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Don't Try To Find Me: A Novel Hardcover – July 8, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062305840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062305848
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s every parent’s nightmare: to have a child go missing. Fourteen-year-old Marley, only child of Rachel and Paul Willits, leaves a brief message that starts, “Don’t try to find me,” when she heads across country to be with Brandon, the boy she fell in love with online. Increasingly distraught as the days pass, Paul mobilizes a nationwide effort to find his daughter, while Rachel—her secrets made public—becomes more and more suspect. Alternate narratives by mother and daughter gradually reveal the causes of Marley’s discontent and the role played by her former therapist. Since it’s apparent early on that Marley is a runaway who hasn’t met with foul play, despite police suspicions and rumor to the contrary, tension is built largely in personal relationships. As the Willits’ marriage teeters, suffering body blows, the blooming love between Marley and Brandon is held up to the light of day. This is an insightful novel from therapist Brown that ultimately seems to be less a thriller than a cautionary tale for parents and teens. --Michele Leber

Review

“Don’t Try to Find Me will have you turning pages into the night, desperate to learn the terrible secrets mother and daughter are hiding! This gripping debut novel is a mother’s worst nightmare.” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author)

“Gripping, emotionally compelling and chillingly plausible. I loved it.” (Sophie Hannah, internationally bestselling author of Kind of Cruel)

“Impossible to put down. You’ll be begging friends, family, your book club, and maybe even your therapist (if you have one) to read DON’T TRY TO FIND ME. It’s the real thing.” (Meg Cabot, New York Times bestselling author)

Customer Reviews

It is every parent's nightmare.
Tell Me A Story
I thought the characters were developed well, and the story believable.
Celestialsky29
Too many questions were left unanswered.
Gail Rodgers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Schoonover VINE VOICE on June 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
DON'T TRY TO FIND ME is told in the alternating voices of fourteen year old high school freshman Marley and her approaching forty mom Rachel. Marley has run away from the small inland California town where she is the only child of her upscale parents leaving them a note stating "don't try to find me." Estranged from her old friends at her San Francisco Bay area middle school and not having made any new ones at the rural high school where she and her parents have recently relocated she decides to take a bus to join her online boyfriend in Durham, North Carolina. Marley's mom Rachel and her uptight husband Paul do of course try desperately to find their daughter and in fact launch a campaign that goes nationwide. Unfortunately all this attention turns the spotlight on Rachel's relationship with Marley's psychiatrist.

DON'T TRY TO FIND ME is decently paced and told. Author Holly Brown wisely slowly unfolds information about Marley's slimey boyfriend B and Rachel's relationship with both her husband and the psychiatrist who is in love with her to keep the reader turning the pages. I didn't find either Rachel or Marley very sympathetic but this is still an "OK" addition to the genre of domestic suspense.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Half Fast Farmer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For some reason this is listed as a thriller. It absolutely isn't. If you are looking for a mystery or thriller, skip this. This is a character examination of a family. It's a drama.

When Marley goes missing, her parents Paul and Rachel are desperate to find her.

The strength of this book is that it incorporates modern media and social media very well. Brown convincingly moves the story through the world that the readers live in.

The weakness is that it is a character study and none of the characters are very likable. Marley is foolish, punishing, and selfish. A reader expecting a thriller will keep waiting for those traits to catch up with her. They don't really. She wanders off and creates a huge problem. But there is not real peril.

Rachel and Paul are totally unsympathetic. Paul is detached and withholding. He feels hard. He is so unlikable that one can almost excuse Rachel's behavior. Rachel is just as self centered and foolish as her daughter.

The writing is lovely. But the characters made the story difficult to engage with.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Antigone Walsh VINE VOICE on June 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
More a cautionary tale than a mystery, this book deals with the fall out when a tech savvy teen runs away to meet a boy she met on line. Her parents are shocked and upset. The subsequent media and police scrutiny forces them to confront their own issues, secrets and lies. It is an uncomfortable examination of the dynamics of a family that is not as perfect as it appears.

Years ago there used to ads asking whether parents if they knew where their kids were. Now the truth is the kids can be at home and still be in danger. This point was communicated effectively and even fourteen year old Marley eventually appreciates the extent of her dilemma. I did not care for either of the parents. Paul is a cold, arrogant egotist who immerses himself in the media attention. Rachel may love her daughter but she is withdrawn and weak. I can't say that any of the three engaged me but I was interested in the final resolution. I can't blame the family for constructing their veneer of perfection but it is shattered from forces as much from within as without. If you can withstand the angst and unhappiness, it is not a bad read.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beth Cutwright on July 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Don't Try to Find Me was definitely a psychological journey of a broken family into nightmare territory. The story is told from the point of view of mother/daughter alternately. Paul and Rachel had grown apart over the years, but they thought they were providing their daughter, Marley, with all the advantages she could ever want or need. They even provided her with a therapist when she needed clarity and mental health care. The parents were split on that issue. Paul saw no point to a therapist and only attended one session. Rachel, however believed it was helping her daughter and formed a strong friendship with the therapist. Marley's perception of the relationship between her parents and the relationship between her therapist and her mother is what breaks her further. With only the support of her secret facebook friend, she plans her escape into a new "family"--just the two of them.

This was a very intense read as Rachel and Paul come to grips with the problems they knew existed but for whatever reason could never confront. Under public scrutiny after turning to social media to find Marley, nothing was sacred or "secret" any longer. But at least they did have a unified cause....find Marley. Second guessing one another, second guessing the motives of those closest to them in the search, and trying to second guess Marley led to a lot of angst and revelation, until there were no more secrets.

This story was relevant and pertinent to the world we live in today, where the vulnerable are sought out and found by predators, through the same social media Marley had been both lost and found. The story moved fluently, and this reader was invested in the read immediately. Characters were frustrating and believable. The storyline and plot, both frightening and so sad. Broken people, broken family--and so much rested in the perception of said family members.
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More About the Author

Holly Brown is a practicing marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and toddler daughter. Her blog, Bonding Time, covers a wide range of mental health, parenting, and relationship issues, and is featured at PsychCentral.com. She'd love to be part of your book club in person or online. Drop a line through her Facebook author page:
https://www.facebook.com/hollybrownauthor

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