“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”
Teenagers at Wisconsin’s Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.
What. Even?! This is the first book I’ve read by Joelle Charbonneau, but if her series The Testing is half as suspenseful as NEED then I need it, pun totally intended. This book was a crazy ride that I am so glad I got on.
The book follows Nottawa High School student Kaylee, who is a bit of a social pariah, known for harassing her fellow students about getting tested to be a kidney donor for her brother DJ. Her best friend Nate turns her onto this new social media site NEED where everyone is completely anonymous and you can get your needs fulfilled by inviting more people to join the site, or eventually it will ask you to perform certain tasks to receive your request. In addition to Kaylee’s narration we also get third person narration from some of the other Nottawa students to show just how wild a real this site actually is.
Once these teens start getting their needs met some seriously intense things start happening, including *dun dun dun* murder! then there are the twists, I’m not even kidding, I audibly gasped at least twice. I’m usually pretty good at picking up on “the twist” but I didn’t get this one at all. Well, some of it, but not the bulk of it.
This book was a great look at what we will go through as humans to get what we think we need, and what we actually need. It’s a very smart book and my one flaw with it is that the main character, Kaylee, can get very repetitive and at some points annoying. If her parts of the book were a little less wordy I would give NEED a perfect 5 star review, but because Kaylee’s broken record internal monologue left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth it has to be a 4. I recommend this to anyone who is down for a thrill ride and those who dig mystery!
Thanks to HMH Books For Young Readers and Netgalley for letting me read this book early for an honest review.