A teenaged girl moves to an area of the U.S. with bad weather to live with a relative she loves but doesn't know well. Almost immediately she meets a really good looking guy who seems to want to hang out with her, but she can't figure out what's not right about him. There also seems to be someone stalking her, and did anyone notice that very large dog/wolf that came out of the woods? Thus is the set-up for...Need by Carrie Jones, a new entry into the young adult paranormal genre.
Obviously, there are similarities to Twilight, but Need stands well on its own in the paranormal ranks. Zara's stepfather has died unexpectedly and her mother, worried that Zara's not herself, sends her off to live with her step-grandmother in Maine for a bit. Though the school year has started, Zara seems to fit into her new environment fairly well, and quickly has two guys vying for her attentions. She has, however, made an enemy quickly in Megan, a girl who seems jealous at the attention she's receiving, but that's balanced out by her new friends Issie and Devyn and of course, the attention of the hunky Nick. Yet Zara still feels odd; she's convinced someone is tracking her, calling her name, and when two boys disappear locally, the whole town is on edge because "it" seems to be happening again.
It's no big surprise to say that this novel entails pixies and weres (though pixies, despite how portrayed here, seem a little tame in my own mind). Jones sets up a very creepy scenario, complete with a major snowstorm that keeps Zara separated from her grandmother; the scene where Zara and Nick are trapped in her bedroom is very compelling and downright thrilling. The writing is tight and the pages turned quickly for me, though there were a few concluding plot holes that I had to not obsess over or I'd have scored this novel lower. The major climax needed a bit of work (though I love the idea of a were-bear, lol) because it didn't seem plausible, but I liked how Zara stood up for herself and forged ahead with a plan. The relationship between Zara and her grandmother is warm and funny, and I liked the list of phobias Zara repeats to herself, even if I couldn't pronounce half of them. Overall, I can say that this is a fun paranormal romance/adventure that fills the bill for interest and atmosphere. Definitely enjoyable!
As an aside, my thirteen year old daughter is now reading this book on my recommendation and is loving it. She's heavily into Twilight and she thinks this one is living up to it.