Book Review: If You Find Me

If You Find Me If You Find Me

by Emily Murdoch

Published: March 2013 by Orion

Rating: 4 sofas

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 the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the “normal” life of school, clothes and boys. 
Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away 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.

I think I kind of passed over this book when it first enter blogger circles, as I didn’t particularly take to the US cover. However, after reading more and more rave reviews about it, I had to read it. Luckily Nina at Orion was kind enough to send me a copy. If You Find Me has over 2000 reviews on Goodreads and still has a rating of more than 4 stars (at time of posting), which is really rare. This is just one statistic to demonstrate how much people are enjoying this book. However, I still went in to it with dubious expectations.

Straight away we are plunged into Carey’s world in the woods, where her mum leaves her and her sister for weeks at a time in their camper in the woods. When they are discovered and returned to their father, we explore what it is like to readjust to ‘normal’ life. I think one of the reasons I was hesitant of reading this book is it sounded similar to the many sad nonfiction abuse books that are out there. I used to read a lot of these as a teenager, but I read one recently and struggled to finish it. My reading tastes have changed, and while I am interested in scenarios like this, I find reading about them terribly depressing. I like to read to escape normal life and this just isn’t something I currently enjoy reading.

That being said, I really enjoyed If You Find Me. Although it is evident from the start Carey has a secret, I found her adjustment to normal life really interesting, especially the descriptions of the hotel and the food when they first emerge from the woods. It is actually so emotional reading them experience a shower for the first time, and really made me think about how much we take for granted. I love the way the book started at ‘the end’; this highlights how much of the book is a journey. I felt for Carey as a main character, and even something tiny such as her remembering to put a ‘g’ on the end of the words such as ‘nothin’ tugged at my heartstrings.

The only thing I will say that was missing from the book was a bit more action. There was a big build up and a lot of mystery surrounding Carey’s secret, but it was actually something I guessed pretty early on so it fell kinda flat for me. However, the way it was presented and the emotional rollercoaster Carey and Nessa go through is worth reading alone. Emily Murdoch is a great storyteller, and this is a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to seeing what else she has planned, and she is definitely an author to watch. 4 sofas! 

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Letterbox Love #16

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

Welcome to my 2-week haul post! I got an amazing amount of books this week. My pile is never going to disappear, I just have to admit it!

First my library/print book piles 

P1050176  We will start on the left, which is my library pile. Last week I collect all adult titles. I ordered ‘After The Fall‘ by Charity Norman and ‘This Beautiful Life‘ by Helen Schulman. I enjoy books that confront issues not normally talked about, and this is common in Jodi Picoult’s books. After The Fall tells the story of what happens when a 5-year-old falls from an upstairs veranda. Only his mum knows what happened, and she’s not telling. This Beautiful Life describes events unfolding after a sexually explicit video goes viral among teenagers. Both sound really intriguing, so I am looking forward to reading them.

I have heard lots of people talk about ‘The Night Rainbow‘ by Claire King, so I had to see what all the fuss was all about. With such a pretty cover, it looks like a book to be read with a nice hot chocolate. Throw ‘How We Met‘ by Katy Regan into the pile, and you could see my strange tastes in books! I love me some romance, and this sounds quite similar to PS I Love You, which I adored.

Another three books to collect on Saturday. I’ll be starting Pandemonium on Monday or Tuesday because I want to try and finish it before the Lauren Oliver event on Tuesday evening. I’m psyched to find out how the trilogy end, though a bit nervous as people seem to have had mixed reactions. But it will be really good to meet her and hear her thoughts on the books, and hopefully she will talk a bit about the tv series as well.

Everybody knows I am a huge Robert Muchamore fan. While I love his original Cherub series the most, I will still pick up anything by him, including ‘Scorched Earth‘, the latest in the Henderson Boys series. Full of war and action and teen spies, this will be a nice break from all the contemporary stuff I’m reading at the moment! And last but not least, ‘The Library of Unrequieted Love’ by Sophie Divry. Any librarians or exlibrarians or book lovers will read this on the title alone, not to mention the quirky cover.

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So I received my first ARC from a publisher this week. Nina Douglas from Indigo kindly sent me a copy if ‘If You Find Me‘ by Emily Murdoch. It has a rating of over 4 stars on GR, and everyone I know has loved it, so I thought I’d see what it was like. Many thanks to Nina for sending me this copy with a lovely cover! I also was sent ‘This Is What Happy Looks Like‘ by Jennifer E Smith by Headline. Thanks to Sam Eades for this. I have already read it and ADORED IT. My review should be coming out by the end of the month, but it was just amazing. I am in love. Definitely one to covet on my shelf!

This is certainly a fortnight for book packages! I was in the middle of reading a library copy of Lauren Oliver’s Delirium, when I received a copy in the post! There was no note or return address, so I can only presume it came from the lovely people at Hodder. Thank you very much for this, as it means I can get her to sign it on Tuesday! And it is great to have my own copy. And lastly, on Saturday I got a steamy package through the door. Not literally; ‘Losing It‘ by Cora Carmack arrived. Thanks to her and Ebury Press for sending me a copy. I have already read it (check out my review here) and I thought it was amazing. My favourite NA title so far! I’m also doing a giveaway, so if you fancy checking this out then enter here. The odds for you are very good at the moment!

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In other bookish news, I met Stephenie Meyer this week, and she kindly signed my copy of ‘The Host‘, ready for the film release at the end of the month. She was really nice and posed for pictures with everyone, but it just seemed like the moment was over too soon. I much prefer book events where you get to hear the author speak, even if it is a promo spiel about their new release. 

Now for ebooks:

Daynight

I received Daynight by Megan Thomason from Laura at Prism Book Tours. I’m taking part in the blog tour for this, so come and visit on the 23rd April for my post. I was psyched to read this because there has been a bit of a dip in the dystopian world, and I do love me a good dystopian. It’s been getting amazing reviews, so hopefully I will enjoy it too! Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)

Broken At Love is a new adult debut by Lyla Payne. A love triangle between a girl and two frat boy brothers, I know I will just devour it. My blog tour stop is on April 22nd, and I think there is also a giveaway for NA books or swag, so make sure you check that out. Thanks to Kelly from InkSlingerPR for letting me take part.

Dirty Little Secret

I was very excited to get an email from the lovely people at Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss to say I have been approved for Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols. Although I haven’t read any of her books before, I have heard lots of good things. I am on a contemporary fix at the moment, and this looks so adorable! Thanks you guys, I can’t wait to read this. And music in it too! *squeals*

    

As a side note, I’ve got lots of things coming up on the blog this week. On Tuesday I am taking part in the book blitz for Picture Perfect by Camille Dixon. Thursday is the arrival of the Ever book tour by Jessa Russo. And finally, the end of my giveaway for Cora Carmack’s Losing It!

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile? I’d love to hear from you!