Need - Carrie Jones “People are always looking into the dark...we're afraid of what we might see”
The death of Zara White's step-father is devastating to her. So her mother does the only thing she can think of: send Zara to Bedford, Maine to live with her step-grandmother, Betty. Charleston-raised Zara isn't quite used to the frigid weather, but she quickly makes friends with a charming hero figure, Nick Colt, an animated, awkward classmate, Issie, and smart, wheelchair-bound, Devyn. Life is going well, when Zara begins to see the same man following her and then her life begins to feel like one of those from a Stephen King novel.

I Liked:
With the success of Twilight, there have been a ton of urban fantasy/vampire/forbidden romance clones. “Need”, in many ways, one of these. Where it differs, though, is that it takes the idea of Twilight and makes it 128% better.
Starting with our viewpoint character and protagonist, Zara White is head and shoulders better than Bella Swan of Twilight. Zara White has hobbies, dreams, aspirations, and goals. She works diligently for Amnesty International to free prisoners. Her dedication to the cause runs deeper; she is a stalwart pacifist, eschewing fighting (including fighting with the resident biatch, Meghan) for peaceful resolutions. Sure, in the end, she has to slightly modify these beliefs, but given what she is encountering, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, she does feel a lot of guilt and does try her best to seek out the nonviolent solution. She also is friendly, thus making sense why two guys are interested in her, and likes to run, which she is frequently shown to do and do well. When Zara is depressed, particularly at the beginning of the book, it makes sense: she lost her father, with whom she shared many similarities (running, political ideals, and more). Although she is very upset over her father's death, she still treats Betty, her step-grandmother, with respect and obvious love and admiration (not so much her mom, but that becomes a character/plot point). She shows concern for her grandmother on multiple occasions and doesn't really withhold anything from her as well. And while she does go ga-ga over her boyfriend, she resists his over-eager hero complex, calls him out on his actions, and doesn't let him skate by without repenting. All these characteristics make for an excellent, well-rounded, sympathetic and believable character.
The other characters are pretty interesting as well. Betty is an awesome grandmother. I love how she works as an EMT, how concerned she is for her granddaughter, how she looks out for her, and her “secret” (How many authors would bother giving an “old person” a cool ability like that?!). I didn't like him at first, but I really warmed up to Nick. He was a great guy, protective, like Edward, but nothing near as stalker-ish or creepy as our sparkly vampire. Not to mention, there was serious chemistry between him and Zara, even the small scenes where they touch hands or touch legs or something else rather minimal. Goes to show you, steamy scenes don't necessarily have to have sex.
Issie was a really fun girl. Sure, she was kinda odd and hyper, but that is part of her charm. I loved how she adored Devyn but couldn't ever seem to tell him. Isn't that so like high school ? Devyn was pretty darn cool as well. You don't see many black kids in books (at least, I haven't), so I love how he is here, but he's not your token handicapped/black kid. He gets to have a role, help in the investigation, and be a little romantic interest for Issie. And the pixie king was pretty cool; I really feel that Jones tried to make him sympathetic, not a completely, wholly wicked being.
As for the story, as I said above, it is basically like Twilight. Zara arrives in cold Maine, meets a hot boy and falls for him. Only, I feel that Carrie Jones wrote what Stephenie Meyer was desperately trying to write. Everything about the story feels believable. Zara's feelings for Nick, the tension in school, the unfolding mystery of the pixies, the disappearing boys...all of it weaves together, making this story more than just another paranormal romance. Sure, the romance is there, but there is another large part, and that part is the mystery of Zara's stalker and the disappearing boys. Both are wrapped around each other; you don't have a sudden action sequence tacked on to the last 100 pages of the novel as you might find elsewhere (Twilight...). Oh, and the thrills and chills! One quote basically likens this to what Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer would write; I've never read anything from King, but I've seen some of the movies based from his books and if they are anything like his books, they are creepy. I definitely could see this book being a horror/thriller. There were parts that made me jump.

I Didn't Like:
It's rather shocking how easily the teenagers come to the conclusion that the problem is pixies and how easily the teenagers accept that conclusion (well, Zara takes a while, but). It's almost as if there were meant to be 50 – 100 more pages, but they had to be cut. Typically, my complaint is that the author went into too much detail over something; this time around, I think Jones should have kept those 50 – 100 pages to make the transition easier on the audience.
The first person present tense came off rather clumsy and choppy in places. The transitions were often sketchy, and particularly towards the end, I had a hard time determining where everyone was (which house was it? What is X doing? Where did Y go?).

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
Cr**, da**, and he** are about as harsh as it gets.
Nick is naked at one point. Nothing sexual occurs between him and Zara, but they do kiss and hug.
There are a lot of thrills and chills. Kidnapped boys are said to be killed. Zara's father dies from heart failure; she is witness to this incident. At least two die at the end. Someone is rumored to have been raped.

Absolutely, positively, irrevocably superb! If you loved Twilight but hated Bella and wanted her to be more assertive, then check out this book! It's got a nice, Gothic/horror tone, great characters, an interesting (and rather mature) plot, and new supernaturals. Highly recommended!