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A Spy in the House
Y.S. Lee
Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization
Alex Irvine
Need - Carrie Jones Now I must make a confession (and I hate to make this comparison): when I started reading Need my first impression was that it was following the opening sequence of Twilight a bit too closely. Now, none of the elements in Twilight are all that original (save the oft-mocked sparkling vampires), but the opening sequence in Need followed the pattern a but too closely for my liking. But the reasons for the move are much more real and pertinent to the plot (and heck, the plot shows up a whole lot earlier) and it departed from the characterisation etc. enough to keep my Twilight-disliking self interested in Need.

I am glad I did, as the book really started to pick up after that and moved away from the factors that made me dislike Twilight. /tangent

One thing I did like about Need was the characters and characterisation. Zara and her friends are normal, or at least as normal as one can be given the circumstances of what's going on around them. They have quirks, hobbies, interests and work together as a team to help out friends who are in need. Plus they and other characters serve a greater role in the story than others might expect, with emphasis on teamwork and helpings one's friends. Zara, too, was an interesting character, coming to terms with a great change in her life, the death of her stepfather (she keeps jumping from calling him her father and her stepfather, which is confusing at times). She has her own way of coping with it and doesn't let it or the pixie king and his own dark needs bring her to her knees and defeat her. Instead she rises up to face the challenge in front of her.

Need is not a perfect book by any means, drawing too heavily at times on the works of Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr. But it steps aside from those roots and picks up its own individuality and flair soon enough, thus making it an enjoyable read nonetheless. I see great potential for that individuality to come forward even more in the in-the-works sequel. But, as they say, YMMV.