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.
Woah. If You Find Me took me by a storm. It’s been a long time where I open up a book and get lost in it, absolutely forget where I am and just read… until it’s done. If You Find me did that to me; I could not stop reading!
I adored Carey and her younger sister Jenessa. Carey was so guarded but so loving. The way she protected Jenessa just warmed by heart. Jenessa was such a sweet girl, also guarded but innocent and angelic. I immediately fell in love with these two sisters from page one. I actually really felt for all of the characters, the girl’s father, Melissa, Pixie; Emily Murdoch did a wonderful job creating these characters who have you from the beginning.
If You Find Me was heart wrenching. It was so sad what these two girls went through living in the woods. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, hunger… it was horrific. My heart ached repeatedly whenever Carey would remember bits about her past life and then it would squeal with joy at the wonderful, new experiences she was having on the farm.
My favorite part was the fact it had a happy ending. I expected something disastrous to happen and these two little girls would be left devastated but that did not happen. The journey to get there was hard and emotional but it really is a story with a happy ending and I was so relieved to see that. I also really enjoyed the glimpses into the past, from before Carey was taken into the woods and also during. It really pulled the story together in present day and added another emotional level to her story.
If You Find Me was a great debut novel. Emily Murdoch created a beautiful story of family and love which immediately sucks you in. You feel for these girls, you ache for them, laugh with them and it’s absolutely wonderful when a book can make you do that.