If You Find Me
St. Martin’s Griffin
Published March 26, 2013
About If You Find Me
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.
In retrospect, reading this book was probably not the best idea for me. I didn’t realize what it was about when I started reading it. I purchased the e-book years ago and saw the blurb on the front cover by Jennifer Brown saying it was basically impossible to put down, so I started reading it.
She’s not wrong. I definitely found this super dark story impossible to put down. Carey’s protectiveness and love for her sister made her a huge hero to me. Plus she just never gives up. There’s a LOT of stuff in this book that’s really difficult to read, but the heart of the story is about recovering from trauma, having a second chance, discovering that you’re still worthy of love.
Those are the things that made this book unputdownable for me. I also loved the music and the way music was such a refuge and place of healing for Carey and her sister. Fans of WHAT UNBREAKABLE LOOKS LIKE by Kate McLaughlin may want to add this one to their reading lists.
Recommended for Ages 16 up.
Major characters are all white. Carey’s sister, Jenessa, is diagnosed with selective mutism.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Romance/Sexual Content – Trigger Warning for sexual abuse and rape of a child.
Several references to and some brief descriptions of men molesting a girl at her mother’s direction (for payment to support her drug habit). One scene shows a man raping a girl and preparing to rape a girl.
In one scene, a girl places a boy’s hand on her. Another briefly shows a boy and girl having sex. One scene shows kissing between a boy and girl.
Violent Content – Trigger warning for physical abuse
References to and descriptions of Carey and Jenessa’s mom physically abusing them. She states that their father also abused them.
In one scene, a man is killed with a gun.
Graphic descriptions of Carey’s mom using crystal meth.
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