The Need: Helen Phillips

★★★★

Helen Phillips’ The Need is the surreal and insanely suspenseful story of a woman whose family is rocked by an intruder who’s broken into their home.

The Need, Helen Phillips

Huge thank you to Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy of this book!

Molly is home alone with her two children when she hears footsteps outside the bedroom. She hides her family and hopes that this is just another moment of paranoia, that an intruder isn’t actually in her house.

The home intrusion sets chaos into motion for Molly, both at home and at work, that forces her to come to terms with frightening truths about herself. The Need is an utterly riveting thriller centered around motherhood.

*I wish I could describe this better for you, but I really don’t want to give anything away and the story ramps up very quickly. Just trust me – you have to read this book!

Content Warning

Please take caution while reading The Need if any of the following topics may trigger you:

  • Abduction
  • Death or dying
  • Blood

My Thoughts

The Need is bat-shit crazy in the best way. Excuse the profanity, but I genuinely can’t think of a more comprehensive phrase to describe such an outrageous, gripping novel as this. The story is unassuming and masterfully suspenseful, that is until Phillips completely flips the story, and your expectations of it, on its head.

If the insane, bitingly interesting story is the star of the show, Phillips’ writing is surely the executive producer. Her ability to leave you breathless at the end of each chapter is uncanny – unlike anything I’ve ever read before. My heart rate was through the roof for at least half the book.

Don’t let the insanity and suspense fool you, this story has depth. Phillips provides commentary on, first and foremost, the ever-present, all-consuming need that children have for their mothers. Molly is pulled in every direction, every day by her children – who, by the way, are absolute gems. Molly’s daughter has some fantastic one-liners, perfectly breaking up the intensity of the story with small moments of ridiculous observations that only a child could provide.

The Need is not your standard thriller, so I urge you to not go into this book with any set expectations. It is a fantastical, painfully suspenseful story of motherhood, self preservation, and more… that you’ll just have to figure out when you read!

I so highly recommend this book, but reading is such a singular experience – who’s to say whether you’ll enjoy it as much as I did or not? Here’s what I do know: you will at the very least be shocked.


Thanks so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on The Need. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!

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