Thursday, July 19, 2018

If You Find Me Haunting, Heartbreaking, and Hopeful

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Hidden deep in a Tennessee national forest, 14-year-old Carey Blackburn and her younger sister live in a rotting camper with no electricity, no running water, and little supervision.  A bi-polar drug addict, their mother flits in and out of the girls' lives.  Her frequent absences are nothing new, but this time, she's been gone longer than ever before.  With almost no food in the camper, Carey is starting to panic.  How will she keep Nessa fed, let alone safe from all the dangers that surround them in the dense, isolated woods? 

When two strangers show up at the camper, Carey grows even more alarmed.  One of them is her father, but that doesn't mean she can trust him or his social worker companion.  Despite her misgivings, Carey is forced to leave the only home she's ever known.  Thrown into a world full of unfamiliar people and mind-boggling middle-class comforts, she's lonely, confused, and way out of her element.  As she tries to make her way in her strange, new present Carey must also come to grips with some shocking truths about her past.  Including the one she holds deep, deep inside her troubled soul.

As you can tell from the intense jacket art, If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch is not a light read.  Not by a long shot.  In fact, it's a haunting, heartbreaking novel that's achingly raw and emotionally wrenching.  It's also a lyrical, hopeful book about family, fortitude, and forging bravely ahead despite past hurts.  Sharp, but nuanced, If You Find Me tells a powerful story that will stay with the reader long after the book is finished.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a few F-bombs, plus milder expletives), sexual content, violence, depictions of underage drinking/partying, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It is! Sad, but an engrossing, thought-provoking read.

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  2. Wow sounds pretty good but definitely intense.

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    1. Yep, that's an accurate description!

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  3. This book sounds very compelling. Is it YA or adult? Oh, I just found my library has it. Will put it on my list to check out. Thanks for featuring it!

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    1. It's YA, but I saw it referred to somewhere as a "YA/adult crossover" which I think is apt.

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  4. Oy! Sounds like a hard book to read.

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    1. Yes, but also a hopeful book.

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  5. Sadly, there are more children living similar lives to this than we care to admit. This one sounds really good.

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    1. I'm sure that's true, unfortunately. Books like this at least bring the issues (poverty, mental illness, fractured families, etc.) to mind. Hopefully, they can promote both empathy and change.

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  6. I've been avoiding darker books lately, because I read like 3-4 in a row a month or so ago and couldn't get out of a funk. They can definitely leave you feeling out of sorts, so I've been staying away. However, I will add this one to my list for later... I have to be in the right headspace.

    𑁋 Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. I totally understand! I usually try to alternate dark books with lighter ones, although I seem to have been reading more of the former lately. Probably time to find something light and funny :)

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  7. I read this book a couple of years ago and LOVED it. It's one of those books that totally made me cry. And Carey is such an amazing character! I've never forgotten her. :)

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    1. I agree! It's an emotional book and Carey is such a sympathetic but also admirable character. I'm not surprised you've never forgotten her.

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