A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young: Steph’s review

Synopsis: 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.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It’s as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.


An excellent piece of literature means something different to everyone who reads it. A Need So Beautiful is an excellent piece of literature.

On the surface, it’s a story of a girl whose future has already been decided for her. As is human nature, she wants to make her own choices and decide her future. She wants to be normal, to matter. But the more she learns about being a Forgotten, and the more she fulfills her unusual destiny–to help unsuspecting people until she finally disappears–the more conflicted she becomes. She doesn’t want to be a martyr.

So she fights. She fights the Need, she fights the one person who knows her secret, and she fights with herself as she contemplates an offer that seems to good to be true. Is it? When faced with survival or extinction, who’s to say what’s right or wrong? Young expertly guides readers through Charlotte’s conflict until we, too, lose our grip on the big picture and are lured in by the Shadows.

It’s not until her Need directly helps her soul-mate boyfriend Harlin that she sees giving in to the Need isn’t a weakness or a curse, but a strength and a blessing. This is reinforced in one of the most poignant scenes I’ve ever read, when Charlotte helps someone cross over. As heart-rending as it is, that’s when both Charlotte and the reader realize that her Need is indeed, so beautiful.

Underneath this brilliant surface story is where readers will find the most reward. Whether readers are religious or not, there are obvious undertones that speak to the universal human experience. There are a million interpretations and each one is correct. Young’s message is so powerful, and told so skillfully, that it transcends man-made contraints.

If you pick up one book this year, make it A Need So Beautiful. It’s in stores June 21.

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