Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: Hardcover; 256
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Content Screening: Mild Violence; Mild Adult Language
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy true to life reads, with strong characters and tough situations
Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / BookLikes
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
What an utterly gorgeous and heartbreaking story. Apparently If You Find Me is a debut novel, but I'll tell you now that it doesn't read like one. Emily Murdoch writes like a seasoned professional. This story broke me, and put me back together in an entirely different configuration. Pure love is all I have for this book.
Carey was such a strongly written character. A girl who has aged well beyond her years. She's wounded, to be sure, but what really broke me was how solidly she stood despite everything. She didn't fall apart. However, Carey's need to nurture her sister also kept her from becoming stone hearted. This is a girl who isn't broken, but isn't hardened either. She's the perfect balance between the two, and it's beautiful thing.
In fact, all the characters had such depth that I felt like I was a part of their lives. This is the story of a family who is slowly starting to piece itself together. Of a girl who has to battle between the life she knew, and the new one she is handed. Of love so wide, and so deep, that it knows no bounds. Everything about this story spoke to me. It took my heart in its vice grip, and I let it. Watching Carey's defenses slowly melt away, watching as she realized her worth, it took my breath away.
I could gush for ages about the simple, yet almost poetic writing. About the way that this book is an effortless read, despite the content. I could, but it's better to let you experience it for yourself though. This book broke my heart in the best way possible. I love stories that do that. I love this one. Read If You Find Me.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.