Need by Joelle Charbonneau Reveiwed

Joelle Charbonneau
Nov 2015
Houghton Miffin Harcourt

What do you need?
What would you do to get it?
The students of Nottawa High School are about to find out.

Kaylee has created a lot of problems for herself by actively, even obsessively, campaigning for what she needs the most: her brother to live. Nobody, not even her mother, trusts her or believes her any more. Nobody except her best friend Nate.
When Nate first tells her about this cool new social media site called NEED where you get what you need, no questions asked, Kaylee is skeptical. Something for nothing doesn’t sound realistic. But she posts her need just like all of her classmates and waits, hoping for the best but knowing in her heart that NEED can’t help her.
Soon all her classmates are on NEED, posting pictures of what they need, what they got, and eventually what they had to do to get it. Some seem like harmless pranks, but things escalate quickly to threats and eventually murder, all carefully orchestrated by NEED.

Joelle Charbonneau

Joelle Charbonneau

Joelle Charbonneau, author of the best-selling Testing trilogy offers a look into what people will do and how far they will go to get what they need. She provides interesting perspective on issues that arise through social media: the power of anonymity, the addictive pull it has on our behavior, and the actual need for it. Though this is a young adult and the story is based in high school, lessons can be applied to kids and adults. Each chapter is from one student’s point of view, but it doesn’t get confusing having so many voices. Instead it allows characters to express the depth of peer pressure and how difficult it can be to break away from the crowd, including what can happen when one decides to do just that.
NEED shows us what we can become as individuals and as a society if we allow ourselves to justify our behavior based on anonymity. It’s also a fantastic read for kids, adults, students and teachers.

Tes Brown