Monday, July 30, 2012

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

I read this one coming back from my vacation. I started it at my terminal in Boston and finished it at the airport in Chicago, waiting for my ride. What I’m saying is it took no time to read it. It went super fast, and worked as such a great travel book!
The book is about Charlotte and her “gift” that helps so many people. She gets these needs to go to certain people and tell them certain things. And at first they are sparse and far between. But the book begins when her needs are beginning to occur a lot more frequently. Normally, she gets this feeling that she needs to be somewhere, she goes, she touches someone, gets some memories from that person, says a few words, and then she’s done. Lately though her needs are not just more frequent, but they’re more powerful and painful. The longer she postpones helping the person who needs her, the more pain she receives. The longer she snags some alone time with her adorable boyfriend, the longer the pain.
And at first, the needs are not that bad. She really helps people. She saves lives. They really become a much bigger deal though when she starts losing her human skin, and gaining gold, shining skin instead. Her best friend and boyfriend are sort of used to her strange ways. Her friend believes she’s a psychic. And her foster family thinks she just has severe asthma attacks. She wears clothes to hide her new golden side.
But as her needs grow stronger and more frequent, Charlotte will do anything to get rid of them. She just wants to help her best friend with her family problems and make her boyfriend understand why she acts the way she does. And just when Charlotte starts getting answers, she realizes her time is limited. So much for the romantic future planned out with her boyfriend. Charlotte learns it’s her fate to help a lot of people and then to die. Not only is she meant to die, but everyone she has ever known will no longer remember she ever existed.
Time is running out as Charlotte and memories she shares with those closest to her are disappearing. But, Charlotte meets a woman who says she’s like her and says she survived, and Charlotte can too. But will Charlotte really be wiling to give up everything to stay alive? And could she live with herself if she didn’t help the people who needed her?
There’s a lot of classic good vs. evil elements here. There’s also some light elements of interesting tough stuff involving foster family, emotionally abusive fathers, drinking, and love. I loved the angel-like elements. Yet, Charlotte was never called an angel; she’s referred to as a forgotten. I like that Charlotte was so torn. She really did believe that helping people was a good thing. The only real reason she wanted to stay was her boyfriend who really did seem to be a soul-mate type guy. I’d want to stay for him too!
I loved Charlotte’s best friend. Though, some of the story arcs with her just seemed to come too easily. Like why did she think Charlotte was a psychic? Why was her friend someone who would believe that? There was a lot of creepy late night bus rides and a lot of shady people that needed saving. Charlotte never really judged these people either. She always kind of managed to see the good in people, which made her character so easy to like.
I loved the ending! I love little cliffhanger in the After part of the novel. It seriously makes me want to read book 2.  I give this one a 9/10 and I have a feeling I will be purchasing book 2 soon.

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