Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Really enjoyed this new novel from Joelle Charbonneau (Whose third book in the Testing trilogy I still need to read - those are great) A bit of a departure from her previous dystopian story and a thrilling and addictive reading ride.
When a new social media website pops up, simply aimed at the students of one specific school, everyone of course jumps on board. But this site is something different - fulfilling the "needs" of students in return for seemingly simple tasks - but all hell is about to break loose.
I read this in a day - and it is mostly excellent although I did have a few minor issues with it. On the plus side, its a great story well told, with some great characters (Kaylee particularly I was very on board with, she has a greater depth perhaps than the others and a terrifically done back story) It pops along at a frantic rate, keeping you turning the pages and desperate to know what will happen. Good stuff indeed.
On the downside there are occasionally just too many characters all vying for your attention. Kaylee tells us her story and interspersed with that, we read about other students and what they are up to. Whilst this serves to give the story a wider viewpoint, it can get confusing especially when a lot of people are all doing things in the same timeline. I'm not sure if it would not have been better to streamline this slightly although to be fair, it does even out over the course of the novel and as you get to grips with the personalities.
The other downside is a bit of predictability - whilst the students, their actions and responses are really cleverly interpreted and involving, a stark look at human nature - the "bad guy" is fairly obvious, or was to me at least, so the ultimate reveal was no surprise.
That said, I loved the concept and it was executed well especially when it came to the pure selfishness that teenagers can exhibit. Asking the question "what do you NEED" as opposed to "What do you WANT" elicited many responses from the students and was integrated well into the story and allowed the author to play with the twists and turns in a way that made it all very exciting.
Definitely recommended despite the slight flaws, it having been left open in a small way for more - I'd love to see the author revisit the "need" website and give us a different perspective - this story being complete, with the readers knowledge of what happened in Wisconsin, the path is there to expand the mythology. I can't say more without spoiling it but once you have read it (and if YA Thrillers are your thing you definitely should) you'll know what I mean.