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Friday, August 5, 2011

"A Need So Beautiful"

by Suzanne Young, YA, 2011, 267p, rating=4

"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." (partial blurb from Goodreads)

An incredibly fascinating premise!!  Nothing warms the heart as well as reading about an angel-like character touching other's lives for the better.  In this case the 'angel' is called a Forgotten, who only exist to follow the Need (pull to help people) then viola, when a quota has been met the Forgotten goes to the light and everyone forgets about you as if you never existed.  That would suck if you have a lovely life going for you as the likes of Charlotte.  It's no wonder that she wasn't crazy about the fact that she was literally disappearing. 

Off the bat the constant mentioning of the word Need annoyed me.  Oddly enough it was necessary for the storyline but it bothered me nonetheless.  I was also exasperated at the relationship between Charlotte and her boyfriend Harlin ... her over-the-top affection towards him and his initial passiveness.  Moreover, perhaps due to setting ground to the story, the story telling felt mechanical.  But the ending sure left me baffled and piqued enough to want to read the sequel!

The great appeal of this book for me was bringing to recognition that people have the potential to be angels to others.   I think we secretly live for those moments so reading about them inspires us to listen to our version of the Need and act on them.  A wonderful message if one doesn't get anything else out of this book.

Overall, the dynamics of existence was the strength in this read. Who wants to find out that you can't control your life ... your destiny for that matter? Especially tormenting to a teenager who feels like life is just beginning. And in general, no one wants to be forgotten.

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