Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Charlotte has always felt the need to help people; people she didn't know. It started out as an occasional thing, but now it's a daily occurrence. The pull, the compulsion, knocks the air out of her and forces Charlotte to find the person she is supposed to help. Charlotte tells her boyfriend, Harlin, and best friend Sarah, that she is having asthma attacks. But, Sarah thinks she's psychic and Harlin can't stand the lying, he thinks Chelsea is cheating on him. Charlotte's not sure what they would think if the learned the truth. The she learns what is really causing what she calls "The Need" and what will happen to her. Now, Charlotte must decide of she is going to fight to stay with her friends and family or let everything play out as it's supposed to, no matter how hard it is.
A Need So Beautiful is one of those books where you just have to know what comes next, what's in store for the characters and how they deal with what happens. It is very much a character driven book and Ms Young has written all of the characters in such a way that I could see them and hear them as I read. The characters were also very realistic. There were no perfect characters, even Chelsea had her flaws, but that made me like her even more.
Another thing that I really liked was that even though Chelsea and Harlin are in a relationship (and how great is it that they are already together when the book starts?), the majority of love in this book isn't romantic love but love of friends and family. Okay, yes, we do get to see Chelsea and Harlin together and understand what they see in each other, but I liked that Chelsea had friends and a family, albeit a foster family, that cared about her and were present in her life.
Ultimately, A Need So Beautiful is about sacrifice. Would you be willing to sacrifice everything in your life for the greater good? This is Chelsea’s dilemma: does she give into the Need and her fate or does she stay with Harlin and her family? And at the same time, there is discussion about faith, not in an in your face way, but it was definitely there. It made me think long and hard about what I would be willing to give up in my life, how my faith colors my choices.
A Need So Beautiful offers a different take on paranormal because it felt more like a contemporary story with paranormal details. At heart it is about a girl trying to figure out who she is, so it read very much like a contemporary novel to me. I'm not sure that this review conveys exactly how much I loved this book. I read it in one sitting and was just amazed by it. It made me cry and think and stayed with me long after I read the last page. And that ending! It raised so many questions, while giving Chelsea's story in this book a definitive ending. I, personally, can not wait to read A Want So Wicked.