Publication: June 26, 2012
By: Balzer & Bray
I sat down to read this not knowing what to expect because the end of "A Need So Beautiful" did not sit well with me, however, I did like the concept and I was curious to see what would happen next. (I do think it's important to have read the first book to understand what's going on.)
I DEVOURED this book in just a few short hours!
When I finished, I wanted my review to be this... Harlin. THAT IS ALL! ;)
What I need to say...
The Shadows are coming and seventeen year old Elise will have to face them, whether she's prepared or not. The problem? She doesn't know who she is or what the Shadows are.
When Elise moves with her older sister, Lucy and their Dad to Thistle, Arizona, her focus is on making friends, getting her first job and starting a new school. Things don't go so smoothly, especially when she begins to have visions, ones that involve seeing into other people's lives, random strangers who tell her about these Shadows and when she looks into the mirror, her reflection isn't always her own. Oh yeah, why does the name Charlotte sound familiar? What.Is.Going.On?!
Despite being beautiful, Elise has zero experience with boys (that's Lucy's expertise) yet she somehow manages to find herself caught between two cute but very different guys in a short amount of time. (This does not sit well with dear old Dad). Abe, her co-worker is charming and all kinds of cutesauce but he also has a bit of reputation around town. Elise likes him but his behavior confuses her at times, especially when Abe acts like she's his shiny new toy and he forgets the kindergarten lesson that, "sharing is caring". She can tell he's harboring a sadness behind that Mr. Popularity act of his and has a desire to help him.
Then there's Harlin, aka "Hotsauce on Wheels". He's the mysterious new guy in town who Elise feels an immediate connection too, almost as if she loves him already but how can that be possible? She just met the guy! Harlin is laugh-out-loud funny, sweet and Dad seems to approve but Elise can sense a grief in him too and it breaks her heart. They enjoy moments of witty banter that had me snorting and others that had me fanning my face. *fans face*
Being the object of two boys' affection isn't the only problem Elise has though. The visions become more frequent, blurring the lines between waking and dreaming. She learns that Shadows are the Forgotten who struggle with the Want and if she doesn't stop them, they will destroy everything that's good. Familiar faces both good and evil return in this thrilling sequel that leads up to an ending that's as beautiful and shocking as it is heartbreaking.
I truly enjoyed Elise, even more so than Charlotte. *ducks flying tomatoes* I loved her wit and her heart. She loves so deeply and chooses to see the good in people despite the choices they've made.
I loved Harlin but, seriously, this IS Harlin we're talking about. *rolls eyes* ;) While it's obvious he's struggling with his grief over losing Charlotte, he hasn't lost any of his sense of humor. I'd say he's my favorite character and it's not because of his looks. (Well, maybe a little bit) He knows his role as Seer is important but he's not entirely comfortable with it yet. As we saw in the first book, he has a rebellious streak but he's very tender hearted and has difficulty letting go which makes him all the more swoon worthy. *hugs Harlin*
Some of these characters make choices that just break my heart for them. As I was reading it made me think of how people in our own lives make choices that leave us broken hearted and powerless to help them. But you know, it's really not our job to save or change people, only to love them.
There's an EXCELLENT example of this that takes place in the ARC that I have which has a note in it explaining that it's an early copy and edits could still by made to the ending but I really hope it makes it into the final copy. (I've omitted the names to avoid any spoilers.)
Character 1: "I'm sorry I couldn't save you," I murmur. "I'm so sorry, (my omission)."Character 2: "It was never your job to save me, (my omission). You were only meant to love me."