I put off reading Need by Carrie Jones for months. Even though it was recommended by a number of people. It's got a better cover than Twilight and I think maybe I was afraid that was the only think better than Twilight. I'm glad teens are reading Stephanie Meyers, but I'm not a huge fan and so I've been a bit suspicious of the newer supernatural romances.
I'm glad I finally picked the book up though. Jones does have a certain Twilight-esque feel to it. There is a girl who always seems to need to be rescued, there's a guy with a protector complex, and a semi-secret supernatural world. The differences are what make Need a much better story to me.
Zara (the damsel in distress) isn't blindly falling into traps and problems, but usually actively trying to help others and stand on her own two feet. Nick, the hero, may be stubborn and wish he could wrap Zara in cotton to protect her, but also realises that she's a person who will ultimatly do as she chooses. Even when time proves him right on more than one of his warnings to her, Nick seldome says "I told you so" or takes an additude of "Can't you see how much smarter and more capable I am than you....just do as I say" which I found quite common in many other supernatural teen romances. Maybe the difference is that Nick isn't a 100 yr old Vampire. No matter the beyond human part of the story, he's still a teenager.
Jones also did an interesting job with the mythos of her supernaturals. No happy peaceful elves who only want to protect nature, she's brought back a more traditional version, Pixies. And these Pixies arn't evil or good, they are somewhere inbetween. I could wish that we saw more of the Pixies and got more character development out of them, but what she showed was promising. No cookie cutter monster with no feelings and no morals, instead one caught in the trap fighting what he is and a girl who firmly believes that no matter who you are you can decide what and who you become. I hope this isn't the last I see of Jones and her Pixies.