Last fall I picked up Carrie Jone's new book "Need," attracted to it by the cover (shiny) and the positive buzz on my listservs and blogs. I devoured it, I really did. It is not a perfect book, there are some large plot holes and Zara, the main character, does some really stupid things, but it is an awful lot of fun. The Book Smugglers' review is dead-on, and so I won't try and restate the same stuff. Jones gives the characters depth and personalities, and has a good pacing to her writing. The teens feel like teenagers, and have the standard teen lack of knowledge of their own mortality, which kind of explains some of the stupid things Zara does. Jones has an interesting twist on pixies, including that the kings leave trails of gold glitter. The end was a little too neat, but that's what paves the way for the sequel. I definitely recommend this title, flaws and all, especially to fans of Twilight or any other supernatural romance.
The sequel, "Captivate," just came out last month. I swiped it from cataloging to read it over our snowy weekend. Once again, it has a cool shiny cover, and I devoured it. It fills in some of the plot holes, and sure enough, the ending to "Need" was a little too tidy, and so there are consequences. I really enjoy that Jones doesn't take herself too seriously, and acknowledges her Buffy-Scooby Doo-esque team by have the characters make reference to it. This book brings in some larger happenings, and introduces some Norse mythology, which I'm a sucker for when it is done correctly. The teens continue to be teenagers, and Zara and her boyfriend, Nick, are so that couple that are constantly holding hands and having PDAs in the hallway. Nick is well portrayed as the macho leader of the pack, and Zara's annoyance at this is genuine. I felt like they were kids at my high school, which really makes the book work. My main problem with "Captivate" was that, it was one of those books where you get to a certain point and start looking at the number of pages left vs. where the plot is and realize that it's going to be a cliffhanger. So, now I'm hooked into another series, and have no knowledge of when the third will be out. I would definitely recommend both these books for any library serving teens. There's also nothing beyond smooching, so they are probably safe for most tweens, especially those that have read Twilight or any of the other major YA supernatural romance series.
Book source: Checked out both books from my library