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The Need
The Need | Helen Phillips
From the award-winning author of The Beautiful Bureaucrat, comes a subversive genre-busting thriller about a woman who grapples with the complex dualities of motherhood—joy and dread, tenderness and anxiety—after confronting a masked intruder in her home. There were footsteps in the other room... So begins The Need, a sharp and haunting exploration of the joys and perils of modern motherhood. Molly is a paleobotanist who spends her days working at a fossil quarry where she sometimes unearths artifacts that defy understanding, including a controversial Bible that has recently attracted gawkers and conspiracy theorists. By night, she cares for her two young children—four-year-old Viv and one-year-old Ben—while her musician husband is away on tour. She’s frazzled, sleep-deprived, and it seems the edges of her reality blur more each day. When she hears an intruder in the house, Molly is desperate to keep her children safe. She confronts the figure in the deer mask—and discovers that this stranger knows everything about Molly and her family. Molly fears the most sinister motives even as she reluctantly, terrifyingly, acquiesces to the intruder’s demands. What happens once she learns the true identity of the trespasser is chilling and otherworldy. With tight, gorgeous prose and the urgent pacing of the best psychological thrillers, Helen Phillips unfurls a story that is at once cerebral and transcendent. The Need toggles between Molly’s surreal work life and her harrowing home life, excavating deep truths about modern motherhood even as it poses provocative questions about the nature of the universe and the ethics of empathy. The hopes and heartaches of parenthood exposed in these pages, coupled with the gripping sci-fi speculation, makes for a haunting, propulsive, and unforgettable read from an author The New York Times calls “breathtaking and wondrous.”
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review
Slajaunie
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Panpan

This was a stupid book. The plot was solid but the author did not do it justice. The storytelling was awful.

cathysaid I think “This was a stupid book” should be the tag line for all Pans from now on 🤣 👏🤣 3d
Slajaunie 😂😂 Thanks @cathysaid 3d
48 likes2 comments
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Megabooks
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

I think this book would be all the more heart-stopping if I were a mother. It‘s a little thriller, a lot sci-fi, a bit horror, all awesome! She‘s one of the few authors I read who writes any of those. If you enjoy Blake Crouch, you‘ll probably like this.

If you‘re a Helen Phillips fan, this is stranger than The Beautiful Bureaucrat, not as weird as her short stories. 4⭐️

#booked2019 #genrebusting
#bfc #bfcr3 #goteam book 9/28

Reagan-reads Excellent review! Stacked. 5d
lele1432 This seems to be a pretty polarizing read, especially depending on if you have kids or not. I'm glad you liked it as much I did! 😊 I will have to check out some of her other works. 5d
Megabooks @Reagan-reads Thanks! 5d
See All 11 Comments
Megabooks @lele1432 It is! I wouldn‘t try to put myself in the shoes of a young mother (or any mother!) reading this, but the story, though strange, is well thought out and executed, IMO. I like non-world-building sci-fi and horror without torture and dismembering, so she‘s one of those sweet spot authors for me! 5d
lele1432 That's a really good description! 5d
BarbaraTheBibliophage Nice review! I just saw this on Scribd and now I may go save it. Thanks! ♥️📚👊🏻 4d
Megabooks @BarbaraTheBibliophage Thank you! I hope you like it. 👍🏻😁 4d
Cinfhen #stacked but I‘ll be sure to read in the daytime and when I‘m not home alone 😱 4d
Megabooks @Cinfhen I didn‘t like reading it in the dark, but it‘s a good book! 4d
Cinfhen Do you recommend the audio??? 4d
Megabooks @Cinfhen Yes! Great narrator! 4d
90 likes3 stack adds11 comments
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Megabooks
The Need | Helen Phillips
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1. Yes, normally I listen to audiobooks and watch the sunrise, but today there‘s heavy #rain, lightning, and thunder. The Need is creeping me the F out, so I kept the blinds closed and read a print book.

2. No, not really. I get the most reading done when I‘m the only one in the house, and that happens unpredictably!

#two4tuesday @TheSpineView
#ayupaugust @squirrelbrain @Cinfhen

Cinfhen It‘s meant to #rain here today 😣do u like scary stories??? I‘m too chicken 🐔 6d
TheSpineView 😊 Happy Tuesday! 6d
Megabooks @Cinfhen Are you still in the US? I don‘t like scary stories where people are dismembered/tortured, but usually I can do creepy pretty well. I‘ve read Phillips‘s other books, so I kind of knew what to expect, but that still doesn‘t mean I need to read it during a thunderstorm! 😉 6d
Cinfhen I can do creepy too but nothing sadistic or violent. I can‘t stomach that. Yup, I‘m still here!! Going back last week of August. 6d
75 likes5 comments
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cathipink
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Doing a little knitting and reading tonight in an attempt to stave off the Sunday Scaries- working on a cardigan and hoping to (maybe?) finish The Need tonight. It's reminding me a *lot* of a movie from last year - I don't want to say which one as it would be a spoiler for both, but I'm curious to see where the book ends up 🙂 #KnittersofLitsy

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Megabooks
The Need | Helen Phillips
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This book is is making me #stop and look #overmyshoulder!! Reading it in the dark at 4:30 AM is totally giving me the creeps. 😱

Definitely a #genrebuster for #booked2019.

#ayupaugust

lele1432 Hahaha it was definitely creepy! 1w
squirrelbrain Sounds absolutely terrifying! 😱Well done for two prompts in one! 😁👍 1w
Megabooks @lele1432 Yes!! So creepy!! 1w
See All 7 Comments
Megabooks @squirrelbrain Thanks!! 😊😊😊 1w
Cinfhen The #DoubleDip 🍦🍦well done ❤️ 1w
Megabooks @Cinfhen well, I do like my ice cream 😂😂😘 (edited) 1w
Cinfhen 😂😁🍦❤️ 1w
106 likes9 stack adds7 comments
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Megabooks
The Need | Helen Phillips
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I‘m still upset and need to do some escaping into fictional worlds. Nothing like three new realities when you don‘t like your own! 😂

ValerieAndBooks Bibliotherapy 💖📚📚! 1w
Megabooks @ValerieAndBooks Exactly!! 💙 1w
103 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Bookboss
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

This propulsive story started as a thriller about an young mother alone with her children when an intruder enters the house. It takes a few twists and turns and becomes a book about the demands of motherhood. My children are grown, but I viscerally remember every emotion and experience that Phillips describes about parenting young children. This book defies categorization- thriller, science fiction, literary fiction? It‘s just good.

49 likes1 stack add
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UnabridgedPod
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD!⠀

Have you ever frozen in a quiet home, convinced that you've heard footsteps in another room? or someone creeping in your hallway? You're almost POSITIVE that you're imagining things. But there's always that chance . . .⠀

Helen Phillips's The Need gave me SUCH Dark Matter vibes. (continued in comments)

UnabridgedPod It was less science centered than Blake Crouch's novel but asked similar questions about how unique each of us really is, what we would do if driven by desperate circumstances to fight for the lives and families we've built. In The Need, Molly is a paleobotanist and mother. In her work life, she is working with her partners both to uncover plant fossils and to puzzle out a set of slightly "off" discoveries. ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod At her home, she and her husband David--who often has to travel for work--are raising their children, four-year-old Viv and infant Ben. She is also fighting an overwhelming anxiety that causes her to see and hear threats in her home that are PROBABLY imaginary. Probably. ⬇️ 2w
UnabridgedPod I raced through The Need, completely absorbed by its questions about identity, motherhood, and gratitude, all wrapped in an engaging mystery and a world just on the other side of fantasy. Perfect, weird, suspense novel with an ending that made me flip back to re-read it. 2w
lele1432 Great review! I was shocked that I hadn't seen anyone else compare this to Dark Mattwr until this review! I enjoyed it as well. It really made me think! 2w
UnabridgedPod @lele1432 Thanks! I definitely thought those parallels to Dark Matter popped. 😀 2w
15 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Mirandareads
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

Man this will definitely throw you for a loop!! The Need is an excellent thriller/drama (not sure what to call it exactly 😂) with major Dark Matter undertones. I loved it!

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Branwen
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Library holds came in today! 👍💕 I'm super amused that two of the covers feature rabbits! 😁📚💕 #librarylove #librarybookhaul

50 likes1 stack add
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Butterflyamore
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Did you DNF anything in July?

Me & Emma and The Need did not work out for me. I had guessed the big plot twist from Me & Emma very early on and perhaps that‘s what ruined the pull of the story for me. At any rate, I wasn‘t interested in it. The Need (continued ⬇️)

Butterflyamore was such a disappointment for me, as I‘d really been looking forward to it, but I did not care for the writing style or the repetitiveness of certain things (mainly pertaining to breast milk) and I concluded that I was likely to give the book a low rating so it was best to just set aside. I can appreciate the underlying messages both authors aimed to convey but I was not the right reader for either of them. 3w
TheNerdyProfessor The Need was originally on my list of summer books but other reviews persuaded me to skip it. 3w
Butterflyamore @TheNerdyProfessor I was so hoping that the lower ratings would be meaningless for me but I guess I agree with them. It‘s too bad. It had such a promising premise. 🙁 3w
brit91 I loved me and Emma. 3w
52 likes4 comments
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Twocougs
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

I have absolutely no idea what I just read. I don‘t even know what type of genre it is. However, I could not put it down. There‘s so much to say or maybe better to think about. Weirdly all of this makes a weird type of sense. What I do know is the name Molly/Moll has a completely different feeling for me. I‘m guessing, we‘ll see this win some awards.

36 likes4 stack adds
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lele1432
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

I'm not sure what I just read lol. I can see why many didn't like it; it's definitely not for everyone! But some of the humor & observations on motherhood clicked with me; the exhaustion, joy, lack of help at times, the pressure to be "superwoman" which leaves little time or energy for yourself. It also details grief & regret when a child dies. Mix in Dark Matter-esque elements & you have 1 creepy, surreal, mind-bending ride! I'm giving 3.5⭐️s??

lele1432 But I really want to re-read this when I have time. It was a loan about to expire & I think the ending requires more contemplation. I listened on audio & felt the narrator did a really good job. It actually may have enhanced my experienced with the book. She really brought the characters to life, especially the kids. At under 6hrs I'm glad I gave it a shot. #thriller #audio #audiobook #scifi #horror #popsugarreadingchallenge #pop19 #TwoWordTitle (edited) 3w
Hooked_on_books In the end, do you think Mol killed Molly and took her place? Edit: Ha! I just saw your comment on my post. Never mind! 😂 (edited) 3w
lele1432 @Hooked_on_books I have no idea!! I saw you post that comment on your review and I think it's a great hypothesis! I honestly wasn't sure if Mol had killed her, was about to kill her, or if she herself had somehow gone back to where she came from. I may get my own copy because I really need to read it again lol. 3w
16 likes3 comments
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lele1432
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Starting this #Libby loan tonight. A little nervous because reviews are very mixed lol. But I will say I definitely relate to some of the MC's exhaustion being a mother of 2! I also really like this creepy, dark cover. #currentlyreading #audio #audiobook #horror #coverlove

cathipink I think I'm #1 or 2 on the list for the paper book - curious to check it out 🙂 3w
lele1432 @cathipink I have no idea where it's going, but I like it so far! Kinda creepy, kinda suspenseful, with some mom humor mixed in lol. I think it's worth borrowing! Will be looking to see what you think. 😊 3w
22 likes2 comments
review
Butterflyamore
The Need | Helen Phillips
Bailedbailed

I‘ve decided to DNF this. It‘s readable but I don‘t like it at all and I don‘t see any reason to push myself through it. It seemed really jumbled initially and while it‘s a bit more coherent now, I don‘t see myself giving this story 3 stars or more. Since I‘m already pretty sure it‘s going to be a low rating for me, I figure I may as well quit now and focus on books that do bring me some sense of enjoyment.

Continued in comments.

Butterflyamore I‘m awfully disappointed, though, because this was one of my top 5 most anticipated new thriller releases for the summer. The premise sounded so good.

Abandoned on page 86.
3w
mrozzz Also one of my most anticipated! I couldn‘t believe how messy and coy it was. 😟 3w
57 likes2 comments
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Butterflyamore
The Need | Helen Phillips
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What are you reading now? What are you looking forward to starting soon?

I started and barely put a dent in a lot of things over the last week. I just wasn‘t in the right frame of mind for some of them. I‘m still going to work on finishing them but I‘m definitely looking forward to starting The Need this weekend!

Jeannineth I want to check it out! Looks good 3w
66 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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BookishTrish
The Need | Helen Phillips
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That feeling when all your library holds come in at once 😳😍🤓

ShyBookOwl The handmaid's tale 😍😍😍 - I know the feeling. 3 of my audiobook holds came in on the same day last week 😳 4w
vkois88 I'm in the same boat lol 4w
Bookish.SAM This seems to be the ONLY way my library holds come in 🤦🏻‍♀️ 4w
Hooked_on_books I can‘t wait for you to read The Need. I‘ve been wanting to talk to someone about the ending. 4w
86 likes4 comments
review
sophierayton
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Mehso-so

What did I just read?!
This book is weird and haunting.
The main theme in this book is motherhood, and as a mother to young children I found this creepy and unsettling. No doubt there are layers of metaphor but for me, it was too hard to reach.

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Hooked_on_books
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

A well-layered thriller with effectively used alternating timelines, The Need is quite a ride. It has a magical realism/sci-fi component to it that I found thought provoking. It kept me off kilter the entire time, which I liked. I‘m struggling a bit with the ending, but the rest of the book is so good that I can‘t go with anything other than a pick.

44 likes3 stack adds
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Hooked_on_books
The Need | Helen Phillips
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So I just finished this one and really liked it (I love when a book keeps me off balance the whole time) but I need (pun intended) to talk about the ending! Those who have read it, what do you think happened? I‘m putting my thought in a comment below under a spoiler tag and would love to know if you guys agree.

Hooked_on_books I think Mol killed Molly and took her place without anyone knowing. 1mo
lele1432 OMG I just finished this and had no idea what the ending was about. I never even thought about that! This is one I need to read again I think lol. 3w
49 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Mamashep
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Holy crap did this one take a twisty turn! Not my usual read but I am racing through it.

readordierachel So curious about this one! 2mo
Mamashep @readordierachel I finished and wondered what the heck I had just read - but I liked that from this book! 1mo
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Lauren.Archer
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

The Need is one of the most intriguing books I have read, since probably Phillips last book. I started this last night and finished first thing this morning, I absolutely needed to know what happened. This is speculative fiction at it's core.

Read my full review at: https://obsessedbookaholic.com/2019/07/01/the-need/

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an Advanced Reader's Copy of this book, for an honest opinion

LMJenkins Read it yesterday as well. Waffling between “pick” and “so-so.” Would‘ve liked a bit more about the archaeology and a clearer ending. 2mo
CouronneDhiver She wrote one of my favourite books of all time... I‘ll give this a try for sure! 2mo
Lauren.Archer @LMJenkins, I was wavering also, but in the end I decided to go with the pick, because it was the type of book that will stay with me, which is what I think Phillips intended. 2mo
Hooked_on_books I just finished this and am not sure I get the ending. I think Mol killed Molly and took her place. Is that what it seemed to you? 1mo
58 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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LMJenkins
The Need | Helen Phillips
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This book is wacky and unsettling. But I‘m enjoying it.

29 likes1 stack add
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mrozzz
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Panpan

Phillips' coy narration easily manipulates the reader, playing with any sense of grounding one may/may not have as the chapters slide by & more questions come along w/ discomfort. Molly is dedicated to her job as a paleobotanist, trying to make sense of the oddities unburied there, and her job as a mother to two kids under 4. When an intruder gets into her home when she is alone with her kids, she's terrified but fierce. (Cont‘d)

mrozzz The stranger presents an ultimatum. Molly proceeds as if nothing is wrong, calling in a favor with the babysitter & leaves with the "deer". The result shocked then bored me as Molly soon acquiesces to the stranger's presence in her life. Throughout almost nothing else happens and the descriptions especially of her time at work were too vague to get me as excited as the stranger's initial entrance to the book was- until that too fell flat. 2mo
62 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ohyeahthatgirl
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick


This perfectly encapsulates the terror and joy that I imagine having kids feels like. It seems like this is the best, weirdest response to the tirelessly pursued question, can women really have it all? I often exclaimed, "Oh, shit!" at the end of chapters and couldn't read fast enough to satisfy the need to know what happened next. I love the cover detail!

15 likes1 stack add
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aeeklund
The Need | Helen Phillips
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This is my evening tonight, guys. Simon & Schuster pre-release cocktail party. 😳📚🍸

How did this become my life?

valeriegeary Sounds fun! 🤗 6mo
Samplergal Wow! What a fun evening! Enjoy. 6mo
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
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mauveandrosysky
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Pickpick

This taut novel is a brilliant fever dream about motherhood and identity. It‘s a perfect combination of thrilling page turner and cerebral, literary transcendence. I had a similar feeling reading this as I had reading Annihilation. The tension and dread are palpable, heightened by a constant sense of the uncanny: the strange terror and awe of the world not behaving the way you expect it to. I recommend going into it knowing as little as possible.

BooksForEmpathy Yes please! Buying now. 7mo
33 likes4 stack adds1 comment
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LauraBeth
The Need | Helen Phillips
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Well now I‘m thinking about changing my genre-busting book for #booked2019 because I loved The Beautiful Bureaucrat and this sounds good. 😀 Release date is 7/9.

Flaneurette Wow this sounds amazing! 8mo
Cathythoughts Must have a closer look 👍🏻genre busting you say .... 🤔interesting 8mo
emilyhaldi Hmmm in going to have to look into this author! 8mo
92 likes6 stack adds3 comments