Faeries are excellent fiction fodder. They’re mischievous, magical and live within their own structured society. Sometimes they’re strangely beautiful or grotesque or both. Some of the most memorable stories I’ve heard are Celtic faerie lore. There are a lot of ya faery series and I always have a hard time resisting them, but I haven’t yet enjoyed one (haven’t tried Holly Black’s yet).
Need by Carrie Jones was sitting on my sister’s book shelf. The glittery gold lipstick caught my eye, but it was the wintry Maine setting that made me pick it up.
After watching her stepfather die of a heart attack, Zara’s mom sends her from their home in Charleston to live with her grandma Betty in Maine. Because that’s what you do with a traumatized teen. Right away she notices a figure on the side of the road pointing at her. Seems like the same creepy man she saw in South Carolina.
Maine is cold. The roads are covered in ice and athletics are held indoors even in October. Her new classmates are cold to her and physically cold to touch. Plus everyone is a fast runner. It’s weird, but she manages to make a few friends, including a loner who’s never alone, Nick. Her new friends dive into helping her find out who the man following her is and if he has any connection to the boy who disappeared.
It’s a good enough set up and there was ice on the roads and then snow. A lot of snow. One thing led to another and I kept reading because I miss winter.
To me, these characters fell flatl. The romance felt forced and the dialogue read like a stilted bi-product of all supernatural romances that have come before.
Sometimes I can get past an awkward writing style if I like a character or story enough, but I didn’t here. The plot twists didn’t feel earned so I didn’t really buy it; hard things happen easily. The characters have peculiarly spot on leaping logic, almost as though some greater force like an author is drawing conclusions for them.
This was an incredibly quick read. Not because I was that into the story. Nope. The sentences are incredibly short. Distractingly short. So short that it pulls you out and you’re never not aware you’re reading, like when you’re suddenly conscious of what it means to breathe and then inhaling and exhaling feels like work. That’s what reading this was. It was like going to a family-style dinner and getting served glittery flavorless tapas.
I give up on modern faerie stories. Give me a good paragraph and I’ll be happy.