Oh. My. Goodness! Y’all have GOT to read this book when it comes out! Sadly, people who are not members of a site like NetGalley might have to wait until the November 3rd release date to get their hands on Need — but, even then, it will be worth the wait. I’d especially recommend this book to fans of thrillers like Lauren Oliver’s Panic. I also think this would be a good book to present to your child when s/he asks for permission to start a Facebook (or other social media site) account. Even though it’s a bit hyperbolic, this story does an excellent job showing just how easily social media brings out the worst in people and could be a great conversation starter about both bullying and personal accountability.
With the anonymity available through some sites, and the simple fact that confrontations aren’t happening face-to-face, cyberbullying has become a huge problem. Teens are known for being impulsive and self-centered; those traits are part and parcel of the whole adolescent experience. So, imagine how easy it would be to convince teens to complete simple tasks in exchange for rewards. Especially if they were able to name the rewards they wanted AND were able to complete those tasks anonymously. Let alone the fact that they often had little-to-no information about how their task fit into the big picture. I kept thinking to myself, “OMG! Something like this could totally happen!” Everything started out so simply and innocently but then quickly escalated to get completely out of hand — a bit like Janne Teller’s Nothing. Do yourself a favor and don’t pick this book up until you have a few hours to read it uninterrupted. Trust me! 😉