“Mama says no matter how poor folks are, whether you’re a have, a have-not or break your mama’s back on the cracks in between, the world gives away the best stuff on the cheap.”
Carey has spent most her life in the woods, her six year old sister, Jenessa, has spent all her life there. Their mother is a meth addict and often leaves them to fend for themselves. Carey has always been the one in charge when their mother is out of it or gone. Carey’s only priority is survival, and she expects that to be the priority for the foreseeable future. Then one day strangers arrive at their clearing, claiming their mother sent them and that Carey and Jenessa has to go with them and join civilisation. Now Carey has other things she has to think about and secrets she has to keep.
I love it when I read a book and I have forgotten what it’s about, when the blurb from the back has escaped my memory and the book is completely fresh as I am reading it. That is what happened with If You Find Me and honestly, it makes the book even better!
I picked up the gist of the story quickly, these two girls are alone in the woods, they only have each other and their mother is gone. The first few pages are about Carey and how she senses someone in the woods. The someone is a man, and with him is a woman from Social Services. Carey and Jenessa are whisked off to live with a proper family in a proper house and its a massive adjustment. The book follows the adjustment, the things that the girls have to come to terms with and the things that happened to them in the woods at the hand of their mother.
The story is brilliantly shocking, watching Carey as she makes sense of this new world is genuinely terrifying. The way the story is told is even better, with a first person narrative coming from Carey the flashbacks blend in seamlessly and the newness of the world she has entered makes sense. I loved the way her voice flowed and how the whole book seems to carry on so well because of her. I also really loved the way the book was split into three parts with the end as the first part, that was a brilliant touch.
I rarely rate books as five stars but in all seriousness, this book is a five. The story, the setting, the characters and the pace were just incredible. I thought that the book was going one way and it actually went another, I half guessed where it was going but I was still happy with it, as much as you can be happy with a story that continually punches you in the gut. I had to stop reading during my few sittings with this book because of the things that were revealed but that is just a sign of a brilliantly written book.
If You Find Me is a powerful, raw read and its not to be taken lightly. There are some serious, messed up topics which will shock younger readers. I wouldn’t recommend this for the younger teen unless they are very mature and capable of handling such topics. I think my enjoyment, if you can call it that, of If You Find Me came from going into it blind so I would recommend a reader of this review to pre-order the book, forget everything I’ve said and go in blind like I did when it comes out in May!
If You Find Me will be released on May 2nd by Indigo. My copy was sent in exchange for an honest review from LoveReading4Kids.
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