First thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for letting me read an e-galley of this book…I already bought the paper version of it as this book is so far one of my favorites of 2013. And it´s my first Debut Author Challenge Review!
There are books that make you smile, or cry, or feel so full of emotions you´re not quite sure how the writer managed to instill those into the novel.
And then you have the books that do all those things not and stay with you for long after you turn the last page (or click the last “next” on your Kindle). IF YOU FIND ME is one of them.
Summary by Goodreads: 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.
If I close my eyes and think about Emily´s story, I see people. Not characters but people and then I simply feel. Emily managed that elusive magic of making me fall in love with her characters, even though the situation they find themselves in is so difficult. Carey and Jenessa found a place in my heart. They made me think, made me tear up but there´s also hope in those pages. Yes, their situation is tough. Yes, they suffered and there were moments where I cringed, where I clutched my sides and where I closed my eyes. But they are both so full of life still, so full of love. Their love for each other. Their love for others. Despite everything.
I will pick up everything Emily Murdoch writes after this heart-wrenching, beautiful and powerful debut!