Saturday, January 7, 2012

BR: A Need So Beautiful

by Suzanne Young
A Need So Beautiful series; book I

I picked this book up because of all the positive things that were being said about it, despite it being out of my usual preferred genre, I really wanted to give it a shot and have it prove me wrong.

Summary (goodreads)

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.

My Expectations: I thought it would be good, even great!
Delivery: hugely underwhelming :(
Put-down-ability: 5/10

My Thoughts

HYPE. I hate you.

Okay, here’s the deal: I didn't have any interest in this book until the blogosphere really exploded with adoration for it, then I was kind of intrigued. I reserved it at the library and when I got the chance, I finally read it. I really, really wanted to see what the hype was about—my curiosity got the better of me. Even when the summary was something I’d usually pass on, a little voice was telling me that I might be wrong, go for it! So I did.

And, man, was I underwhelmed.

Let me tell you, despite my complaints—the book is NOT bad. My reading experience was. It was just.. ugh… so extremely frustrating that there was that little cloud hanging over me showing me all these glowing reviews about how beautiful the writing was and how compelling the story was and how gorgeous the characters were. I wanted to see what they were seeing so badly and I so didn’t, which partially pissed me off because I was reading this for hours and getting absolutely nada from it.

So yeah. That’s my little spiel about hating hype and not enjoying the book. The premise itself just never caught me, I was hoping I’d totally buy into it when I started reading but I felt I had to trudge through the book to see what happens, and truth be told, I didn’t really care what happens. I personally felt no connection with the main character Charlotte, apart from occasional sympathy and frequent irritation.

The romance was a dud for me, again, I felt nothing for Harlin. The relationship has been pre-established (refreshing! I haven’t read one of those in a while) but I felt the basis of it sucked. It’s just completely unrealistic (who kisses a stranger in a hallway?) and there is only so much “I love you, Harlin” “I love you Charlotte” “I love you so much Harlin” “I love you too Charlotte” “I love you Harlin” “I love you Charlotte” I can take. Goddammit.

Okay, my pissy review is coming to a close. The writing was solid, I enjoyed it and it kept the narration flowing. I like how Sarah (her best friend) was depicted because it made it more interesting and made Charlotte’s ties to the ‘human world’ stronger—and this is more as in the “I see how the story is working and things are falling together” instead of “oh, I really enjoyed it”, do you know what I mean? The premise was creative and original, I was just never a big fan of it.

A Need So Beautiful was a huge disappointment for me, I didn’t hate it but I don’t see myself remembering any of these characters in a few months.

Rating in HP Terms: Poor
Recommended for: YA readers looking for a different take on paranormal.
Acknowledgements: lovely, 4/5

6.8/10 – because I can’t think of too many positives for this book. I was disappointed and underwhelmed with pretty much everything, and I just had this train of thought going “why did I read that? Why did I bother?” when I finished. This review makes me look like a bitch, but I’m just being honest, sorry. This was just not the book for me, at all.

source: library
author blog / twitter

Read the first 54 pages in HarperCollins BrowseInside!


  1. Dude, I like you O_O You post a rating in terms of HP? <33333

    Anyways, sorry this wasn't what you'd hoped it would be! I've heard the hype too (what a scary thing) but I haven't read it yet.

    The kissing a stranger in the hallway? ... Interesting.

    Thanks for the honest review! :)


  2. I strongly suggest you use my "50 pages or bust" method next time you get a book like this my 50 pages or busts are short reviews I give on books I only got 50 pages into then said no thanks heres how I put the review

    Why I started it - simple enough this is why you picked up the book example "the great reviews" or "my favorite author gave it 5 stars"

    Why I stopped- again simple why did you stop reading?

    50 pages easy: meaning was getting to page 50 a chore and a hassle or you breezed to page 50 but even then it wasn't doing it for you

    Based on this what is it- I still rate the book I just don't post it on good reads or really consider it read this is a star review based on the 50 pages and how you think the book would play out

    here is my archive of my bust books (I have three more to add as well)

    I highly suggest and encourage you adapt this "meme" segment I made for when you just are not feeling a book but want to review it
    there is only 2 rules to this 1. you CAN NOT COUNT THE BOOK AS READ ON GOODREADS since if you only got 50 pages in it means you did not finish

    2. link back to me and say I came up with the idea

    and thats i besides that have fun if you do decided to use this method
    oh and email or comment on my journal if you did decided to use this method of short review

  3. I've seen this book around and didn't really want to read it based on the summary. People have been saying good things about it though. I hate it when a book underwhelms you, it's such a bummer. It's really hard to like a book when you're not into the main character or their relationships.

  4. I totally get what you mean about all the hype and then it just *really* doesn't work for you! When Across the Universe came out I was interested in it, but not crazily. Then all the hype started happening and I honestly have never seen more overjoyed reviews for a book! So I bought it and... It was good, but not as good as all the hype made me think it would be. When I published by semi-good review I felt like some sort of blogosphere traitor!

    So, after that long explanation, yeah, I get what you mean!

    ps, I finished the last HP book this morning (incredible, I'm in a trance because I realize it's all over) and I am still awed by your cleverness with rating in HP terms!!

  5. I did not like this book either and agree with so much of what you said especially irritation with Charlotte and seeing nothing special to swoon about in Harlin. Thankfully it is a pretty short book or I'm sure I would have DNF it.

  6. Bummer!

    I have absolutely no desire to read this one (angel fiction is, in my opinion, of the suck (with Unearthly being the ONE exception)) and I thought about maybe reading it anyway for about 3 seconds ;p

    But it's not a book I've ever felt I would actually enjoy.

    Sorry you didn't like it though! (And you totally don't sound like a bitch! :) )

  7. Bummer!

    I have absolutely no desire to read this one (angel fiction is, in my opinion, of the suck (with Unearthly being the ONE exception)) and I thought about maybe reading it anyway for about 3 seconds ;p

    But it's not a book I've ever felt I would actually enjoy.

    Sorry you didn't like it though! (And you totally don't sound like a bitch! :) )

  8. "HYPE. I hate you."

    I so understand how you feel here! While it's cool to hear how excited people are about a book, it also makes it really hard for that book to live up to your expectations afterwards!

  9. I hate it when books don't live up to hype/expectations. I like the way you distinguish between a bad book and a bad reading experience though - it's so true! They don't necessarily go hand in hand. I think I'll give this one a miss, the premise is intriguing but I feel I'd probably end up trudging through it like you.

  10. I haven't read this one, but duddy romances are a huge minus esp. if they are a significant part of the plot - sorry, dude :(

  11. I saw so much hype for this one as well- too bad it didn't live up to the hype for you. I don't think it'll work for me, either- I mean, a duddy romance? Don't think so.

  12. Sorry you didn't like it. I hate when I don;t like a very hyped book. There is such a book about at the moment and it just baffles me why people love it - but to each there own, every book has an audience :)

    I thought you were very fair and honest in your review, you made it clear why it wasn't working for you, but mentioned lots of positive things about it too.

  13. From the reviews I read, I knew it doesn't sound like a book I would enjoy despite the fact that it's quite hyped up. I'd probably have the same reading experience as you if I picked this one up. Oh well. Better luck next time, I guess.


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