Tuesday, June 01, 2010

June Book of the Month


"'If you can name something, it's not so scary," my dad always said." In Carrie Jones's Need, Zara White tries to go by what her dad used to say; it's why she names her fears and knows the names of many others. Naming her fears is one way Zara can handle being shipped off to snowy, unfamiliar Maine after her stepdad dies. Numb from grief, freezing in the eastern cold, Zara can't believe that the stranger who kept watching her back in Charleston has followed her to her stepdad's hometown, but he has, leaving a trail of gold dust in his wake. Though grandma Betty is tough and protective, Zara doesn't feel safe; she knows she's got trouble. At her new school, she makes an enemy before making any friends and isn't sure that the few friends she makes are truly friendly. All the while, the stranger gets closer and closer to Zara, forcing secrets into the open, bringing danger to Zara and to everyone around her.

Need brings surprising twists to old folktales and digs in hard during the scarier parts. Zara's frustration with Maine gets forgotten as the threat against Zara and her stepdad's hometown looms closer. The action intensifies as the source of the threat is revealed--and reaches Zara herself. Zara tries to evade and fight back, which pushes the conflict to a series of turns as exciting as they are unexpected.

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