A Need So Beautiful

A Need So Beautiful

4.1 28
by Suzanne Young
     
 

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We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

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Overview

We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be forgotten.

Charlotte's best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she's cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what's really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become—her mark on this earth, her very existence—is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny—no matter how dark the consequences?

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Editorial Reviews

Carrie Ryan
“A beautiful, poignant, and gripping tale of love and sacrifice.”
Kimberly Derting
“A Need So Beautiful is equal parts haunting mystery, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, and epic love story. Charlotte’s story captured me-and still hasn’t let me go!”
Booklist (starred review)
A clever and well-written fantasy. Whether Charlotte is an angel or a being less freighted by religious tradition is left up to the reader, but the dilemma of how we can make a lasting impression is a very human concern. Young offers an elegant solution that is well worth consideration.
VOYA - Allison Hunter Hill
Charlotte wants to be a normal teen, but she is not. Compelled by a mysterious force inside her to help strangers in need, Charlotte can understand a person's past and convince them to change their future with a single touch of her hand. Only then does the Need pass, and she is forgotten as if she never existed. As the Need begins to demonstrate itself more frequently, she struggles to keep her power a secret from her foster-mother, her best friend, and her increasingly concerned boyfriend. Charlotte has to make a choice between giving in to the Need and becoming a member of the mysterious race of beings called the Forgotten, or denying her power before everyone—including those she loves the most—forgets she ever existed. Despite her knack for supernatural good deeds, Charlotte evades the definition of "angel." Instead of embracing the fate that would end her life, she rebels against it and struggles between the choices of life and leaving, not wanting to be forgotten and wanting to leave something beautiful behind if she goes. Exactly what kind of being Charlotte is seems indefinable, creating at times a bumpy feeling to the story as both Charlotte and the reader struggle for answers. This is outweighed by a gripping narrative drive that takes hold in the second half, leading up to an ending that thrives in its complexity. A Need So Beautiful will be an appealing addition to any paranormal collection. Reviewer: Allison Hunter Hill
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Charlotte's life is unraveling more each day. Those she encounters seem to look past her, through her. Soon, she is told, she will even be erased from the memories of her family and friends. The teen learns that she is a Forgotten, a being who feels uncontrollable Needs to drop everything and save the lives of others, usually strangers. Once a Forgotten's destiny is complete, she combusts in a burst of golden light that is said to inspire love and hope worldwide. Charlotte is heartbroken and horrified. She desperately wants her life back, but the only person who knows what she is refuses to help. Time is running out. Then she meets dark and mysterious Onika, a Forgotten who somehow beat the system. She learns that by resisting the Need, she, too, can remain on Earth—but at a terrible price. Charlotte must make an important decision: Fulfill her destiny or resist and be consumed by darkness. Although the message of this exquisite fantasy is deeply and spiritually profound, the author manages to convey it without sounding preachy or pretentious. Charlotte is an exceptionally likable character who demonstrates an extraordinary amount of personal growth as she learns to accept her fate. The ending is beautiful, although bittersweet. A unique take on the age-old struggle of good vs. evil.—Alissa J. LeMerise, Oxford Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews

Yet another angel in human form reluctantly faces her uncertain destiny in a gripping supernatural romance.

High schooler Charlotte's life has been controlled by the Need: Periodically she experiences an irresistible compulsion to locate a particular person and provide some kind of emotional assistance, never understanding why. But now the episodes are happening every day, dominating her and impossible to explain away to her best friend, rich girl Sarah, and rock-steady boyfriend, Harlin. Onika, a sexy young woman who haunts her nightmares, may hold the key to what's happening to Charlotte. What she discovers about her future is painful and disturbing. She's a supernatural being, and when, way too soon, she's forced back to the light—akin to dying—no one will remember her. Her first-person narration captures the terror of dying young, which is here intensified by the prospect of the erasure of her existence once she's gone. Realistic dialogue and believable teen situations—opportunities to sneak out for sexual encounters, the ready availability of alcohol, the ugly outcome of Sarah's rejection of a predatory classmate—all serve to make the fantasy elements more believable. While characters are predictable and superficial, the inventive plot-driven narrative fully conveys Charlotte's desolation.

Charlotte's bleak tale provides an imaginative twist on the timeless battle between dark and light and, of course, sets up a potential sequel. (Supernatural romance. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062084545
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/21/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
194,456
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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What People are saying about this

Carrie Ryan
“A beautiful, poignant, and gripping tale of love and sacrifice.”
Kimberly Derting
“A Need So Beautiful is equal parts haunting mystery, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride, and epic love story. Charlotte’s story captured me-and still hasn’t let me go!”

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