Saturday, September 12, 2015

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

Kaylee has lost most of her friends except for .  When he shows her a new social networking site called NEED that grants wishes just for signing up others, Kaylee's not interested in joining.  But to help   out, she signs up and in response to the question "What do you NEED?" she asks for a new kidney for her brother who will die before too long without one.  Soon, everyone at her school has joined NEED and in order to get your wish granted, you need to complete a small task assigned by NEED.  The favors seem harmless enough but when one of their classmates dies from an allergic reaction to nuts, Kaylee begins to see a horrible pattern emerging.  Trying to get help, she contacts the police but the site mysteriously disappears and Kaylee receives an email saying she has broken the terms of the site.  Now Kaylee is on the run as she tries to find out who is running NEED and how to stop any further deaths.

This ought to be popular with teens but I didn't find it as compelling as The Testing, Charbonneau's first book.  Although NEED and the person/people behind it are evil, I think there were a few missed opportunities.  For instance, I was sure that the reason Kaylee appeared to be being set up for the first death was because that girl would turn out to be a match for a kidney donor.  Still, the story moved quickly and the mystery of who was to blame had a decent number of hints spread throughout to give the reader a fair chance of guessing before the reveal.