- File Size: 1004 KB
- Print Length: 257 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First edition (March 26, 2013)
- Publication Date: March 26, 2013
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0096QZ6TO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.99|
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If You Find Me: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 257 pages||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled||Page Flip: Enabled|
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|Age Level: 12 - 18||Grade Level: 9 - 12|
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Customers who bought this item also bought
“A story about redemption, self-forgiveness and the healing power of truth…emotional truth. Lyrical…heart-wrenching.” —New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
“Beautifully written. The deep bond between the sisters is almost physically palpable, as is their intense longing for love and acceptance; they will quickly endear themselves to readers.” —School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“A compelling narrative that is both unflinching about life's pain and hopeful about its possibilities.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“First-time author Emily Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful, surprisingly quiet book that charts the best and worst of humanity, especially family, with characters who worm their way into your heart—or repulse the reader’s very nature. Her narrative is full of unique yet breathtaking similes, detailed descriptions, and unflinching dialogue all masquerading as backwoods Tennessee dialect... She validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it.” —Booklist (Starred Review)
“Within two pages, I was so hopelessly hooked, I felt like the story had attached itself to me. The storyline is original and suspenseful, but most of all, it was Carey's voice that had me flipping the pages. This is one of those books you devour.” —Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List
“If You Find Me grabbed me by the heart on page one and didn't let go till the very last word. Murdoch's language is lovely, her storytelling gripping.” —Carol Lynch Williams, author of The Chosen One
“Searing . . . hurt my heart and will probably haunt my dreams – a beautiful book about survival, identity, family, love and so much more.” —Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die
“Carey and Nessa's story is memorable and deeply moving, and readers will find it very easy to fall in love with these girls.” —Publishers Weekly
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Carey and her sister Jenessa are two girls who struggle to survive in the woods while their mother disappears for long periods of time - until the day comes when she disappears completely - only the two girls don't know it. It's only when two strangers turn up to take them away that they learn life as they know it was about to change in the form of their father and a step-family.
From the first page Carey's voice charmed me. It was instantly recognizable and strong and I felt her every troubled emotion at having to keep her upbringing a secret. She fought to keep her sister comfortable and to make her feel safe as she moved from the wilderness to town life to live with strangers - her own father. She was a survivor who did what she had to do and she made no apologies for it. It's the way she was that made Carey such an unforgettable character - well, at least, that's my opinion.
Jenessa was another charmer. Even at six-years-old, she had the ability to love. She had been practically brought up by Carey. She managed to connect with everyone around her. From a three-legged dog to a teenager I wasn't sure I was going to like, but it ended up that I did. I think it was mostly due to Carey's influence.
The secondary characters in this book were just as brilliant as the main characters. They all added to the story.
But, it was the story itself that held me spellbound. I was totally fascinated by the way Carey handled her growing relationship with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister. Not to mention how she related to school after being home-schooled since she was very young. There's a realism about this book that was so chilling and I had to take a breath and step back just to try and remember it was a book. Emily's 'If You Find Me' brought out emotions in me that I never normally feel.
It's well written and I loved some of the prose. It was descriptive without being overly so. The pace was also good. There were no lulls at all. I think it was mainly because there was always something new for Carey to learn or face and I think I was emotionally invested in the book. I love books like that.
I'm trying to find things that I didn't like about it, and I don't think I can. There was no insta-love or anything remotely like it. The slight romantic feel I got from the book was cute and there was an explanation behind it. I really loved Ryan and the twist Emily created for this character.
I guess this is one book where all I can do is gush.
I'm happy to say that If You Find Me delivered on most of them. The way it is written is gripping and difficult to put down; I loved Carey's voice as a narrator. A lot of touch issues are brought up throughout, it never really shies away or candy-coats what happened to the characters. And while it really made my heart hurt for the them, I appreciate such bluntness in a book, because the truth isn't pretty. I loved the relationship between Jenessa and Carey. It's so strong and so loving; it's a good thing Carey turned out to be so mature as to take control of caring for her younger sister, because their mother certainly wasn't going to do it. Reading about abusive/negligent mothers is always hard because that's just not how it should be.
I thought that it was very realistic that Carey would have a harder time getting used to life in the civilized world, with school and all, since she is older and little kids like Jenessa adjust to things easier. The loving nature of their new stepmother, Melissa, was exactly what both of the girls needed. If You Find Me isn't a very long book, and I'm glad the author decided not to stretch out the ending, because the novel really stopped on a hopeful note. There are plenty of meaningful quotes, and the pacing is just right.
The only thing I had an issue with was the stepsister, Delaney. I can understand why she would be frustrated, and obviously since I've never been in her shoes I don't know how I'd react, but she was overly cruel at times. It just seems like if you're parents take in two girls (one the daughter of your stepfather and one not) who have spent their whole lives in the woods, you would realize that they've had difficult lives and been a little more understanding. I never really grew to like Delaney, even towards the end of the book.
And also, the romance. I really liked how Carey was able to form a new relationship with someone, and a boy she really liked at that, but at first I thought their thing was moving a bit fast. Eventually, though, we're told that (view spoiler), so it made a little more sense. But at the same time Carey says to herself that she loves him after having spoken to him like three times after leaving the woods. I thought it was way too early to be having that thought, no matter how nice Ryan was or how much Carey remembered him. Even with my minor reservations, If You Find Me is an excellent debut novel that I would gladly recommend to anyone.
Top international reviews
If You Find Me is the debut novel of Emily Murdoch. It’s the story of Carey, a fourteen year old girl who lives deep in the woods in a caravan with her meth addicted mother and mute six-year-old sister. Her mum goes missing for weeks at a time, and one day a man claiming to be Carey’s father and a woman from social services turn up at the caravan and bring Carey and her sister back to civilisation.
I thought this book was really well-written. The pace and the style of the story kept me reading long past my bedtime and I was always keen to pick it up. It touched on some really difficult subjects, such as sexual abuse, drug abuse and paedophilia, without being sensationalist and gave the reader just enough information to be suitably shocked but without being overly graphic.
The plot was really interesting. You have a kid who was taken into the woods aged five and has had nothing to do with civilisation since then. The possibilities as far as a plot is concerned are almost endless and the author does a really good job of exploring them. Okay, there were some bits that had me raising an eyebrow in disbelief (would someone who is as voracious a reader as Carey really never have heard of contact lenses?), but in all this aspect of the plot was really well explored. Carey and Nessa’s re-integration into society were really interesting to read about and at times my heart just went out to them.
Actually, the plot as a whole was well done. There were enough flashbacks into Carey’s life in the woods to provide a nice contrast with her current situation and although I thought the plotline with Carey’s mum needed some resolution I really enjoyed it.
What let this book down, I felt, was the MC. Although I loved Carey’s loyalty to her sister and the way she fought to protect her (in fact, I really liked the relationship between Nessa and Carey - it was beautiful), in all other respects she was a complete Mary-Sue. Possibly the most Mary-Sueish Mary-Sue I’ve ever read about. Here’s how much of a Mary-Sue she is:
1) She’s beautiful (but never realised it before)
2) Great figure
3) Kind to everyone she meets
4) Super talented on the violin
5) Two years ahead of her peers academically
6) Crazy survival skills
7) Best-looking boy in school falls instantly in love with her
GAH! She desperately needed some dark to provide contrast to all this awesomeness. Even when her stepsister is openly nasty to her (and I wasn’t keen on this relationship either - Delaney was pretty one-dimensional and her nastiness was really gratuitous) she turns the other cheek.
And when we find out that she did do something really bad (and it was really bad) when she lived in the woods, she had a really good, noble reason for doing it. Again - gah!
All in all, though, this was a good story and if you can get over a too-good-to-be-true protagonist, it’s worth a look.
This story is an absorbing and compelling read, as Carey and her sister adapt to their new lives within a conventional middle-class family. Carey has to deal with Delaney, who resents sharing her home with these intruders. Carey is also coming to terms with what has happened to her mum, but there are some even darker secrets.
This is a young adult book, with some disturbing content it is suitable for a reader of about 14 up, not the 6 to 11 year olds mentioned in the description here on Amazon.
I'm not really a huge fan of contemporary fiction but I just found this book impossible to put down. Despite the fact that it contains some dark and really disturbing scenes (drug abuse, child cruelty, the rape of a minor) it's not really a novel about any of those things. They merely form the backdrop to the tale; it's actually a really uplifting story about hope, love and family.
There isn't really much of a story beyond Casey and Nessa's struggle to fit in and find their place in the world but the book never seems to drag. It's just a nice story that portrays the social services in a good light and shows that it possible for a teenager to find happiness even after years of terrible abuse. Although there are things in Casey's past that really turned my stomach, the important thing is that she's able to grow and see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Casey is a really relatable character. As the novel is told entirely from her perspective, it's really easy to get inside her head and understand her confusion. Her relationship with her sister really tugs at the heart strings. I also really though the relationship between Casey and Delaney was handled very well. Although I loathed Delaney at the start of the story, I gradually began to understand what her problem was and empathise with her position.
I don't want to say much more in case I spoil the story for you. This novel is definitely a must read and I would recommend it to all mature teen readers.
For the first couple of pages, I was a little unsure whether I would actually enjoy reading this book - the main character, Carey, speaks in what could almost be called dialect, although it's more likely caused by a lack of exposure to people other than her mother and younger sister. By page ten however, I had completely forgotten about it and had the feeling this book was going to be amazing.
Carey has practically brought up her sister, Janessa, single-handed, not just emotionally but also physically - their mother is absent far more than she is present, and Carey has to make sure both she and Janessa have enough to eat, drink and keep warm in their un-powered trailer. The sisterly bond is therefore incredibly strong, and it remains that way throughout the whole book - I love books that focus on sibling relationships so strongly rather than romance.
Watching Carey and her sister experience parts of life that they had never been exposed to before, from simple things like hamburgers and television, was shocking and yet quite moving, as their reactions felt so very realistic.
The characters are one of the strongest parts of the book in my opinion - watching Carey adapt to a life that is very alien to what she knows, and coming to terms with her childhood and relationships with her family is so incredibly touching, and she handled it with so much class and determination that I was absolutely in awe of her adaptability and how she came to terms with everything.
I'm quite sad I can't tell you all the amazing things about this book because it would spoil it for anyone who has not yet read it, but it's one of those books that I would recommend to almost everybody - although it's confronting and shocking in places it has so many other positives that work so well to make this a well-rounded story with characters that were so very strong and realistic.
If You Find Me is everything I wanted it to be and much more - it was gripping, sad, hopeful and so very well written - Emily Murdoch has written one of my favourite books of 2013 and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Carey was such a fantastic character. She was strong and determined after everything that had happened in the woods. She was extremely protective of her sister and wanting nothing more than to make Jenessa happy. I really loved the relationship between the two sisters. They had shared so much and been through so much together in the woods that their bond was unbreakable.
Jenessa was such a cutie. She was protecting Carey by keeping her secret, which was extremely sweet of her to do. But keeping Carey's secret caused Jenessa to become silent and only talk to Carey in whispers. It was lovely to see Jenessa coming out of her shell in her new home and starting to relax.
I was slightly apprehensive of their father to begin with because of the reaction Carey had towards him. There was some doubt in my mind that maybe her mother had been lying, but then again, maybe she hadn't. He genuinely cared for these girls though and had spent years and years looking for them. It was beautiful to see them all reunited.
The more we learned about Carey's mother, the more I started to hate her. She was manipulative, abusive and forced Carey into doing so horrible things. I honestly couldn't imagine being in that kind of situation. My heart ached for Carey.
Discovering Carey's secret was a big part of this novel. I kind of half guessed what happened, but the actual event was traumatizing. I found it extremely hard to read about that night and everything that happened to Carey and Jenessa. I applaud Carey for doing what she did. I know it was wrong, but she had to do it to survive and to protect Jenessa.
The ending was sweet with the exchanges between Carey and her father. They became even closer after Carey told him everything and I really loved that he didn't pull away from her and that he pulled her in closer.
Overall, this was such a heart-wrenching novel. I really felt for the characters and I was so pulled into this powerful storyline.
I definitely recommend reading this book, but be warned, there are some very difficult scenes and it deals with some touchy subjects.
This is the kind of book that pulls you in and hooks you. A page turner from start to finish, and it swells up so many emotions in you.
I thought that the way this story was told, with flashbacks woven into the main line of the story, was absolutely perfect.
There were parts of the book that were tough to read, but not because they were slow or badly written, but because they were so well written and about such harsh things that the two girls went through, that I was actually crying at parts of this book.
I'm a huge fan of books that can stir emotions in me, and this one did not fail on that level. There was so much emotion flowing through this book, and it certainly didn't shy away from or gloss over the harsher parts of Carey's story.
I would highly recommend this book. It's emotional, and well written, and has some wonderful characters who will get you hooked from start to finish.
I'm not going to go into anymore details about the book, as you can read other review for that.
I cannot recommend this book enough.