A Need So Beautiful

A Need So Beautiful - Suzanne Young It's difficult for me to rate "A Need So Beautiful" because there are moments in this story where the jarring separation Charlotte experiences with respect to her destiny are quite memorable, and struck a chord with me. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy much of the book. It was very difficult for me to get through. Don't get me wrong, the premise of this book is well founded and I like the idea behind it. Charlotte is a young woman who suffers from a series of attacks that she calls "the Need", a force that pulls her toward people who are on the brink of dying or making drastic decisions that will cripple their lives. Charlotte doesn't really want to follow the Need, not only noting the pain that presses upon and changes her body, but also for the way it forces her to neglect her life and the people within it. It's especially jarring when her compulsions lead her to save other people's lives, but ironically miss the moments when her family and friends need her most. That to me was an amazing point of conflict worth noting. It even becomes more jarring when Charlotte realizes that, slowly, the people in her life are starting to forget that she even exists.Unfortunately - this story was ruined by the overfocus on both the romantic relationship and the nature of the "Need" itself. I understood the intensity of "the Need" whenever it would occur to Charlotte, but some of it did feel repetitive and overwrought in places. It probably didn't help that I thought the audiobook narrator put a little too much emotion in those parts - to the point where it made it difficult for me to like Charlotte's character, despite her flaws and her unwillingness to embrace her destiny. On the note of Charlotte's unwillingness to embrace her destiny - I didn't really think the book did a great job in showing how she comes to terms with it. Granted, the events of the book by that point do force her hand and her choices, and I understood where it was going, but I didn't feel the depth of it. Also, Charlotte is way, way, WAY too focused on her love interest. Harlin seems like a decent enough guy, and you can tell he loves Charlotte and wants the best for her, but at the same time, I felt that Charlotte would over focus on her affection for Harlin to the point where it took away from some other significant events that were happening in Charlotte's life. I also felt like that time could've been better established into noting who Charlotte was as a person and developed her character a little more, rather than just making her ogle over her relationship. It was disappointing and took me out of the story several times.I knew the twist with regard to Harlin's role in the story long before it occurred and it didn't really have much of an impact on me. The events toward the ending where Charlotte says goodbye to her family and the people who once knew her was touching, but not as much as it could've been - it felt somewhat rushed, as did the final encounter on the bridge. The very last note of the ending left a sour taste in my mouth, somewhat Twilight Zone-ish when that was really out of the phrasing and structure of the book. In the end, I saw some of the more touching moments of the book, but the structure and execution of the intention behind it struck me the wrong way. I'm not sure if I'll continue with the series yet, but I'll admit the idea behind this was interesting, just not as jarring or emotionally rounded as it could've been.Overall score: 1.5/5