Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Book Review: Need by Carrie Jones
Title: Need (Need #1)
Author: Carrie Jones
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: 12/23/2008
Before I start this review, I’m going to be honest about one thing: I’m going to be spilling some spoilers about the book. Potentially big ones. I try not to post spoilers but this impacted my decision about the book. If you don’t want to know the spoilers but want to know how I felt about the book overall, I liked it for the most part. There’s just one part to the book that kept me from liking it as much as I would have otherwise.
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.
For the most part this is a decent book. Many YA readers will like it, but some will find it a little lacking in comparison to some of the meatier & more complex books out there, such as the ones by Holly Black or Melissa Marr. Jones tries to straddle the fine line between producing something along the lines of Black/Marr & something more family friendly, but doesn’t entirely succeed. Her characters are interesting enough & the growing affections between Zara & Nick are cute. It’s just that the book kind of read like Jones wrote it as she was going along, throwing bits & pieces in as she went along. It’s not a terrible book but it does feel like it could have been a lot better.
Now for the part that really, REALLY irritated me. This is a spoiler. You’ve been warned.
Zara discovers that she’s the daughter of the pixie king & that her mom only slept with him because otherwise it would mean there would be more death and blood draining. Zara assumes that she’s the child of rape, only for her grandmother to say “it wasn’t forced- she consented”. That bothers me because it obviously seemed to be consent under duress. She didn’t want to do it but agreed because she had no other good choice. That still counts as rape & I would have imagined that an EMT (who has undoubtedly seen some horrific things in her time) would have known that. I’m horrified to think that some girls might read this & assume that consent under duress makes it not rape. What if some guy forces himself on a girl & she assumes “I initially said yes”, “I was too drunk to say no”, or “he said he’d kill me or someone else if I didn’t let him” means that it was consensual? I know that Jones didn’t mean for it to come across this way, but she’s got to understand that her phrasing in that scene was horrible & could have been put better. I'm honestly horrified that some readers might come out of this book thinking that consent under duress equates to consensual. I'd go on, but you get where I'm going with this.
Overall though, this book wasn’t bad & while I absolutely HATED that one scene in the book, I’m curious enough to want to read the next one in the series. I just know that for many, that one scene will be enough to put them off of the rest of her books.