Need

Common Sense Media says

Good pick for teens who Need more Twilight.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

The messages don't hit super hard in this book, but Zara does give an impassioned speech to the pixie king when he tries to excuse himself for torturing boys because it's his nature: "People die all the time for the greater good," she tells him. 

Positive role models

Zara doesn't always listen to the advice of those around her, but she does rather fearlessly fight to save those she loves. Also, when she is not fighting off pixies, she is also an activist who writes letters for Amnesty International.

Violence

Pixies drain blood from boys they kidnap from the woods. A werewolf and weretiger kill two teens. Zara pulls an arrow out of a werewolf shot in the woods, and later has her arm broken when she herself is kidnapped.

Sex

Some steamy kissing between Zara and her boyfriend Nick. Also, when he changes from werewolf to human, he winds up naked in her house. 

Language

Some light swear words like "crap," "damn," and "ass."

Consumerism

References to Gap clothes, a MINI Cooper, Subaru, Hello Kitty, Campbell's soup, etc. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book features some fantasy violence: Pixies drain blood from boys they kidnap from the woods. A werewolf and weretiger kill two teens. Zara pulls an arrow out of a werewolf shot in the woods, and later has her arm broken when she herself is kidnapped. Characters use some light swear words, and Zara and her new boyfriend share some steamy smooches. Zara doesn't always listen to the advice of those around her, but she does rather fearlessly fight to save those she loves.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

After her beloved step-father dies, Zara moves to her grandmother's in Maine only to discover that she is being chased by a blood-thirsty pixie king. Oh, and also her new boyfriend is a shapeshifter who turns into a wolf sometimes. But what does the pixie king want with her? And what will she do when she has more revelations about the magical natures of the friends and family she loves -- and makes a surprising discovery about herself?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This book will certainly make you reexamine the stereotypes of cute little mischief-loving pixies. The ones in this book are creepy -- and out for blood. There is a lot of plot here, but readers will be enthralled enough with the mystery to stick with it  (and forgive characters who never become completely alive).

Zara's sarcastic sense of humor -- even when she is angry or scared -- keeps this book from getting too intense. ("Oh, thanks. Pixie Lesson 112, right?" she says to the pixie king when he tries to explain about the glamour he's put over the hideout.). Add in some passionate kissing scenes between Zara and her werewolf boyfriend, and you've got a winning debut. Fantasy fans will quickly swallow up this book, and be eager to bite into the next installment. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of vampires, werewolves, pixies, and more. Why do you think these characters are especially popular in young adult reads?

  • Many characters, like Zara, have to learn to accept the truth about

  • their own real nature. Do all teens -- even the non-vampire kind --

  • have to go through a self-acceptance exercise?

  • Zara isn't sure at first if Nick can be trusted -- or if he is actually a

  • Pixie. Can you think of other fantasy novels where the heroine has a

  • romantic interest in someone who may do her harm (like, um, Bella

  • in Twilight)? What do you think about this dynamic? What is appealing

  • about it to young female readers? Why might it be problematic?

Book details

Author:Carrie Jones
Genre:Fantasy
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:December 23, 2008
Number of pages:320
Publisher's recommended age(s):12 - 17
Read aloud:13
Read alone:13

This review of Need was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old October 4, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

I Liked It, but I'm More of a Vamp Fan

It was good. I did enjoy it. I especially like the names of the chapters. Phobias are fun! Some parts were interesting, while others were a bit boring.
Teen, 14 years old Written byLILCUTEKITTY May 15, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

e.g. Perfect for older kids, but not for kids in elementary

Love it!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bybooklover1 June 10, 2010
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

the best

love it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educational value

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