Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Just Finished Reading ... Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Need
by Joelle Charbonneau

To be published on Nov 3, 2015
by HMH Books for Young Readers

Source: eARC for review via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 take:  This was one of those books where I read the first few chapters and was like: "well, I see exactly where this is going."  I mean, take a mysterious website that grants people's wishes and add in a character with a brother who needs a kidney to survive and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going to happen.

While I was essentially right in my predictions, the story did go off a lot of other directions. A lot. NEED featured at least eight or nine POV characters, which for me is about six or seven too many. The narration is in third person present, which at least helped me keep everyone's name straight, but I still I had trouble remembering who did what to whom, and after a while, I just stopped trying. All of them had needs they wanted fulfilled, and most of these needs (when compared to the kidney) were only things that a sixteen year old could consider a desperate necessity.

The story did do something a bit interesting (spoiler)which was that it required the wishers to do shady stuff in exchange for getting their wishes fulfilled. But then, in my opinion, the book didn't take this far enough:  I mean, was I the only person who thought that whoever was behind need was going to kill someone to come up with a kidney for DJ. Or try to make Kaylee kill someone to get him that kidney?(end spoiler)

For me as a reader, NEED would have been much stronger if some of those POVs had been eliminated and the plot had been stripped down to a few people who REALLY needed stuff and would do anything to get it. For me, it was also problem that what teenagers think they "need" (a good grade on a test or some concert tickets) seemed important to them, but pretty superficial to me, and certainly not important enough to compel them to do shady stuff for a stranger. Also, I think things fell apart toward the end -- the villain became pretty ridiculous and I thought the book veered way off the rails.

For me, NEED was a book with unfulfilled potential. It was a bit of a mix for me, but if you don't mind a story with a bunch of POVs, you might want to give it a try!


28 comments:

  1. I have been excited to read this one since I saw it! Bummer it has SO many POVs though; not sure I will like that.

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    1. I struggled with it a lot. In a multi-POV I can handle maybe 4-5 at the most, and many of these just blurred together for me.

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  2. Yeah, eight/nine POVs is far too many. Five is usually my limit. I find I can't connect to anyone when they incorporate too many perspectives. I agree with you about these superficial needs. It would take something a lot more desperate than wanting a good grade to participate in a sketchy social networking site.

    Sarah @ The Reading Petal

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  3. I don't mind multiple POVs but how superficial their needs are and what they do for it sounds disappointing.. I'll keep that in mind as I read this:)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. Well, the girl who needed the kidney wasn't superficial, but the others seemed that way to me.

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  4. I really enjoyed this one a lot, though the number of POV's did trouble me at first.

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    1. Glad you adjusted. By the middle I stopped trying to figure out who was who. Kaylee was the only one I followed.

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  5. Oh God I have been dying to read this beauty! I dont mind multiple POVs in a book if it's written well! :)
    Haniya
    booknauthors.blogspot.com

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    1. Hope you enjoy it -- come back and let me know!

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  6. Holy POVs batman! That is a lot. I like multiple POVs but that sounds like way too many. Stinks it didn't live up to what it could gave been.

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  7. At hte most, I've read books with 5 POVs. Do all of these characters have names?

    I didn't read the spoiler, but how would you rate the ending? I just ask because I'm very curious about the "twists" that are sure to pop up in this one.

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    1. Yes, all names. They all play a role in the story, but the chapters were short and the switching around made it all really choppy.

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    2. And whoops, didn't answer your other question. I thought the ending was clever but the villain was over-the-top and kind of cheesy, which didn't thrill me. I really wished there were MORE twists!

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  8. Hmmmm....I am interested in this this one, but the premise does seem pretty transparent

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. Ha -- it was, though things didn't play out exactly as I thought.

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  9. Mmm, I find it a little difficult somedays to identify with aspects of the high school teenage experience, being an older reader myself. This doesn't quite sound like it's up my alley! Multiple perspectives can be quite tricky to work with as well - they usually end up being quite shallow, with not enough depth to really flesh out each character.

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    1. Exactly. There were so many characters and all their needs and I didn't feel like most of them were fleshed out.

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  10. Hmm. I hadn't heard about this book, but I loved Joelle Charbonneau's Testing series. Books about Wisconsin are also so rare, so I might need to read it just for that. I enjoy multiple POVs, so I'll add it to my list and maybe check it out.

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    1. Yes - it does take place in Wisconsin, but the setting isn't a major part of the story.

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  11. Thanks for the honest review. I'm really not sure I'll give this one a chance after what you had to say. It seems like there are way too many POVs for me. Great review!

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  12. It's sad when that happens. I think it's easier to deal with mediocrity through and through than with unfulfilled potential :(

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  13. sounds like a great read but reads with too many povs can kill it. I tend to get confused and never connect to the characters. the premise sounds so crazy though. I may need to see if I can get into this read.

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  14. The first thing I thought when I knew about this book is that it reminds me of Panic by Lauren Oliver. I'm not sure I want to read it.
    So sad you didn't love it.

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  15. Oh that's too bad isn't it? I do like the concept of it, but like any other plot devices, there's always a level of predictability that comes from writing a mystery novel. I wish it could've been done better!

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  16. I was thinking of checking this out since I liked her The Testing trilogy, but yikes thats way too many POVs! And yeah, the concept sounds interesting but it sucks that this book wasn't that good. Thanks for the review. :)

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