Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: I bought a copy!
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Goodreads Summary: What do you really need?
One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin, join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage passes to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn’t you?
Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs—a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.
Or could it?
After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating, and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network before it destroys them all?
Need is a hard book for me to rate. As I'm sure you know, I love reading young adult books. They are my favorite even though I do read adult books as well. Usually, I have no problem with the younger characters, but I had a slight problem with the teen characters in this novel. They were so very immature, and therefore even though I didn't love this book I think a lot of teens will enjoy it more than me. With that being said, I ended up giving Need 3.5 stars.
Need started off strong. I was interested in this website right from the start and I was liking Kaylee's character just fine. Then a handful of chapters in is where the teenagers became a little annoying to me. I just wanted to shake them and tell them that NEEDS are different than WANTS, but then again I even know some adults that don't seem to know the difference... I guess my personality was just really clashing with this story. (Don't get me wrong, I too don't always admit that some things are just wants and not needs...) On the bright side, not all of the characters were annoying and some were complex. There are 10 point of views, this was a little hard to follow at first, but since it mostly keeps going back to Kaylee it isn't too difficult to stay on track with who is who.
Now let's talk about plot. I was interested enough to want to know who was behind this sinister website. The requests of the students along with the website's request of what they must do to fulfill their needs escalated extremely quickly. I wasn't bothered by this since it kept me engaged, curious, and it was a shorter story. So basically what I am saying is that the pacing was spot on. Now for that ending, it was a little over the top and pretty predictable. I mean, the whole story was a little unbelievable, but still. On the other hand, social media is kind of a scary thing. You don't really know who is behind those profiles and websites out there. Do you ever stop and read the terms and conditions of the sites you use? Those ideas play a big role in this book, and that aspect/message is handled really well.
Overall, this book was a pretty solid read. I do think a younger audience will enjoy it more than I did, which makes sense since that is its target audience. I did enjoy Kaylee's company even if I wasn't a fan of the rest of the characters. I also thought the whole idea behind the novel was good. If you are curious I say give this book a try. I will say without a doubt that this author's Testing series is far superior, so you definitely without a doubt need to read that if you haven't yet.