High-school student Elise begins experiencing some very odd things that make her feel like some stranger is beginning to occupy her body.
That’s not surprising in this sequel (that can’t stand alone) to A Need So Beautiful (2011), which chronicled the poignant situation of angel-like being Charlotte, who had the need to intervene in troubled people’s lives but at the ultimate cost of both her own existence and all memory of it. Now readers discover that she’s back, not only greatly diminishing the impact of the first tale, but also limiting the threat of any perilous choices she now faces as she occupies the hapless Elise’s body and gradually rediscovers herself. Hunky romantic interest Harlin also returns, having conveniently been drawn to the love of his life in her new form, but he faces handsome potential rival Abe, who draws Elise into some believable teen situations. Onika, the evil temptress housed in an immortal—but nonetheless badly decayed—body, haunts Elise’s dreams and then turns up in the (decomposed) flesh, as well. Elise’s rebellious older sister Lucy, initially angst-ridden about her own issues, adds to the now-predictable conflicts that Charlotte/Elise must resolve before Charlotte can move on to a potential third book in the series.
Knowing that Charlotte doesn’t really face obliteration disappointingly defuses the suspense for all but the most avid fans. (Paranormal romance. 12 & up)