Published: March 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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 Review: I'm not sure what I expected from this book. From the synopsis it sounds really interesting until it gets to the part about Carey entering high school. When I read that part it sounded like something average because in my head I'm thinking that I've read something like this before. I was pleasantly surprised! If You Find Me was heartbreaking but hopeful.
When I first started reading I thought I would end up hating Carey's voice because she didn't always use proper English and I tend to get annoyed with characters that speak like that really quickly, but I actually really enjoyed her voice. It didn't sound forced and it really matched her character.
Carey and Nessa's story was so heartbreaking, but predictable. I knew what had happened to them in the woods after Carey relived a memory about the men that her mother brought home, but that didn't lessen the disgust and horror I felt when Carey finally came clean. What happened to them was terrible and so realistic that I could imagine two children living out in the woods and going through the same thing that they did.
Even though I really enjoyed Carey's story, I still had a few problems with it. I don't understand how two girls that lived in the middle of nowhere could be drop dead gorgeous without even trying. Both Carey and Nessa are beautiful compared to the other characters. I felt like Ryan and Carey's relationship didn't develop enough for me to be truly invested in them. They had been childhood friends but that doesn't mean that they should automatically fall in love. It just seemed really strange that Carey trusted Ryan so easily after everything that the men in the woods did to her, even though she had known him from her life before the woods.
I also really didn't like how Carey treated Delaney. To Carey, Delaney is the evil stepsister, just because Delaney wants nothing to do with her. Honestly, I felt bad for Delaney because she was used to being an only child and now she's one of three. That's a little hard to adjust to and of course she isn't going to automatically like Carey, but Carey didn't seem to see that until a little over half way through the book.
Overall, If You Find Me was a compelling read and different from most books I've read.
*I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.