Vonze: 5 out of 5
Book Description: (from Goodreads) "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: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch is my top surprise find of 2013. The synopsis sounded good, so decide to take a chance on it. What I found was an emotional journey of a strong young woman. The main character, Carey, is a survivor who has to overcome great obstacles as she fits back into normal life. It reminded me a little of the Hunger Games, minus the dystopian elements, because Carey is similar to a contemporary-world Katniss: strong, protective of her little sister, definite mom issues, complete fish-out-water, smart, rural, and not overly girly-girl. I, personally, wonder if the author was inspired by a recent news story about two kids living in an abandoned school bus. Either way, this was a great and quick read for me. As far as contemporary YA novels go, I think this would make a very interesting movie, although paranormal YA movies are in bigger demand.