Title: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: June 21, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher for Review
Official TUBL Rating: A
We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...
Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.
But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.
Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.
Charlotte is down-to-earth and ordinary (despite The Need). Her perspective is brimming with a sense of isolation and secrecy because she can't share her secret; not even with the person she loves most. Every time The Need overcomes her, the readers will also feel that ultimate compulsion that Charlotte regularly feels. Charlotte's narrative oozes with her caring personality but it also has that hysteria and secretive air to it because of The Need.
Harlin's relationship with Charlotte is intense and fiery. And because they are already together, their interactions with each other are so much more authentic. Harlin isn't a prop or merely a love interest; he pushes the plot and ultimately enhances the tension in A Need So Beautiful. But even so, their romance does not dominate; instead, it creates a sort of equilibrium with the myth-heavy plot.
A Need So Beautiful is truly heartbreaking and bittersweet. It is both utterly stunning and horrifying to see Charlotte make the sacrifices, especially with the raw, pure love that she feels with Harlin. A Need So Beautiful closes with a devastatingly striking ending of understanding and finally, acceptance.
The Bottom Line: Beautiful. Just beautiful and sad.