February 20, 2017


title: NEED
author: Joelle Charbonneau
genre: young adult, contemporary, mystery, thriller
publish: November 3, 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
What do you really need? 
One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin, join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage passes to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn’t you? 
Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs—a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try. 
Or could it? 
After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating, and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network before it destroys them all?.
one of those it's-not-you-it's-me books.

I really, really like the idea of NEED -- a social media site that asks what you 'need' and at the same time actually granting it after completing a certain task. But we all know that there's always a catch.

"Everyone has a price, Kaylee. You just have to be willing to push until you figure out what it is. -loc472; eARC

A Nottowa High exclusive social media site came out that asks its users what they 'need'. When Kaylee received an invite to join the site and was asked the question, she undoubtedly entered: a kidney for her brother. While NEED never asked Kaylee to do anything, her schoolmates were given tasks that ranges from sending out email invites to delivering cookies and letters. What could go wrong? *shrugs*

NEED is a thriller that really kept me intrigued. The mystery behind NEED -- its purpose, its operator -- really kept me wondering and pushed me to read on. I'm really just a sucker for mystery. I think that Charbonneau created a story that's very well constructed and the revelation was generally well explained. If it wasn't for that, I might have given this a 2-star rating or something below it. BUT that doesn't mean that this is a completely bad book. I just praised it, right? So don't feel downhearted if you already have a copy of this book or if you're actually considering it. It might just not be for me.

"People don't want to earn enough money or put in the work to get what they want. They're looking for an easy way out and NEED gives it to them. -loc1332; eARC

As I said, NEED's greatest aspect is the mystery. It was intriguing and it kept me guessing (and I guessed right in the end. HA!). However the characters really put me off of this book. One of the things I do not like about books (or book characters or people in general. seriously.) is being seriously low or unreasonable or just downright stupid (ohgosh, sorry for that. I don't really want to rant or anything). BUT I think that that is one of NEED's biggest point (and certainly an important one if I have to give more emphasis).

WHY DO I NOT LIKE THE CHARACTERS? They ask for short-term things -- something that will make them happy for a moment. AND THAT'S FINE. I mean, if you ask me right now, I can name A LOT of things I 'NEED' like a VIP concert ticket for State Champs on June or a library at my house, or a certain book's sequel, etc. BUT if you're going to ask me to do something that I know may or put someone's life or privacy at risk, I will have to back out. I will realize that I don't 'need' those, I just desperately want them, okay?

So when bad things started actually happening to other people, I just have to hate on anyone who still can't get a clue and bash those who's actually pointing out what's happening. It could just be a bad case of denial, that certainly could be a point, but as much as I understand that, I just got mad at the students who's in denial (bad point, I'm also being unreasonable. lol).

BUT the main character, Kaylee, is definitely notable. While she's the one who has an actual need, she's also the one standing up for the things that are happening. And that makes me root for her. Even though the students in her school don't like her, she fights for what's right and actually does something about it.

When you do something wrong, it's best to acknowledge that action. The truth is always difficult to face and has repercussions, but it's better than the alternative. A bad choice made and not confessed can lead to another that covers it up and then another. -loc1433; eARC

ANYWAY, I did say that the students being low or unreasonable is one of NEED's biggest point. It's mainly because I think NEED kind of involves some psychological aspect. You ask NEED for something, they request you to do something before granting it. You deliver cookies or note to your neighbor. #whatcouldgowrong? You get your request. A few days later #gasp something big happens (#spoileralert: he/she dies are you even surprise? seriously?). Now that you know this happened (or someone told you this actually happened) are you still going to request for something? That's the dilemma the characters are going through and it's interesting, I'm telling you. #whatcouldgowrong

Another thing I did not like about NEED is the multiple POV. As much as I LOVE multiple narrators and can read books with more than 5 or 6 or 7 of narrators switching, this book just didn't worked for me. Admittedly, I barely remember the characters and what they did and what they asked for. It could just be me or it could be a bad case of writing but the characters barely stuck to me except for the main character, Kaylee, of course.

"People are apparently capable of lots of things we'd have a hard time believing as long as the reward is high enough." -loc3066; eARC

BUT PLEASE DON'T LET ME STOP YOU FROM READING THIS BOOK. While I was infuriated with many of the teens in this book and was quite lost because of the number of narrators, I still think that the story was well thought of and the mystery and twists completely noteworthy. It kept me at the edge of my seat and the revelation and ending makes me imagine this as an American horror/thriller film.

OVERALL, NEED is a young adult, mystery-thriller that involves a shady social media site, an intriguing mystery, and a thrilling pace told in multiple narrators. While some aspects of the novel didn't work for me, it certainly might work for YOU. If you're into psychological thrillers and edge-of-your-seat reads, this is definitely for you.

let's connect!


  1. It does have an interesting premise. But I can understand why the wishes are superficial (this is a YA book after all). For consideration, for sure.

    1. I hope you enjoy it more than I did, Joy :)


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