Need by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm surprised to see how little love Joelle Charbonneau's been getting on Goodreads. Ever since I can remember, I've seen buttloads of bad reviews for The Testing and its sequels, but I loved how evil those books were, and how they expertly Hunger-Gamed standardized tests and college admissions. This book is a different kind of evil, a modern-day Twilight Zone story about a diabolical new social network, invitation-only, rolling out to students at a small-town high school. It promises to get you what you tell it you need - but only if you perform some shady job as payment. You'd think the teenagers in this town wouldn't be stupid or shallow enough to...
I'd like to think most social networks aren't as evil as the world (or my parents) make them out to be, but NEED is clearly Satan's latest, finest, nastiest creation.
The result is the sort of book that, I think, is Lauren Oliver's Panic for people who didn't like Panic. It's a hybrid of contemporary and dystopian, but the main characters are far more likable (and, in some cases, quite conflicted), and the story is easy to follow and quite addictive.
I eagerly await Charbonneau's next - whether it be a sequel to this book (not too likely, but I can hope), or a whole new story world with all new characters and styles and rules.
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