte/the reader coming and it lacked the impact it was supposed to have.

There's more I could say about both the positive and negative aspects of the novel, but I care so little about it that I keep forgetting what I want to say. Now that I have book one out of the way, I can start on book two... as soon as I get some other required reading out of the way first. If you want to write about angels and want books that adequately exhibit an angel character's conflict with who they are/what their higher purpose tells them they have to do, this is a good place to start. If this never seemed like your kind of book or reading this review has made you wonder whether or not you should read it, I suggest skipping it.

3 stars!


What am I reading next?: Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto