A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1)
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?
Charlotte is the main character and she is a closet Angel or a similar form of "light" bearer and is regularly consumed by "The Need" which leads her to the people she is supposed to help. Each time "The Need" begins she suffers severe physical pain until she completes her task but because she can't tell anyone about this (she tried telling a nun once who accused her of lying) she pretends it's just a series of asthma attacks. She lives with Mercy, her foster Mom, who has also taken in Alex and Georgia. Her best friend is, Sarah, a rich girl with major Daddy issues and a bad reputation at the Catholic school they both attend. Harlin is her boyfriend who seems to genuinely love her but she still has to hide her secret from him. Monroe, who is the closet thing to a father figure that Charlotte has, is a Doctor at the local clinic but he's also a Seer who ends up helping her when things begin to spiral out of control in her life.
The more "The Need" calls to her, the more she fades away and those she loves forget her and the closer she comes to the end of her life as she knows it. She is ultimately faced with a choice...to fulfill her purpose, eventually crossover becoming a Forgotten or decide to stay and become one of the Shadows. The more Charlotte learns about herself and her purpose in life, the more she struggles with putting her own wants first, ahead of others needs. She also has to figure out who she can really trust.
I liked that Charlotte is loyal, loving and kind and readily gives in to "The Need" when it calls to her - wiling to help those around her even if she doesn't always agree with what message she's delivering. She's a great friend to Sarah, sticking by her regardless of her reckless behavior and even seeing past it to the hurt and pain caused by her father. She tries on many occasions to encourages Sarah to make good choices but loves her anyway when she doesn't. She loves Harlin wholeheartedly too and tries to help him mend his relationship with his Mom. (His dad was killed a few years prior.)
I really liked the idea of A Need So Beautiful. It was so different from anything else I had read, but I also didn't quite understand some of the aspects completely. That left me confused. When I had finished, I still didn't understand some aspects. That aside, I couldn't stop reading. It was a constant battle of "Do I Go Do Something That I Actually Need To Be Doing?" Or read more A Need So Beautiful. It actually made me cry at the end, and I rarely cry because of books. I continue to love Young's writing - her stories flow so beautifully.
I really liked the characters, though I did have issues connecting with Charlotte. I liked Charlotte's voice, I thought she was a great character. I just for some reason had issues connecting with her. I thought Sarah was a really great character, and I loved her strength. Harlin has about the coolest name ever, and I thought he was a really great guy. I loved the roles Harlin's brothers played, despite the small role they had. I loved the scenes with them in it!
I am super excited to see where the story goes with its sequel, A Want So Wicked. I feel like most things are explained now, so it will be absolutely brilliant. I am very excited. This is a book I would recommend checking out.
This book really didn't pull me in until about the last 100 pages or so. The whole first half of the book I was contemplating putting the it down because you really don't find much of anything out and it's mainly Charlotte whining about what she discovers she really is. I wanted to love this book, I truly did but it ended up being more of a like.
I liked some of the characters like Harlin and Alex (The few times we actually see him) as well as Mercy. Harlin was the really cool bad boy type who drove a motorcycle and wore leather but was really just a big sweetheart who loved Charlotte. Alex was just hilarious every time we see him, he has witty comebacks for everything and is all around likeable I just wish he was in the book more. I did like Charlotte in the beginning. She seemed reasonable and confident but as the story slowly goes on she turns into a whiny character who complains about her problems non-stop. Her best friend Sarah is no better. She's stuck up, self centered and whiny as well. She complains about how everything goes wrong for her when she could just not put herself into those situations.
There were parts of this book that are really amazing, like the love between Charlotte and Harlin which is just completely adorable. They were just meant to be together and it was okay since they fell in love before the book takes place so it wasn't insta-love. Then there's the end. When Charlotte realizes everything isn't about her and what she wants.
I probably will be reading the next one in the series at some point especially with how this book ended.
What, you need more? Seriously, though. I was a bit wary of A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young – angels, right? Borrrring – except for a few (Unearthly! Mercy! etc). But Suzanne Young’s “angels” aka the Forgotten – seriously badass and original concept.
Most angel books have main characters that are supposed to be extraordinarily beautiful, jaw-dropping, etc – but Suzanne Young isn’t satisfied with that. No, in A Need So Beautiful, what is UNDER the skin (literally) is the extraordinarily beautiful bit about about Charlotte. And the concept of the Forgotten? It hurts my head and my heart.
I wish I could say I was enamored with Harlin, but I didn’t really fall head-over-heels for him. Also, I don’t understand HOW anyone could put up with Charlotte disappearing as much as she did with no explanation. I appreciated him though – through the eyes of Charlotte, but I don’t know I want him to come to life and be my boyfriend or anything. Although I have spent more time talking about him than anything else in this review, so I don’t know what that says.
But I certainly like Charlotte a lot, and I really empathized with her indecision about fulfilling her destiny or choosing the people she loved. Definitely broke my heart towards the end. Like, legit cried.
Overall – I LOVED A Need So Beautiful Suzanne Young singlehandedly renewed my faith in books about angels (haha no pun intended). Such an original and awesome concept and I loved the characters and I need to know what happens next like ASAP. You NEED (hah pun) to pick up this book. It’s a quick read and it really sucks you in.
Review originally posted on my blog http://hobbitsies.net/2011/07/a-need-so-beautiful-by-suzanne-young-giveaway/
Charlotte is an amazingly multifaceted character. On the surface she is a normal teenage girl. Hanging out with her best friend, sneaking out sometimes, and spending ample hours in the arms of her (extremely hot and swoon worthy) boyfriend Harlin. Just on this level alone I already connected with Charlotte. She was so easygoing, and sweet. However what really made her so fascinating was the heavenly duty with which she had been assigned. This is a girl who, while balancing everything a normal teenager must, has a heavenly duty. She doesn't like it, but it's there.
The Need is what really brought this story to life. Charlotte's sacrifices show the reader how deep of a person she really is. It isn't as though she can run away from it when the Need pulls her. Oh, she's tried. Still, watching Charlotte give up so many things that she really wanted, pulling away from people she loved just to fulfill this Need, is what really got me. I know that being a teenager is tough, and at times egocentric. I've been there. Watching Charlotte battle the two sides of herself was utterly engrossing. Would you be able to give up what was comfortable and easy to fulfill your destiny? I'm not sure I would.
In case you're still stuck up there at the name Harlin, yes there is a romance in this story. A Need So Beautiful provides one heck of a love story. If you aren't sobbing by the end, I'll be truly surprised. Harlin is such an amazing character. He's sweet, funny, and so in love with Charlotte that it's crazy. Rough on the outside and soft on the inside, the perfect boy. Even when everyone around her starts to fade away, it's Harlin that is always there in the foreground. The chemistry between these two made me swoon, and to anyone who says it isn't believable, does it matter? I really wish we all had love like these two do. I really do.
Yes, I'm rambling and I know it. It seems that the more I completely fall in love with a book, the harder it is for me to write a coherent review. The raw emotions that this book evoked for me are hard to explain, but I can say that it's one I won't forget. Plain and simple, you need to read A Need So Beautiful. A heartbreaking story of sacrifice, love, and hope, it's just too fantastic for words. My hope is that you fall in love with as much as I did. Make sure to grab a box of tissues before you read the ending, you'll need it.
Yes, I employed the one word sentences because it’s truly that serious.
As for the rest of the book? Amazing. Seriously, I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately and this was the splash of cold water I needed to wake me right up. This is 267 pages of awesomeness.
I love the Need. It’s a concept that doesn’t really compare to anything else I’ve read and it completely works. Too often I’ll find myself comparing a concept to something else that’s already out there or questioning whether this or that really makes sense, but that wasn’t the case with A Need So Beautiful at all. I accepted everything that Young threw my way and was begging for more.
This is one emotional read, you guys. I could never handle what Charlotte has to endure. It’s one thing to forget a memory or a moment in time, but to have your whole life slowly slip away? I’ve probably said too much though, I don’t want to be all lame and spoilery.
On the one hand, I'm sad I waited so long to read such an awesome book, but on the other, I'm glad I waited until the sequels release was so close :P If you haven't read it, don't wait any longer, though!
The Nutshell: Suffice it to say you need to read this book. Like, yesterday. If you haven’t read it yet, now is actually the perfect time with the next one on its way. A Need So Beautiful has it all: hot, sweet boyfriend, sassy friend, strong yet realistic lead girl, and just a touch of paranormal that’s such a new concept it doesn’t even feel like paranormal. Don’t turn this one away if you think you only read this or that genre. This is an emotional and spectacular read worthy of your time (especially since it’s only 267 pages).
On a positive note, the premise to the story is unique! Charlotte has this uncontrollable “Need” to constantly help someone. So from pretty much the first page, she has Need after Need that she must fulfill, always drawn to someone she must help.
I'm happy that I have A Want So Wicked ready for me to pick up and start reading because if I didn't I don't think I would continue with this series.
See my full review on my blog Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.