Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch



Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Published: March 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Publisher
Synopsis:

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.

                         My Thoughts


"Words are weapons."



I can't imagine having to live my life as a fifteen year-old and provide for a younger sister and have a mother who just comes and goes whenever she likes. If You Find Me is a very realistic yet melancholic story of Carey and Jenessa and their struggle in the woods and in their own lives. The world outside of the woods is a very strange idea for them, but what if they don't have a choice? 


I find Carey a very strong main character. Who would've known that someone as young as her can already deal with what she all went through? The drug addicted mother, the long lost father, the rough life in the woods and a fifteen-year-old girl fourteen-year-old to handle all these. 

At first, I wasn't that captivated in the beginning because Murdoch has a very different way of writing. It's not like the typical writing that we get to witness everyday. And I meant that in a good way. It's new for me, yes, but it is refreshing. 

The narration was very believable, my friends. I was wondering how Murdoch got the right mix of reality and imagination as she was writing this story. I was so drawn to it and I actually believe that I am reading the thoughts of a fourteen-year-old girl. Carey can be like a very protective sister to Nessa, yet she can be just like an innocent child who can have simple happiness by having a pencil. 

When I was in the middle of the story, I really looked forward to knowing more about the characters like Nessa and when they lived outside of the woods that's when things got a little more exciting because I was so entertained with some of Carey's lines like: "..and french fries, well, French means France, so it must be something fried from France." I mean, I know that this story has such a serious plot but Murdoch managed to inject little things like this that makes readers like me smile. And the other characters who came in, like Pixie (the adorable girl) and Ryan. There were also cute swoon moments there with Carey and Ryan but that is not the main focus of the story - in fact, it made me want to know more about Ryan. (Oh yes I'm always interested in knowing the guy okaaaaay. *raises eyebrow*)

As what I've mentioned earlier, Carey and Jenessa lived outside of the woods and they were with Carey's dad. He has a wife named Melissa and a daughter, Delany. Melissa's an angel, no doubt about that. Delany, on the other hand, was such a pain in the ass at first, but she got around after a while and I was surprised because I ended up liking her character. 

What I didn't like though was the horrifying experience of Carey that I got to read. It was narrated in a 'flashback' scene kind of way but I found it very hard to read because even though it can appear very realistic, it's very dreadful to imagine Carey going through that. She has gone through so much but that ONE scene honestly made me very heartbroken.

The story had a slow start for me, but overall, the pacing was flawless. I liked how Emily cut the story into three parts - Part I being THE END, Part II THE MIDDLE and Part III being THE BEGINNING. Which really makes sense when you read it. 

If You Find Me is such an astonishing debut novel by Murdoch and readers will surely crave for more. A story that is intimidatingly beautiful yet hauntingly eye-opening.



My Rating
Find Emily Murdoch here:

12 comments :

  1. I didn't find the book to be all that, but my sister totally loved it too :-)

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    1. That's okay, we have our own tastes, but I'm glad your sister liked it!

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  2. I really enjoyed this as well, Rachel. I seriously wanted to mangle the mother and do other very horrible things to her after reading the extent of her abuse! Even with all this I was happy that the girl's spirit was not broken and they were in the protection of a wonderful father & family. Wonderful review! :)

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    1. I agree with you!!! Their mother, ugh, hated her. I loved the main character, she's so strong and mature. And she loves her little sister so much too. :)

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  3. I've heard a lot of good stuff about this book! I want to try it soooo bad!! ;) I really love books with different writing styles because somehow it makes things a touch more fresh. Eeek!! Loved your review!

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    1. Hey Cait! I know! The writing style is really different, as what I've said, but that's what's good about it- refreshing. :)

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  4. I felt the same way about Delany. I wasn't sure about her at first, but I really grew to like her character by the end. This whole book surprised me actually. I'm glad that it worked for you too. Lovely review! :)

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    1. I was so pissed at Delany at first! I don't think I liked her for the first half of the book and I'm glad Murdoch changed that towards the end. I didn't think that I'd like it this much, but apparently, I did. :)

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  5. I wasn't the biggest fan of this, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I agree with you that it's pretty shocking to imagine a 15-year-old girl being left alone in the woods with her younger sister to care for. Really awful thing to do to your kids!

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    1. Aww, really? Well, we have different preferences so that's just normal. But I agree, it is an awful thing.

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  6. I still have to read this one but I know I want to! I like the sound of the different writing style, it makes me curious and even more eager to read this book.

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  7. Eeeekk! You loved it. I think this is a love-or-hate book because it's either people really recommend it or tell people to avoid it like the plague. I'd like to know it myself but then time! And I don't have a copy. Haha!

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