Monday, June 18, 2012
A Need to Help People
We all want to help people in one way or another. We want to help a little old lady cross the road, donate to charities, save abandoned dogs, and Adopt families during the holidays. But how far would we go to give to someone or help them in a time of need? In Suzanne Young's A Need So Beautiful, Charlotte must ask herself that question on a whole new level.
Charlotte has always experienced the Need. When she feels the Need, she has to follow it to whomever is in need of the knowledge she has, whether it be to warn a pregnant woman that something is wrong with her baby or to guide a criminal to the right path. In the past, the Need only came once in a while, but the crippling need to answer the Need is becoming more and more frequent. So frequent in fact that her adoptive mother, best friend, and boyfriend are starting to notice that it isn't just asthma (which she uses to explain the loss of breath when she feels the Need). She just can't hide her secret anymore
But something else is wrong. Charlotte is starting to get scared and seeks out the help of her family doctor, the man who runs the local free clinic. She shows him that something strange is happening to her skin, almost like it is peeling away, but she isn't ready for the answer he has for her. Trapped in an impossible decision with catastrophic consequences on either end, Charlotte comes to a crossroads that will ruin her. The question is, will she help herself or help others?
This story was a strange and unique angle on the whole angel genre that has flooded YA novels in the past few years. I had never thought of this type of angel and was really interested in the impossible decision Charlotte had to make. The worst part about it is that she is a good person who just wants a little happiness for herself after being abandoned at the age of 6. Luckily, she was adopted by a wonderful woman and had a supportive best friend and loving boyfriend. Her life wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad, either. But this choice... this choice is horrible to ask of anyone, but particularly horrible to ask of Charlotte. If you ever needed to see a main character pushed to the brink, this is the book for you.
On a whole, though, there were times this book was a little slow for me. The unraveling of the true nature of the Need was paced well, but I still found myself wanting it to just move along. But overall, it wasn't a bad book and I intend to check out A Want So Wicked when it comes out. This is a good book for a middle school through emergent older reader as it is interesting, but has fairly simple language. It isn't a book I would throw at everyone who came by, but it was a fun and decent read. You will enjoy it!