This Book NEEDs to be Better!

Image obtained from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20550148-need on Sep 17, 2019.

Image obtained from: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20550148-need on Sep 17, 2019.

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Need is the story of a website that shows the dangers of social media. It features a hip new website called Need. This website grows popular in Ottawa High School and everyone in the school starts using it. The website will give you seemingly anything for a small task. Or so people thought, soon things start to go sour. 

That is basically a summary of this book called Need, and this is my review of that book. Lets go over what I did not like first. This review does not have major spoilers.

My first issue is that it misrepresents teenagers. Seriously, there are only like a few people in this entire school that get suspicious when this website promises them free stuff for virtually no cost. Seriously, almost all of the students at this high school were basically like,”This new website created by an anonymous creator that needs an invite to access and was only made public in this certain area promises me anything I need for virtually no cost? Sign me up! Doesn’t sound suspicious at all!” I hate how this book represents teenagers or young people as incredibly naive. It feels very misrepresentative of teenagers, and considering I am a teenager, I find it a little offensive.

Another problem I had was with the chapter switching, almost every few pages, the chapter switches, and so does the character that tells the story. I love switching point of view (POV) in stories, it provides new perspectives of a story. But stories that do it well don’t switch too often and they usually have about three to five characters. But this has like, ten characters, and it switches too often. If you don’t get what I’m saying, check out the bar graph below. The problem with having too many characters for switching POV’s is that you have to keep track on so many characters, and it changes the plot too much and then the plotline just becomes too messy to follow, and it can frustrate the reader. 

 

Let’s talk about Kaylee, who is the main character and protagonist in this book. Kaylee has a sick brother who is in desperate need of a kidney. Kaylee does everything in her power to get a kidney for him, and that’s basically her personality and motivation. Other than that, she is kind of a boring character, she doesn’t have much of arc, like, seriously, does she really learn a moral in the end? She has an objective, there are obstacles, and she overcomes them, but she doesn’t really learn much/anything at all. Without much of an arc, Kaylee is a pretty flat character.

However, there are good qualities this book has. I do kind of like that some characters betray others, it adds a sense of realism and it helps make the story more suspenseful. I also like how all of the characters are not perfect people, and most of them has done something wrong. For example, Kaylee literally violates other people’s privacy by looking through their medical files. I can’t stand it when the protagonist of a book or movie is a perfect goody two-shoes that has done nothing wrong, it makes flat and boring characters. However, since the books characters are not perfect people, it makes the characters a little more round.

I think some of the characters were pretty good. I liked Bryan’s character arc a lot, he feels bad for what he has done, at first he wants to run away from his problems, but instead he overpowers them. It is a important message that I liked. I also liked some of the other characters in the book. I liked reading about other characters experiences with Need, though, I still will admit some of them could have been cut out of the book, like Hannah or Sameena. They didn’t really do that much for the story or the plot.

In summary, the book has some good characters, and almost all of the characters have a moral grey area, allowing for some more interesting characters. The book has some good action and is definitely a thriller, however, the plot line is messy because the book switches character POV too often. I give it a 3.5/5. I would recommend it if you like slow paced thrillers. If you’re still unsure if you want to read this book or not, check out more reviews here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20550148-need

To learn more about the book in general, go here:

http://www.joellecharbonneau.com/need