Saturday, April 19, 2014

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

I'm late reviewing it, but If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch was actually one of my favourite releases I read from 2013, and easily one of my favourite YA from last year. It's a debut novel, but it doesn't read like one. It's the kind of book that feels experienced and confident with an authentic voice and words exactly where they should be.

If You Find Me is the story of sisters, abandoned by their mother in a trailer in the middle of the woods after surviving there together for years, one day strangers arrive and take the girls, putting them into the unfamiliar, "normal" world. The young sister, Jenessa, hasn't spoken in over a year and her older sister, 15-year-old Carey is keeping that secret, as well as many of her, close. She knows that if anyone learns them, this new life will disappear for good.

There's something very poetic about If You Find Me, and the relationship between sisters (and step-sisters) is believable and real. Sometimes I was a little unsure what Carey did know and what she didn't. She says she doesn't know what the word "gross" means, but on the next page makes a joke where she refers to somebody as a "boob" which seems even less likely to have been slang she knew from the woods. However, those moments aside Carey's experiences and feelings seemed real, painful and raw. Murdoch explores complicated issues like child neglect in a thoughtful and sincere way and I would definitely pick up whatever she writes next, as well as recommend If You Find Me to those interested in a powerful contemporary YA novel.

Release Date: March 26th 2013 Pages: 256  Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley  Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin  Buy It: Book Depository

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