Need

by Carrie Jones
ages: 12+
First sentence: “Everybody has fears, right?”
ARC sent to me by the publisher.

Zara has issues: she collects phobias like some people collect stamps, and ever since her dad (step-dad, actually) died, the phobias are worse then usual. So her mom sends her to live in Maine with her grandma, in order to help Zara shake out of whatever funk she’s gotten herself in to.

It starts out as your typical new-girl-can’t-fit-in book, but then takes a sharp turn: there’s pixies out in the Maine woods, and one — the king — is stalking Zara. These aren’t your fairy-tale pixies: they’re out for blood (specifically boys’ blood) because they don’t have a queen.

With the help of her new friends — Nick, Devyn and Issie — she figures out what she needs to know, which includes several interesting, and somewhat unexpected, twists in the plot — in order to save herself from the impending doom of being turned into a pixie.

Of course this smacks of Twilight-ness (the comparisons are about as obvious as the many Harry Potter-type books), but that’s beside the point. It’s got everything: bloodthirsty pixies, weres (wolves, yes, but other animals, too), romance, adventure, a heroine who can hold her own (unlike Bella). Jones holds her own with the narrative: it’s tight and supsenseful and swooning, everything a novel like this is supposed to be. And even though it tapers off near the end — will there be a sequel? — it all comes together like a nicely wrapped package (with the gorgeous cover and all).

It’s pure escapism and, even with all the snow in the cold Maine winter, a perfect summer read. (Maybe reading about snow will keep us all cool?)

Buy it at Amazon, Powell’s or your local independent bookstore.

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