A Need So Beautiful (A Need So Beautiful #1) by Suzanne Young
Released: June 21, 2011
Balzer & Bray
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.
The premise of this book was interesting, and terrifying in its own way. How would you feel knowing (and seeing) the people you love in your life forget you? To the point that they no longer even recognize you. That's something that really scares me, and I liked how Young used that idea in her story. I also appreciate that this is a new take on the paranormal/angel genre. One that is simply refreshing in the wake of all these forbidden love between angel and mortal plots.
That being said, I did feel A Need So Beautiful was lacking in some areas. The main problem being that it was so SHORT. Nothing seemed to happen in it, that would have been particularly relevant to where it seemed the plot was going. The majority of the characters felt underdeveloped at the end, and flat to a fault. We barely had any time to discover very much about them or really connect with them.
The redeeming factor, for me, though was Harlin. I loved him, I thought he was fantastic. He really stole the show, as we watch him struggle with the out of control circumstances in his life. And while he isn't perfect, he also didn't seem to be as dysfunctional as he could have been (and as many characters are in YA books). This looks like it's going to be an interesting series, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with Harlin.
Young also begins to raise some deeper themes in this first book, which I hope she continues in the sequels. This definitely brings up some points about grief and love, and how to deal with them. It's a good debut, but I'm hoping for more in the next books.