Believe it or not, we library folk don’t get to read books at work. Some days it can be torturous, but it’s true. If we want to read a book, we have to check it out and take it home just like you.
I’m a cataloger for children’s books and music. Most of these books come across my desk without raising my interest. However, I recently happened upon one quite by accident that broke three of my supposed hardcore reading rules. (We catalogers have rules for everything.)
1. It’s written for Young Adults. I’m pushing 30, and generally dismiss YA fiction as being too young for me.
2. It’s written in the present tense. For some reason, my brain has a hard time reading a story when it’s not in the past tense.
3. It’s about werewolves. Well, technically they’re called “were folk,” but you get the idea.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. You think this is just another attempt to latch onto Twilight’s coattails, to use the paranormal trend sweeping the nation to get readers hooked on more mindless entertainment. Well, yes, I do want to get everyone to read this book. And if that means exploiting a nationwide craze then I will do it!
This amazing book that I can’t stop talking about is Need by Carrie Jones. When Zara’s dad has a heart attack and dies, Zara goes into a deep depression and is sent to live in rural Maine with her grandmother. Zara faces many challenges you’d expect a 17-year-old to deal with in a new school like making friends and trying to be “normal” when her world is so chaotic. Then she sees a man who looks familiar. Did he follow her to Maine? And, wait, is he leaving gold dust behind him when he walks? Boys are disappearing, tempers are flaring at school, and all Zara can think about is the man who haunts her every move. When she discovers he’s a fairy king after a bride, she knows she has to find a way to stop him before it’s too late.
I still can’t exactly say why I liked this book when the odds were stacked against it. Perhaps it was because of the characters, who were mysterious but obviously different from “normal” people. Maybe it was the way the story twisted at the end and kept me guessing. Or it could have been the lightning-fast pace of the story, which grabbed onto me and took me for a really wild ride.
So, are you hooked yet? Take it from me, the shy reader. Sometimes it pays to break your reading rules and give a book a chance.