If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me by Emily MurdochIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: March 26m 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: five-stars

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.

If Judith has ever recommended this to you, raise your hand. If you’ve read it, then you may lower your hand. Keep it up if you’ve ignored Judith’s persistent tweeting, or have put off reading this due to being busy/having other books to read/not believing it’s your thing. Is your hand still raised? Good. Now hit yourself with it.

I’ve said before that I love stories about family. That’s more important to me than the high school dramas that revolve around love interests or the bitchy cheerleaders. All of that can be left out of a novel as long as the family aspect it there, and I will likely adore it. Tatum and I were talking the other night (while we cried over The Fast and the Furious) about how all the shows we love and most of the books we adore are about families in some form or another, whether it’s talking about a huge extended family like Spartacus, or a small-but-still-good family like in Supernatural.

Carey and Nessa, as you may already know, are sisters. Both have been abused in one way or another, but they find hope and love in each other. I adored their relationship. Nessa was basically raised by Carey because their mother was unfit to do it herself (and that’s putting it nicely). Nessa and Carey’s relationship was both heart-warming, and heartbreaking. It reminded me a lot of the Winchesters, because most sibling relationships tend to do so.

I found If You Find Me quite difficult to read at times, although that had nothing at all to do with the writing style or the characters, since both aspects were engrossing and I totally loved them. Instead, it was some scenes that disturbed me, and if you know me at all you’ll know that I’m hardly ever freaked out by anything. But this book… It got to me. Since If You Find Me is told from Carey’s point of view, some of the scenes and her telling of them seem quite crude, since Carey doesn’t beat around the bush. She’s very blunt with some things, and there were a couple of times where I had to sit back and take a breather because it shocked me.

Although the girls’ mother is never actually present outside of flashbacks, her presence is heavily felt throughout the novel. Aside from Carey always mentioning her, you can really see the impact that her actions have had on these girls’ lives. I’m not talking about the obvious things, like keeping them in the woods away from civilisation, but the smaller things, like some of the things Carey sometimes thinks.

I had a couple of minor issues with this book, although I wouldn’t even really call them issues. They’re more things that I would have liked to have seen built upon. The first thing is the length. This novel is very, very short, and since the pacing is quite fast, it’s a quick read. I would have liked to have seen more of Carey and Nessa as they settle into school and their new lives, although that would have probably changed the feel of the book. The second thing I would have liked to have seen more of is Carey’s father. I didn’t feel as though we got to know him well enough, and I spent a lot of the book suspecting him of being an abuser. However, that may well have been Murdoch’s intention.

I feel a bit bad for not reading this book sooner, because Judith has been telling me to read it for months now. I honestly wasn’t expecting something so eerily beautiful, yet devastating. Once again, the family theme punched me in the gut. If You Find Me is definitely a book that you have to be prepared for, due to the whole child abuse things, and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone since I know that some people don’t want to read things like that. If you love books that focus on family, and don’t mind a darker read, then I say go for it!

23 comments on “If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

  1. Rita (Weaving Pages) 10/07/2013 2:20 pm

    This book is already on my TBR because of Judith, but I will probably read it sooner because EVERYONE seems to love it! I might have to only read it in the mornings though, si de it might scare me to death….!

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 16/07/2013 6:34 pm

      Hahahaha! It’s not creepy, so you’ll be okay reading it at night. As okay as one can be while reading, anyway.

  2. Tatum Turtle 10/07/2013 3:35 pm

    will you piss off with your spartacus/supernatural feels and that gif at the end ARE YOU SATAN

  3. Judith 10/07/2013 9:38 pm

    I was honestly trying to leave a coherent comment but who would I be kidding then right I think I should just begin fangirling right here THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH IS HILARIOUS AND I DIED LAUGHING WHILE I WAS EATING WHICH WAS A BIT ANNOYING BUT WHO CARES. I AM SO HAPPY YOU LIKED THIS ONE, FOR REAL. YOU WILL BE HEARING THAT ABOUT A BILLION TIMES MORE.

    “It reminded me of the Winchesters.” I MUST HURRY UP WITH SUPERNATURAL. Family bonds are often my favorite relationships and they make me cry waaaay more often than romantic relationships do.

    I actually thought the length was great, since it felt like the story really ended. Of course, I would have LOVED to learn more about Carey and Jenessa. And yes, the dad could have been more present. I was laughing because you were suspecting him even though I WAS TOO while reading.

    You shouldn’t feel bad for only reading it now XD Just know that my recommendations are THE BEST (or that’s what you said, right?). It’s like when you recommend TV shows to me.


    • Amber (Books of Amber) 16/07/2013 6:40 pm

      I MISS YOUUUUUU so reading this comment just now (although I read it before, but I had to read it to reply. You know what I mean) was a terrible experience and I don’t want to go through it again. WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME.

      YES YES YES YOU MUST HURRY UP WITH SUPERNATURAL. Oh my god, you don’t understand what everyone goes through with that show. Sam and Dean are each other’s WORLDS.

      How dare you laugh at me, I’m just naturally suspicious.

      I said the books are the best, yes. DONT GET TOO BIG HEADED OK. Although I like this TV rec comparison. I shall remind you of this when the time is right.


    • Judith 23/07/2013 11:17 pm

      OH MY GOD I WILL NEVER GO ON VACATION AGAIN. Hahahahaha. I’m back now and we really really really have to discuss Vampire Academy when I am brave enough to continue with Spirit Bound. Which will be never. NOT THE POINT RIGHT NOW.

      I think Supernatural is going to ruin me, therefore, I am EXCITED to watch more of it. Preferably right now, but the laptop thing… meh.

      Laughing at you is one of my favorite things to do.

      Oh god, what did I say? This is probably gonna be like that time I called Debby Queen of GIFs and she then put it in her Twitter bio. WHY DO YOU GUYS TAKE ME SO SERIOUSLY?

  4. Enya 10/07/2013 9:39 pm

    I’m so glad I read this book. You’re right though, it would be nice if it was a little longer. It would’ve been nice to see more of them at school and their new lives just to make sure that they’re really okay. 🙂

  5. Mel@Thedailyprophecy 10/07/2013 10:25 pm

    Some of Judith’s comments/tweets might have been a reason to pick this one up, yes. And I’m so happy I did, because I wasn’t expecting this either. It was heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

  6. Kim 11/07/2013 2:46 am

    I looooved this book too. It is eerily beautiful.

  7. Natalie R 12/07/2013 6:05 pm

    First off, THAT FIRST PARAGRAPH!!!! ahahhahaha I was dying!!! SO FUNNY!

    Now, on to the review: You nailed it. Literally everything you described is how I felt too! I loved their relationship, and it reminded me of the Winchesters. I also would have liked to see more about Carrie and Nessa settling into school, their dad could have been around more, and I was suspecting him of being an abuser too! You really just captured everything I was feeling when I read this book in this review 😛

    • Amber (Books of Amber) 16/07/2013 6:46 pm


      Oh my god, thanks! This makes me so happy, I may or may not be crying a little bit. I LOVE IT WHEN PEOPLE TELL ME THINGS LIKE THIS.

    • Judith 23/07/2013 11:13 pm

      I think it’s good to point out that I made Natalie read this book as well. You know. Just because.

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