Saturday, May 1, 2010

BIBLIOPHOBIA - Definition: 1. (n) a dread of books

NEED (Need, #1) 
Titles in Series: Need, Captivate and
Need #3 to be released January 3, 2011
Written by: Carrie Jones
Publication date: December 23, 2008
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

3 1/2 stars because I did really enjoy it but I don't feel it was a must read

Synopsis: Pain shoots through my head. Fireworks. Explosions. All inside my brain. The white world goes dark and I know what's about to happen.

Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

How I Came to Read This: My bestie read this and loved it. Not only that but the premise sounded good and I was curious.

My Review: Bibliophobia. I definitely did not dread this book. Before I'd even read the first 20 pages, I knew I was going to like it. Main character, Zara, uses such a casual, nonchalant kind of tone in her narration. The book is told so matter-of-factly, it felt more like listening to a friend tell you about this crazy story than actually reading a novel. It sounds like how I would write a book, were I ever brave enough to write one!

I really like Zara. She's very personable and she doesn't fake it for anyone! She's also sarcastic and practical. She is absolutely distraught over the death of her stepfather - who was nothing less than her dad. She is literally empty, hollow inside. More than halfway through the book, I started to get a little annoyed by her semi-frequent pity parties; but I had to remind myself of her loss and the fact that she was in the process of building herself back up from the inside out. Once I remembered to take that into consideration, it didn't bother me anymore. I imagine myself in her shoes and I personally would be far worse than she.

Anywho...The relationship between Zara and her man, (whom I shall not name so as not to spoil anything) is different than most YA novels I've read. It develops more slowly, as opposed to instant infatuation. It starts with a friendship and even after realizing their feelings, they still take it slow.

There isn't much build-up to the big moments - and a lot of people think that made it anti-climatic - but I was still shocked and surprised. There were certain secrects I was able to figure out, but i still wouldn't have all the pieces. Still, there was plenty left to keep me guessing and wanting to read more.

There isn't too much I can tell you about Need without spoiling the fun! Carrie Jones definitely keeps you guessing: who's who; who's what and what's gonna happen next? Just when you think you know something...boom! PLOT TWIST!!!


CAPTIVATE (Need, #2)
Written by: Carrie Jones
Publication date: January 5, 2010

Released in Hardcover

3 stars

Synopsis: He smiles. It's a wicked smile. Kind but not kind. Handsome but dangerous. Feral almost. I can see why Nick nearly killed him. Nick...I ask again, "Why were you in the road?"

"I was waiting for you."

Zara and her friends thought they'd solved the pixie problem. And they did - sort of. The pixies are all locked away, deep in the woods. But the king's needs grow stronger each day that he is in captivity, while his control over his people weakens. And it's enough to draw a new king into town. Astley claims he is different. He claims there are pixies who can live peacefully with humans, that it doesn't have to be all violence and nastiness all the time. Zara wants to believe him...until Astley also claims that she is fated to be his queen.

There is no way Zara would ever turn pixie. And she's got good friends who will make sure of that. Besides, she and Nick are so in love they're practically inseparable. But when the very thing Zara wants to protect most is exactly what's at risk, she is forced to make choices she never imagined.

My Review: This book is all about kicking pixie butt!

It threw me off a little that Zara - after only a few months of learning that pixies even existed - that she was able to man-handle a full grown male pixie and actually haul him around. She is in high school, right?

Before I read this sequel, I was warned about Nick's overuse of the pet name "Baby" that he uses on Zara. I think I agree. He used it when it wasn't necessary. But the bottom line is that it doesn't add to the story and it doesn't take away from it either. Therefore, it doesn't really matter. It's just a little annoying.

There was one thing that bothered me. Zara was way too naive. I mean, didn't she learn anything in the last one?  Her super-humanitarian crap got old too. We got it, you want to save the world.

I haven't talk about Nick yet. I think he's the best. He's got that whole alpha-male thing going, the mighty protector! But he has a great soft-side too. I love when Zara teases him about being a "dog"! Dog breath and drool! Devyn and Issie are great supporting characters. The relationships between these four are great. When I was in high school I had three other best friends. We were inseparable and always getting into trouble together. Zara, Nick, Devyn and Issie remind me of those times and I love it!

Okay, let's talk about Astley. I actually like this guy, uh, pixie. He totally comes off as telling the truth. I want to believe so badly that he is what he claims to be. I believe that Zara was meant to "turn pixie" regardless. If Nick didn't exist, I'd love Zara and Astley ending up together - she is his queen now. But Nick does exist. So, now the question is: who will Zara end up with? And how? She's fated to be Astley's Pixie Queen, but she's in love with a shapeshifting/were-wolf. Will Nick even accept her as Pixie Zara even if she is mostly like her old self (and can glamour herself to look human). Would Astley release her to Nick? I'm thinking no, not likely.

I enjoyed this series so far, and now I'm definitely on watch for #3, but there was one thing that was on my mind the whole time. I feel like this was originally a vampire story. As if Jones wrote it first, then decided that the whole vampire thing has been overdone, so she changed her vamps into pixies. They drink blood (sometimes from the neck), only the really powerful ones can fly. One exception, the pixie kings have some magical ability. But vampires with magical abilities is not unheard of. Here's how I feel about it: I don't care. I love all paranormal creatures!

Who Should Read This: I wouldn't say this is for everyone. I don't really know who specifically should read this book, so my advice is this: no reason why you shouldn't. Give it a chance and you might really get into it!

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