Thursday, September 8, 2011
A Need So Beautiful
Balzer + Bray, 2011
I follow Suzanne Young's blog and I thought the cover for this was very beautiful with its rich golds although I'm not a big fan of a face staring at me. I didn't know much about the plot going in so I had basically no expectations.
And at first I was enjoying myself. Charlotte seemed like a good person and I was intrigued by her friend Sarah, a brash and fun person. I wasn't really interested in her boyfriend Harlin but wasn't sure how big of a role he would play so I figured I could tolerate him. Then the paranormal element kicked in. Turns out Charlotte has increasingly been experiencing overpowering feelings she dubs the Need that force her to leave wherever she is and help somebody. She is growing worried over the frequency of these instances, especially as the people around her are worried.
Then we discover that Charlotte is a Forgotten, who sounds sort of like an angel. She is someone who does good in the world before disappearing, leaving everyone's life a bit better but without any memory of her. Needless to say Charlotte is terrified of this fate, especially because it means leaving Harlin. Now I didn't really care for Harlin so her constant fear of losing him annoyed me rather than struck a chord with me. He's a decent guy but he didn't interest me and there's a lot about her feelings about their relationship which bored me rather than touched me.
Additionally Charlotte finds two sources of information about her nature with conflicting viewpoints, one from a long-time friend and one who was instantly suspicious to me yet who Charlotte also trusts; in fact she alternates between who she believes in an annoying fashion.
This book does bring up themes about love and being remembered. I think another reason that I didn't really hit it off with Charlotte is that I don't really want my name to be remembered when I'm dead. I hope to touch people's lives and help them but if they forget my name, I don't care. I did however identify with her desire to want her close family and friends to remember her, which they will not; her presence was already being slowly wiped from their memories. But I kind of feel like it's worth it to have touched them with love and grace during their lifetime.
KIND OF SPOILER: What's up with the ending?! It actually makes me interested in the sequel despite my disinterest in this book. END SPOILER
Overall: I was unable to connect with the characters and, despite the short length, I felt like it dragged.