Wednesday, May 20, 2015
If you find me
Carey lives hidden away in the woods with her little sister Jenessa and their meth-addicted mother. One day, her mother has been gone for weeks already, her father comes to take the girls to live with him.
If you find me by Emily Murdoch is a chilling book to read, especially when you think about that children really go through this: abducted by their own parent, hidden away somewhere, abused. But what happened to Carey in the woods is revealed only slowly and mostly, you have to read between the lines, until the very end of the book.
One thing that bothered me a bit is that Carey is something of a Mary Sue. She is very beautiful, she's an extremely talented violin player, she's very intelligent and the most popular boy in her grade immediately falls in love with her. There's a reason why he's interested in her, but the other things are pretty Mary Sue-ish. It doesn't really harm the book because it's well written and the story is gripping. Also, the reason why Mary Sues are so popular and get written so often is that young girls identify with them, they make them feel powerful. When you see it like that, it's actually a plus for the book. Also, the horrible things that happened to the girls are never glamorised or idealised.
I love the relationship between the characters, between Carey and her new family. Even her new stepsister, who doesn't like her at all - but she has her reasons and she's not the caricature of a Mean Girl she could have been. The relationship between Carey and her sister is my favourite, though. Carey has been more her mother than their real mother has ever been and whenever Janessa is concerned, she quickly switches back into adult mode. You get to see the world through the eyes of a girl who has had only very little contact with everything we think of as normal and just enough that this doesn't turn into The Wolf Boy.
I highly recommend this book because of its subtlety and because of its positive outlook. There are many YA novels that deal with teens who have a horrible life, but way too many of them never offer any hope or way out. Kevin Brooks, I'm looking at you. When You Find Me is different and that's important.
3. book for the Everything YA challenge