Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Source: ARC received from the publisher
Summary (From Goodreads): Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.
After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.
Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?
A Need So Beautiful was one of my favorites last summer, so if you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend it. Since A Want So Wicked is its sequel, I’ll try to avoid spoilers in the main part of the review. Also, if it’s been a while since you’ve read A Need So Beautiful, I recommend skimming through it or at least reading the last couple chapters as a refresher.
First, I love Suzanne Young’s writing style because it hooks you and doesn’t let go. She has a good handle on imagery and knows how to evoke emotion in her readers. There were a few times when I really felt for the characters and wanted to keep reading so I could find out what was going to happen. My favorite thing about Suzanne Young’s writing is the way she ends chapters. For instance, one chapter ended with this: “Even when I didn’t know you, my soul still missed you.” How can a chapter end that way and not make someone instantly turn the page?! I love the idea of a soul knowing and loving and missing someone, so this line really hit me.
The characters are written well also, although I would have enjoyed more scenes with Harlin and Onika. I was surprised that Harlin was in A Want So Wicked, but I was happy to see him again. He’s drawn to Elise, and it seems like insta-love, but it makes sense because of what Elise is discovering and going through during the story. His character is one that you can’t help but love because he’s just so earnest and caring. Elise as a character is interesting because she appears to be experiencing the Need, but it’s different from what Charlotte experienced. And considering the title, I kept expecting her to go dark and ignore the Need. Onika is a complex character, and we do learn more about her and her history, but I would have appreciated more scenes with her to add to the suspense and plot movement.
A new character, besides Elise, who’s introduced is Abe. At first I really liked him and how interested he was in Elise. She meets him at the diner she starts working at. He starts off flirting with her until he realizes that Elise is the new worker he needs to train. Their exchanges are cute, and this being before Harlin really enters the story, I thought he’d be a cute match for Elise. But eventually he became downright sketchy, and thanks to Suzanne Young’s writing skills, I really started to despise him. Once this side of his character comes through, readers will start asking themselves some questions about Abe and his interest in Elise.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot in this part of the review, especially since I think the characters drive the plot and the story more than anything else. If you haven’t read A Want So Wicked yet, then I suggest you stop here because I’m going to jot down some questions I have after finishing the book which will probably serve as spoilers. I feel it’s necessary to write these questions/comments down because I think I have them from plot holes.
**Note–Possible Spoiler Section**
Questions I Have After Reading:
- Why does Abe see Elise as his? Do they have a past together? Or is it just part of his character and what he’s become (the wants)?
- How is it possible for Elise to really be Charlotte when Charlotte was Forgotten only nine months ago? Did she take over Elise’s soul? This strikes me as a major plot hole.
- Why didn’t we get more from the story about Lucy and her Need? We barely got to know her character at all, yet I felt like we were supposed to understand her decision to ignore the Need and avoid the light.
- What happened at the beginning of the book to change Elise’s dad’s anger? When Abe wants to go out with Elise, she can’t because Lucy is missing and her dad calls Elise frantic about it. When Elise gets home Lucy is there and it’s never mentioned what happened and her dad seems completely fine.