Buy from Amazon • Buy from The Book Depository • Buy from Barnes & Noble • Published by Balzer + Bray on June 26, 2012
Genres: YA Paranormal
Source: ARC won in a giveaway
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?
I liked A Need So Beautiful. Sure, it had its issues, but I had fun reading it and I was kind of looking forward to its sequel A Want So Wicked. Now I’m left wondering how a series went from decent to just plain bad in one 288-page book.
I picked up this book instead of another one because I needed to get this series finished and I wanted to divert my attention away from the other, more detestable book I was reading. One can only read a book that makes her blood boil for so long before she needs something to soothe the flames. Though I didn’t enjoy A Want So Wicked, it occupied me in the one day it took me to read it and didn’t make me want to scream, and that’s what I wanted from it more than anything. That’s the best part.
Part of the magic of A Need So Beautiful was Charlotte’s conflict with what she was meant to do and her inevitable fate slowly encroaching upon her, making even her best friend and the family she’d lived with as long as she could remember forget who she was. A Want So Wicked lacks this magic and treads the exact same ground only with far less wonder because readers have already seen it play out. This book is more focused on the Shadows, how they become what they are, and what they have to do to survive, but more of the focus still is on the love triangle.
Both love interests come on too heavy and their relationships with Elise get no development; it’s insta-love all the way and there isn’t much to get invested in with either Abe/Elise or Harlin/Elise. The development of the story isn’t particularly notable, the twists are obvious from miles away, and reincarnation as this book wants it to work is not how reincarnation works. I was rather irritated to see the solid concept of reincarnation twisted only to keep the romance in the acceptable age bracket. YA readers might not be supportive of a romance between a thirty-something Harlin and seventeen-year-old Elise, so Charlotte is somehow reincarnated into someone who has already been alive for seventeen years.
One of the male characters was even called a slut! The solution to slut-shaming is not to start using that detestable slur on men; it’s to not call anyone a slut at all for any reason. (Reading so many books in a row where there is unchallenged slut shaming is going to make me crack sooner or later…)
As far as I know, this series is only a duology and there will be no third book, though the ending is certainly open-ended enough for there to be more books if the author chooses to write them.With some assurance they will cover new ground and not be a repeat of previous books the way A Want So Wicked was, I might read them.