Introducing Joelle Charbonneau’s new thriller, NEED

We’re happy to report that our friends at Entertainment Weekly shared the book trailer for NEED by Joelle Charbonneau in an exclusive online reveal. In case you missed it, visit EW.com or click on the video below to get a taste of this creepy, new thriller that hits bookshelves November 3rd.

We caught up with Joelle to learn more NEED, in which a group of Wisconsin high school students are sucked into a dangerous social media experiment. Find out what she had to say about her new project, her bestselling Testing trilogy, and more below…

charbonneau$joelle2014How would you describe your new book, NEED?

NEED is a stand alone thriller that jumps headfirst into a new social media site that allows users to say what they need and offers them a chance to get it – for a price.  Because so much of the user behavior and the rules of the site are based on things I’ve actually witnessed on the Internet, I can honestly say I think this story is creepier and more intense than anything else I’ve ever written.

What can fans of the Testing trilogy expect to find in NEED?

Even though this is a contemporary set thriller instead of a science fiction story, I think Testing readers will be happy to find a fast-paced plot, strong characters that you can root for and against, and a dark mystery of the powers hidden behind the network and the reason why it exists.  Hopefully, readers will also find the same intensity and connection to the story that they embraced in the Testing Trilogy.

NEED is, in part, about the darker side of social networking. What drew you to this subject?

The Internet and specifically social networking is really fascinating.  For some reason, a great number of people behave differently online than they do in real life.  I see friends of mine say things to people on their social media pages that they would never say in person.  That kind of behavior made me wonder – what would people say if they were anonymous online and thought no one knew it was them…and what would they do if they thought they could get things they needed?  Once I asked myself those questions, I had no choice but to answer them, which is why I wrote NEED.

While Kaylee is NEED’s main character, the book jumps around to different teens’ stories and points of view.  Was this something you set out to do or did it just sort of happen?

The initial idea story started with Kaylee.  I wanted a character who had been hurt both on and off of social media and had a strong desire to keep her distance from people in person and online.  That gave her a strong conflict from the start.  But everyone has different reasons for being on social media and unique things that motivate them into taking risks.  So, before I wrote the first page, I realized I needed to explore more than just Kaylee’s point of view. I needed a much broader cast of characters.  However, it wasn’t until I was writing the story that I learned who those characters would be.

NEED is available wherever books are sold November 3, 2015. How should fans keep busy until then?

Well, I would say readers should totally stay off of social media – wait – no – they should find me on social media and say hello.  (We can all be careful of the craziness there together.)  You can find me and all of my social media links on my website, www.joellecharbonneau.com as well as explore THE TESTING trilogy on the series site at www.thetestingtrilogy.com.

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