Title: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HC imprint)
Bright and softly magical, Suzanne Young's latest novel grips the hearts of readers and doesn't let go, even after the final page. This is a tale filled with friendship and romance, but also a story of struggle and sacrifice, of discovering what we're put on Earth to do. Charlotte is special, so special it took her time to realize her true potential, but there's realizing it and the pain of actually going through with it that she has to face.
A YA novel with a romantic element but the girl already has a boyfriend and is totally in love with him. How outrageously refreshing. And (in the summary of the book) there's no hint of a love triangle. Instead, Charlotte's forced to embrace fate and shine or turn her back on her destiny and turn dark.
Charlotte has this Need to help people, these visions or compulsions to go up to strangers and give them advice before walking away. But, like any teenage girl with a loving boyfriend and a best friend with a lot of issues, she doesn't want the Need, especially when it starts to hit her stronger than before. It takes a toil on her body, and when she's told she's one of the Forgotten, a sort of angel (but not an angel, I want to be clear about that), she's not so sure she wants to be forgotten, to be a glimpse of support for people in their times of sadness and pain.
Embrace fate, be that shining star, or turn away from everyone she loves and fall into the darkness. Tough call.
Charlotte is selfless but still a teenager, still wants to be able to decide what she wants to do in her life. She wants to stay friends with Sarah, wants to keep loving her boyfriend Harlin, but the Need grabs hold of her and won't dare let her go. There are others that need her, need the guidance and support only she can provide, if she's brave enough to give it.
She's also like a sort of angel, not an actual angel. No wings, no messages from Heaven. Perhaps more of a golden guide than anything else.
At a recent book signing (from what I can remember because I was a fool for not taking notes), Suzanne Young shared her inspiration for this book, how someone close was in the hospital and a total stranger walked up to her and gave her some advice. Afterwards, Suzanne wondered if that person was even real.
Fresh and inspiring, A Need So Beautiful will strike you with how beautiful it is but will also draw you in with the mystery behind Charlotte. She discovers who she is, who she's meant to be, at a time so precious and unexpected, but it's up to her whether or not it's who she wants to be. This book kept me waiting on the edge of my seat, kept me gripping the book in my hands as I read, insanely curious to discover Charlotte's choice.