This review was originally posted on
I devoured If You Find Me about a month ago and I absolutely loved it. I set myself the goal to write a review before its release day. Time and time again, I set down with my computer and tried to write a review that expressed my feelings towards this book well. I guess it shows that I’m only a starting book reviewer, because today If You Find Me was released and I still don’t have a review yet. But I am going to keep my promise and try my very best to tell you why I love this book so much. And if that doesn’t convince you to read If You Find Me, I highly recommend that you check out The Midnight Garden’s review and Emily Murdoch’s guest post here. (Psst, you can also win a copy of If You Find Me there!)
Here we go. If You Find Me is about fifteen-year-old Carey who lives in a camper in a forest of Tennessee with her younger sister, Jenessa. Carey has lived here as long as she can remember with her mother. But since recently, her mother has been leaving her to care for her sister for long periods at a time, until she doesn’t come back at all. Two strangers take Carey and Jenessa to the world outside of the forest where they are introduced to hamburgers and french fries, new clothes and school.
Slowly, Carey learns the truth about why her mother hid her in a forest for nearly ten years while keeping secret why Jenessa hasn’t spoken in over a year.
The interesting thing about this book is that as you read, it only gets better for the two main characters, Carey and Jenessa. At the same time you find out more and more about their past. While the situation for the two girls only gets better as you’re reading, the story itself gets darker and more gruesome. As I was reading, I felt conflicted: I wanted to know why Jenessa doesn’t speak and what their dark secret is, but at the same time I knew in my gut what their secret was and I didn’t want it to be confirmed by the ending of the book.
The main thing I loved about this book were the characters. The characters were so real and had great back stories and their actions were thoroughly motivated. And I’m not only talking about the two main characters, also Carey’s father, his wife and her daughter were fantastic characters. Although this story was told through Carey’s perspective, I could relate really well to the other characters which added more dimensions to the story.
Speaking of Carey’s perspective, I loved this form of narration! Actually, I just really loved Carey. Because Carey grew up secluded from anyone but her mother and sister, she speaks with a heavy accent and uses crazy sayings. This came back in the narration continuously. Although she knows living with her father is better for her and her sister, she often yearns to go back to the woods. She describes how she misses the smell of campfire smoke in her hair and the rustling of the leaves in the wind. I really liked how these inner conflicts came back throughout the book as well as her character development. And her love and devotion to her sister is so heartwarming.
If You Find Me made me feel all the feels. It is a strange experience, caring so much about characters in the first place (but I’m used to that by now), but mostly knowing that the characters are much better off than at the start of the book, yet feeling so sad after finishing it.
If You Find Me is Emily Murdoch’s debut novel and I can’t wait to read her other books in the future.