“WANT: a desire to posses or do something. A wish.
NEED: something required because it is essential. Something very important that you cannot live without.
What do you NEED?”
The students of Nottowa High School are invited to join a new and exclusive social networking site that promises to give them what they need in return for completing seemingly innocuous tasks. It starts small: invite friends to the website, deliver a package to a certain address, leave an item in a mailbox. But these tasks soon turn out to have dangerous and even deadly consequences.
NEED is a fun thrill ride with a high-stakes plot that moves along at a frantic pace. The main character, Kaylee Dunham, is easy to root for. She’s a social outcast, her father left, her mother hate her, and she asked NEED for the one thing she truly needed– a new kidney for her dying brother. Kaylee gets swept up in the social network and soon becomes the one person brave enough to try to take it down.
My biggest criticism of this book would be the sheer amount of characters and point-of-views. NEED uses the ever-popular alternating narrators trope, and there are no less than tendifferent character perspectives. Because there’s so many characters, none of them really get a full personality, and I got confused and eventually bored with keeping up with all of their different actions and motivations. While I think this multiple-narrator style works well for a story involving a massive social network, the plots and characters could have been streamlined to maybe four or five better developed characters. The big ‘reveal’ at the end was kind of obvious, but didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story.
NEED also poses interesting and relevant questions about the concept of anonymity on the internet as well as the dangers of both mob mentality and rampant materialism. Despite these themes, I ultimately didn’t find NEED particularly memorable. It was fun to read, but ultimately didn’t excite me enough to make it unforgettable.
ARC received from NetGalley.