Saturday, July 16, 2011

[Review] A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Title: A Need So Beautiful {goodreads}
Author: Suzanne Young
Publication (dd/mm/yy): 30/08/2011
Publisher: HarperCollins (Imprint: Balzer & Bray)
Source: Bought
Series: A Need So Beautiful  (#1)
Age: 16+ Alcohol, abuse, suicide, adult themes, violence, language.
Pages: 260
My Rating:

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.
My thoughts: 

A Need So Beautiful was just that – beautiful. The concept of this book is really memorable. Originality is always well rewarded and received, and Young has earned some great feedback. The hardest part of reviewing highly rated books, is that there really is nothing more needed to be said. It’s all been said before. Really, you can just skip this and BUY THE BOOK. :)

These Forgottens are, essentially, angels. Now I am super wary of these paranormal creatures, angels, because the only other angel book I have read is Embrace by Jessica Shirvington. I don’t really want to get into it, but let’s just say the idea of angels was super glamorised. While Embrace draws on the idea of angels from a more traditional perspective, Suzanne Young illustrates her “angels” as extremely beautiful (and cursed) creatures – on the inside! There is that light/dark war going on, as is the norm with angel books, but the battle was fought more secretively and perhaps sinisterly in A Need So Beautiful.

I really do want to know WHY these Forgottens exist, and how they came to be. I know this probably not Young’s priority, to provide a real backstory to the Forgottens (and the Shadows, their adversaries), but it would have been nice.

The cover actually represents these unique angels by the brightness that emanates from the model’s shoulder. I love how the cover represents Charlotte, the main character. And the shiny quality of the jacket flap dazzled me when I opened the package. It was really something haha.

The storyline is simple enough, but what really sets this book above the norm is that every single scene mattered. Being remembered is about memories, and even the least significant moments were just really special and momentous to Charlotte that it felt important to me that the people around them REMEMBER her. Young will keep you guessing right up to the end, leaving for an, unsurprisingly, pageturner of a book.

The execution of emotions was pretty spot on, considering the length of this book. Charlotte undergoes so much pain and strife throughout the course of this book. What Young does is, she writes under Charlotte’s perspective in such a way that I cared and felt pain along with her.

The tension between Charlotte and her boyfriend Harlin was just torture. I really just wanted her to go ahead and tell those around her what was going on. I really didn’t get how Harlin could have put up with her for so long though, considering how much she just went off and did some crazy stuff without even so much as a text message. I felt like he was just not fleshed out enough. I do however appreciate the interesting decision that Young made to start off the book with the main character already in a romantic relationship. I’m not sure how paranormal YA fans feel about that, but I don’t care because I liked it. :P

For 260 pages this book evoked so many emotions, and really left me guessing right up until the chilling conclusion. While I found it a bit of a blur, I thought it was right, and I'm just fired up to continue on with the sequel. As much as the ending says a lot it also leaves me with too many questions.

To Conclude . . .

A heartbreaking portrayal of what it means to sacrifice your all for the ones you love, as well as the uplifting feeling of fulfilling a higher purpose than what most humans would ever hope to achieve. The pages flick by easily; not one scene or moment is forgettable.


First lines

"I sit on the front steps of St. Vincent's Cathedral and pick at the moss nestled in the cracks of the concrete. I'm waiting for Sarah--as usual. She begged me all through calculus to go shopping with her, even though she knows I don't have the money for it. She promised it'd be fun. And she promised that this time she wouldn't be late picking me up. I rarely trust her promises, and yet I'm still here.

Some favourites

""Fashion is your friend, Charlotte."
"You sound like Sarah."
Mercy playfully rolls her eyes. "Then god help me."

(p. 142)

"Monroe watches me with a sad expression. "Remember, ... you're still you, Charlotte".
I lift my eyes to meet his. "Charlotte doesn't exist," I say. "No one will even remember me." ... There is no such thing as me.
"You've helped a lot of people . . . they'll all remember the love you gave them. That can't be taken away."
"Am I an angel?" I ask, sniffling hard to keep away the tears.
"You're more than that . . . and I can promise you one thing: I will never forget you, Charlotte Cassidy.
At least there's that. At least there's Monroe.

(p. 240, shortened with ellipses)



Author blog

Suzanne Young is currently offering free swag to her readers. Email her now!
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Other Reviews:
Makeshift Bookmark
The Book Butterfly

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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