"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
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.