'If You Find Me' is a gripping novel that can tear at your heartstrings and make you want to punch the bad guy. It can make you cry, angry and content all at the same time. At least, that's what this book did to me. Carey and her sister, Jenessa, are two girls who struggle to survive in the woods while their mother disappears for long periods of time - until the day comes when she disappears completely - only the two girls don't know it. It's only when two strangers turn up to take them away that they learn life as they know it was about to change in the form of their father and a step-family.
From the first page Carey's voice charmed me. It was instantly recognizable and strong and I felt her every troubled emotion at having to keep her upbringing a secret. She fought to keep her sister comfortable and to make her feel safe as she moved from the wilderness to town life to live with strangers - her own father. She was a survivor who did what she had to do and she made no apologies for it. It's the way she was that made Carey such an unforgettable character - well, at least, that's my opinion.
Jenessa was another charmer. Even at six-years-old, she had the ability to love. She had been practically brought up by Carey. She managed to connect with everyone around her. From a three-legged dog to a teenager I wasn't sure I was going to like, but it ended up that I did. I think it was mostly due to Carey's influence.The secondary characters in this book were just as brilliant as the main characters. They all added to the story. But, it was the story itself that held me spellbound. I was totally fascinated by the way Carey handled her growing relationship with her father, her stepmother and her stepsister. Not to mention how she related to school after being home-schooled since she was very young.
There's a realism about this book that was so chilling and I had to take a breath and step back just to try and remember it was a book. Emily's 'If You Find Me' brought out emotions in me that I never normally feel.It's well written and I loved some of the prose. It was descriptive without being overly so. The pace was also good. There were no lulls at all. I think it was mainly because there was always something new for Carey to learn or face and I think I was emotionally invested in the book. I love books like that.I'm trying to find things that I didn't like about it, and I don't think I can.
There was no insta-love or anything remotely like it. The slight romantic feel I got from the book was cute and there was an explanation behind it. I really loved Ryan and the twist Emily created for this character.I guess this is one book where all I can do is gush.
Anyway, now for my rating:- five out of five stars.