Need by Joelle Charbonneau is a YA suspense/thriller that is hard to read but hard to put down

Need by Joelle Charbonneau is a YA suspense/thriller that is hard to read but hard to put down

Need is a really edgy and engaging read!  I read it cover to cover in one sitting despite my growing horror because I just had to know who and what was behind this awful scheme.  I’m not going to tell you this is great literature or try to convince you that there are lessons about morality and social media to be learned through this story.  This is absolutely a book you read for entertainment of the rubbernecking variety, and I certainly got an eyeful.

Need will be released Tuesday, November 3, 2015.


Goodreads Summary

“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”

Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

My Thoughts

The story is a series of narratives that are all held together by the protagonist, Kaylee.  Her situation and bungled attempts to help make her someone readers will quickly empathize with, and her inherent goodness makes her likeable.  Some readers will be overwhelmed by the large cast of characters in this book.  Breathe.  Most of them aren’t really important and are stereotyped to give you a fast idea of who they are without wasting a lot of time – exactly the purpose of stereotype in writing.  Relax. Just read.  The major players will start to distinguish themselves fairly quickly, so just wait to start memorizing every name and need.  This is such a smart way to set up this book because it really creates suspense and adds a lot of dramatic irony – it doesn’t take long for you to figure out who this is going to play badly for.  The joy is reading to see if it happens like you expect, and it is paced to deliver.  It doesn’t fool around – rewards come quickly and there are no real lulls in the action. However, I did have a problem with the resolution.  I’m not a big fan of the villian confessional monologue as a resolution, but, again, it is a device that gets a job done quickly.  It was in keeping with the whole teen slasher flick feel of the rest of the story, so it was satisfactory enough to wrap up the fun, but it wasn’t as great as it could have been.  Overall, I think this will be a big hit with my high school readers, and I see it making the rounds based on word of mouth.  I just need folks to practice reading, so I can ignore the violence, selfishness, and awful picture of humanity it portrays (to be fair, these behaviors are appropriately censured and punished).  I especially see this being popular with reluctant readers because it is hard to resist.  Situations make this most appropriate for high school readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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