Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young


A Need So Beautiful
by Suzanne Young

Series: A Need So Beautiful (#1)
Pages: 267
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Published: June 21st, 2011
IBSN: 9780062008244

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?

Charlotte's been feeling the Need more and more often lately. The strong, painful compulsions to commit good deeds are ruining her relationships, and she fears they're behind the strange things happening to her body as well. Finding out what they really mean for her before everything else completely falls apart becomes key.

Usually with paranormal novels the emphasis is placed on plot, but A Need So Beautiful focuses on the emotional side to Charlotte's ordeal. This was a refreshing perspective, and totally welcomed. Too often do I find paranormal protagonists' turmoil skimmed over.

Feeling for Charlotte was so easy. Her predicament was genuinely terrible. It isn't a PNR of finding love and new powers and then being hunted by a bad guy. It's about existing solely to help others, and slowly burning out. Could you imagine being forgotten by the people you love? Ceasing to exist physically at a slower rather than ceasing to exist in the mind of others, and having to see them live with no idea of who you are? This book was terribly sad, I knew that before I even read it, but I was pleased to find it was the realistic (I used this word way too much in reviews of paranormals) nature of the depressive subject matter. It thankfully lacked the dumping-sob-stories-on-top-of-sob-stories/Nick Sparks feel.

I'm new to Young's books, and I had no idea what to expect from her prose or characterisation. I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth articulate writing 
style (though 'beautiful' was overused, even if characters tried to justify it) and how aptly she created characters and kept them true. Charlotte was likable for her strength and the relatability in her reluctance to be selfless. The romance between her relationship and Harlin was written with inherent chemistry that made the scenes between them buzz.

I was thankful for the turn-around ending, but it was pulled off in a jagged sort of way. It's possible to ease into a dramatic ending to prevent the cliffhanger feel, though it did achieve its aim, I guess. I am completely ready for the sequel. So Sequel, if you were waiting for the right time to fall unexpectedly into my hands, it's now.

A Need So Beautiful was a poignant and absolutely unique paranormal. I recommend it for fans of touching contemporaries or those beginning to feel exasperated with PNRs.

I give A Need So Beautiful a 4 out of 5.

P.S. Would you guys recommend Suzanne Young's other books? Are they as emotional as this one? Because that was the major appeal in this one.