Format: E-Galley, 352 pages
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WANT AND A NEED. WHAT DO YOU NEED?
One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone? Backstage tickets to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn't you?
Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs --a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.
Or could it?
After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network—and pull the plug before it destroys them all?
"NEED: SOMETHING REQUIRED BECAUSE IT IS ESSENTIAL. SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT."
Joelle Charbonneau's NEED is apparently a standalone novel that centers on the students of Nottawa High School in Wisconsin. NEED brings with it a new social experiment that is invite only, and closed to anyone outside the study group. IE, adults are not wanted, nor needed. This social experiment promises to fulfill your need, basically your wish, and in return, you must do something in return.
The main protagonist of the story is Kaylee Dunham, but there are at least 8 other characters that are featured as well. There is a point where having too many characters is a bad thing. This, perhaps, is a good example of that. Kaylee's brother DJ is in desperate need of a new kidney. So much so, that Kaylee has broken the law by accessing private health information hoping to get a match. Kaylee has pretty much burned every single bridge in town, and is lucky she is still friends with Nate Weakley.
Kind of a scary story when you break down the possibilities and the nightmares. Anything is possible when you give teenagers free reign without any adult supervision. Anything is possible when you have a government agency that has no oversight. I can imagine this actually happening in real life since we have become an obsessed society with putting our private information out there for everyone, including our bosses, to see.
"No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better."
I think this quote should be a wake up call to anyone who expects to get something for nothing. Those who rather take away things from others, while asking for I-Phones, and Computers they can't afford. There is always a catch. Always. We can even call this story a case study on how to make the naive run around in a maze like lab rats while laughing at the blood that is left behind.
These young adults go through great lengths to request all sorts of things from movie tickets, to an A on a psychics test, to new computers, and game consoles. When you give young adults the freedom to go wild, bad things happen. These kids walked into a trap that was just waiting for them. It's kind of like the pedophile who lures someone silly enough to trust that what someone says online is really the truth.
I really felt for Kaylee right until the very end. As I said, she burns a whole lot of bridges with her actions, and her desperation at saving her brother. I can totally forgive her. In fact, I can respect that her ONE request was for a kidney for her brother, and never once thought of herself. I fail to understand the unawareness of the parents in this story. There was absolutely ZERO oversight. ZERO. I do feel as though there might be enough material to continue this story. Especially knowing that loose ends haven't been tied up.
**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**