Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
There are some things you can’t leave behind…
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.

My Thoughts:

This was a difficult book to read for me.  It dealt with some really hard issues like drug addiction, abandonment and abuse.  I think this book is definitely for a more mature reader.

Carey and Jenessa are living in the Hundred Acre Wood (named after Jenessa's favorite books, Winnie-the-Pooh).  They live in a camper with no running water or electricity.  Their mom has been MIA for many weeks and their food is getting low.  Carey does her best to take care of her little sister and is very alarmed when she hears other people coming into the secret world.  It turns out that these strangers know her name and Jenessa's too.  Carey soon finds out that their mother has written to CPS and told them where to find the girls. 

Along with the social worker is Carey's biological father.  Carey only knows what her mother has told her about him and none of it good.  When she finds out that she and Jenessa have to go live with him, she is very wary.  

Once at her father's house, Carey meets her new stepmother and stepsister.  Melissa is so sweet.  You have to love her.  She very easily accepts these two girls as her own and helps them as best as she can to get adjusted to all the many, many changes.  Delaney, Carey's stepsister comes across as a selfish and spoiled brat but you can see where she is coming from, at least a little bit.  It would be very difficult to be an only child for so long only to have all that attention suddenly taken away from you and focused on two unwanted sisters.  Delaney does come around though and by the end I actually liked her.

There were some issues I had with this book.  The first thing is Jenessa.  You see, Carey's mom kidnapped Carey when she was only 5 years old.  Jenessa wasn't born yet and is not the biological daughter of Carey's father.  Carey's mother hid deep in the woods and Jenessa was a "trick baby."  So I am not sure how Carey's father or the social worker would even know about Jenessa except for the fact that the letter said "daughters". The implication was that the social worker and Carey's father immediately started looking for them so wouldn't have had time to make up not only Carey's room but also a room for a child they didn't even know existed.  The room was painted, furnished and had all the stuff that Jenessa would like.  They wouldn't even have any idea how old Jenessa was.  Maybe she was only an infant but they had the room furnished for a five year old.  

There were also some things with the way CPS was portrayed.  A social worker would never stay in a hotel room with children.  The liability of that is crazy and they simply wouldn't put themselves or their department in that situation.  

Jenessa, even though she refused to speak, had no problems trusting these random strangers.  I find that very difficult to believe, especially since she is only 5 and the things she has seen makes me believe that she wouldn't be so trusting so quickly.  

These are only a few things that were bothersome but not enough that it made me want to put the book down.  I actually was very captivated by the story and read it quickly but there are definitely some "off" parts for me.  Again, I definitely think this is for a more mature reader due to the contents.

No comments:

Post a Comment