Expected publication: June 26, 2012 (Balzer + Bray) (Happy birthday to me!)
Source: ATW ARC Tours
Series or stand-alone: A Need So Beautiful (2)
Further info/purchase: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Find the author online: Twitter | Blog
Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.
After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose affect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.
Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?
Once I was a few pages in to A Want So Wicked - which I eagerly anticipated for months before I received my copy through an ARC tour - I immediately fell back in love, hard, with Suzanne Young's writing. It should be noted that I ADORED A Need So Beautiful, which brought me to tears and sealed the fact that Harlin is one of my favorite book boyfriends ever. I expected A Want So Wicked to be just a beautiful as its predecessor and Suzanne did NOT let me down in any way. This book is different in that whereas before we had an entire book to get to know Charlotte - and an amazingly breath-taking cliffhanger to sob over for way too long in my case - this time around, we're introduced to Elise, who doesn't recall her previous life, or anyone from it. Elise is a friendly, loving normal seventeen year old girl, but early on in WANT, things start changing for her. Ordinarily, Elise's life is pretty standard, between living with her older sister, Lucy, and her caring father, but suddenly, Elise is surrounded by people: people who want her, people who are afraid for her, people who seem to know things about her even she doesn't understand.
I liked Elise right off the bat, and admired Suzanne Young's ability to not only create a memorable and awesome narrator in Elise, but also convey Elise's fright and confusion so realistically. Who are these people that she is drawn to, people she feels an inexplicable, undeniable Need to help? Like Elise, I was definitely taken aback and curious to understand what was going on; even though I had prior knowledge of Elise's life as Charlotte, Elise was clueless and Suzanne Young was able to seamlessly blend Elise's journey in with the reader's. That didn't mean I wasn't ceaselessly crossing my fingers for Elise to remember her other life and everyone there who loved her, but at the same time, I was glad that Suzanne took the time to build slowly to Elise's discoveries. Nothing about A Want So Wicked was rushed or forced; Elise figuring out who and what she was was natural. Young has a way of binding the reader's emotions into the character's journey - I know that was certainly true for me.
Everything about A Want So Wicked was fraught with meaning and emotion, from Elise's realizations about herself, to the depth Suzanne Young wound into the amazing mythos she's created, between the Forgotten and the Shadows, to the new stakes to the theme of good versus evil. Any time I thought I knew what was happening, I was proven wrong in the most fascinating ways.
I really loved so many aspects of this book, but probably the main part was the romance. While bad boy Abe had his moments, ultimately he couldn't compare in any way to my love for Harlin. I adore how brave Harlin is, and for all that he does sometimes hide his feelings, when he does open up, he's absolutely fearless and unguarded. He isn't perfect, but he IS very much a real-seeming, genuine character. And his love for both Charlotte and Elise made the book what it was, in my opinion. Watching Elise and Harlin interact tore at my heart in a violently passionate way. I wanted to reach into the pages and guide them together, but the path their relationship took was blindingly beautiful. Many, many tears were shed over them, and throughout A Want so Wicked, Harlin and Elise became one of my all-time favorite couples as they proved over and over again how meant to be they are.