If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Publication Date: March 26th 2013
Genre: YA realistic fiction
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Wow. This book was so amazing. The best book I've read so far in 2013, that's for sure. I don't even know where to start, because everything about this book is just perfect.
14-year-old Carrie and her 6-year-old sister, Jenessa, live in a small camper hidden deep in a forest. Their mother tells them that they live there because she is trying to protect them from their father. She comes and goes, leaving them alone for weeks, so Carrie and Jenesa have to take care of themselves.
The story begins when one day, out-of-the-blue, their father shows up at the camper and takes them to his house, into a world of hot meals, electricity, clothes and school.
Can Carrie trust her father? Is he really the bad guy, like their mother says? Why did she hide them in the forest? Will they keep her when they found out the terrible thing she did in order to save her sister?
The book follows Carrie's struggles to become a normal girl again and to get over her past.
Carrie was such a great character. I wish I could meet her in real life!
Everything about her was very realistic, and since she was exactly my age, she very easy to relate to. It was really heartwarming to see how she cared for Jenessa - she would literally do ANYTHING to keep her safe and happy. She always thought about her sister first.
During the book, Carrie has to choose whether to believe the stories her mother told her since she was a baby that her father is dangerous, or to accept the fact that her father loves her and is trying to help her. It must be really hard to find out that everything you've ever known isn't true! I think Carrie has handled the whole change really well. She never freaked out and was overall very thankful toward her father and his family.
I also really liked reading about her first days ever of school. For the first time in her life, she had to deal with the popular kids and with boys, and when I say boys I mean Ryan - the love interest. I just loved Ryan. I can't tell you much about him because it will spoil the book, so I'll only say that he is my current bookish crush!! :D
At the last 10% of the book, Carrie has finally told about the horrible things that happened to her and Jenessa in the woods. Apparently, over the past 9 years these two girls suffered badly from hunger, loneliness and sexual abuse. It was really terrible to read about it. I think I will never be able to forget it... It really made me cry.
This book is so beautiful, and so unique and different in comparison to other YA books. I recommend it to people who are looking for an unforgettable, moving story about two brave, extraordinary girls.