ARC Review: NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

book review


Joelle Charbonneau
352 Pages


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?

My Review:

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this book. This in no way affects my opinion of the book. Please be aware that there may have been changes on the final published book. 

No one gets something for nothing, we all should know better

Need was a very interesting and different idea for a book. It had a great synopsis that pulled you right in. It was what made me want to read it. It was intriguing that there was this internet site where you put in what you needed and it would somehow give it to you. The main character kind of sees that there’s something wrong with the website but yet still chooses to believe that there won’t be any consequences. I feel like the book strongly misinterpreted teenagers. It depicts all of the teenagers in the small town as one-dimensional, greedy, selfish, ignorant and dense. I know a bunch of people that wouldn’t fall for a website like Need. I think my main issue was with the writing. It was way too confusing, especially with the several point of views. It was really problematic when they all started sounding the same. The only way I knew I was reading the main character’s point of view was because it was written in first person and the others were written in third person. I don’t remember any of the characters really and that’s a problem. I couldn’t connect with any of them, not even the main character.

I thought that I would be able to empathize with Kaylee because her story really was heartbreaking. Her father left the family and her brother was pretty much dying. However, she was pretty crazy. She was extremist. I understand that you want to find a kidney for your brother but I don’t understand how you could overstep your boundaries and insult people who aren’t willing to give their kidney to your brother. Seriously, Kaylee? You would give up your kidney to a random stranger’s brother. Be realistic. She just angered me so much in the book because of it. She went as far as faking sick to look at her classmate’s medical records to see who matched her brother’s blood type. Yeah, let’s just bypass all HIPAA laws and invade other people’s privacy. Then she has the audacity to be angry at her classmates when they want nothing to do with her. HELLO! You are batsh*t crazy and forcing yourself on them! But I digress.

No matter how many warnings are posted, no one actually believes that online behavior can hurt their lives or the lives of others. Especially if there is a cloak of anonymity. Everyone feels shielded, safe, and invincible.

NEED wasn’t terrible. It really was interesting and it kept me reading because it created this air of mystery. I really wanted to know who was behind all of it and how everything was being funded. There were so many questions and I was so eager to see how it was all going to end. While the ending was surprising, I felt it was anticlimactic. I wish that it had a better explanation to the whole purpose of NEED and it honestly reminded me of the Avengers. Specifically, it reminded me of Hydra and why NEED was created in the first place. What I did like about the book was that it paralleled cyber bullying and how they hide behind anonymity and so they can say and do what they want without real consequences. There were still so many questions that were unanswered but it sufficed. I think that it was a great plot twist when we find out who was behind all of NEED.


About Anjie @ Love thy Shelf

Hello there -- call me Anjie! I made this book blog where I can put down all my bookish ramblings and talk to those who have the same interests!
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