Tuesday, May 13, 2014

(Review) If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Pages: 288
Published: April 8, 2014
PublisherSt. Martin's Griffin
Review Copy: Yes

Why did I want this book?
I've got the German edition as a review copy from Random House.
In If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, 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 has disappeared 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 secrets, 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.

The cover image gives you a great feeling of the forest and Carey, the protagonist. The girl on the cover looks like her.

The title is chosen pretty well since it pops up in the story. In the German edition, they turned the "You" into a "They" which was really, really, really stupid because it makes no sense now. Did I say, that it was stupid to change the meaning of the title? Well, never mind, we are talking about the original edition here.

Writing style:
Emily Murdoch did a great job here, because she created a book, that's probably gonna touch everybody who gets his hands on it. Her writing style is sensitive and captivating. It is not a fast-paced read, but it's a fascinating one, since the topic is something new. And no, it is not like "Tarzan", the girls are educated.

Carey, the protagonist is a young teenage girl who struggles to find her way back into civilization. She gets taken in by her dad but distrusts him, because her mum was telling her a lot of lies about him back in the forest. She told Carey, that her father was beating them both, but this is not the kind of Dad, she is getting to know now. She meets a caring and concerned man, but can she really trust him? Carey also has a younger sister named Jenessa who doesn't talk. She isn't mute, but something happened in the past that traumatized her. It is easy to identify with both girls, since the story is told from Careys point of view. The only character I didn't like was her step-sister. There is just one word to describe her: bitch. Seriously, sometimes I just wanted to slam her face into a wall!

When I bought this book, I thought it would be a thriller, but it wasn't. It was so much more! Careys story is heartbreaking and shocking and still beautiful in it's own way.

Stuck in my Head:
“We make attachments to what's familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That's human. We make the best of what we're given.” 
What I didn't like:
If Careys step-sister would have been my daughter, I would have stopped her from bulling Carey. I still don't understand why her parents were looking away most of the time.

Quick and dirty:
I still don't know how to describe this book. It wasn't what I thought it would be, in fact: It was so much more! It wasn't a thriller in a traditional way. It was more like Careys personal thriller. It is still difficult for me to put this book into a genre, because it is so special. It is definitely a young adult story and it deals with difficult topics like child abuse, drug addicted parents and having to many responsibilities. It is not an easy read but a captivating one!

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