Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

June 19, 2013
Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Published: St. Martin's Griffin | March 26, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Goodreads | Purchase
There are some things you can’t leave behind… 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.
Simple. Beautiful. Heartbreaking.

     Those are the perfect words to describe If You Find Me. The story might seem very complex with a lot of twists and mysteries seeing that the MC lived in the woods for most of her childhood, but it's really not. If You Find Me is a very simple, straight-forward story about a girl and her 5 year old sister trying to adjust in a civilized life after being raised in the woods by their mother. And such a horrible mother at that, but there no point in discussing her because then this review will turn into a rant. Moving on, I described the story as beautiful because of the precious sisterly bond between Carey and Janessa. Oh my god, I loved them! I loved that even though they didn't have everything, not the best clothes or enough food, they had each other all the time and none of them let the other down. Carey was basically Janessa's mom, she fed her, taught her, took care of her and maybe that's what made them so special and beautiful overall.

     There are a lot of WHYS in this storyline. Why did their mother took them in the wood? Why did she leave them? Why did Janessa stopped speaking? And the answers to those questions were completely heartbreaking. I knew something bad had happened for Janessa to act that way, but never in my life did I imagine what really went down. The last part was so hard for me to read, I couldn't see beyond my tears. It is surprising that such a short length book (250 pages) ended up touching me so deeply. In few pages, I learned a lot about family, strength, hope and love. There's this funny thing Carey always did that I thought was so sweet; whenever she wanted something, she prayed on a can of beans or actually the creator of fava beans, Saint Joseph because that's the only stable (I guess) food she had in the woods. Ahhh, I loved those parts, they made Carey so genuine. My favorite quality in Carey, besides her strength, innocence and her overall confidence was her respectful nature. She was so polite to everyone, her father, stepmother and even the annoying/immature step-sister, but she wasn't naive at all. If someone was rude to her, she'll gave them back in her own unique way. How awesome is that! I loved Carey!

     There are so many other things I want to share about this wonderful book, but then I'll spoil everything and we don't want that. In short, If You Find Me is a MUST READ! Highly recommended to anyone who loves contemporary and realistic reads. I do want to point out that this book is not about how Carey survived in woods, but more about how she's adapting to the new changes. Within few pages, she's rescued by her father, so we get to see the woods scenes in form of flashbacks. Though they still end up making such a powerful impact in the overall storyline. I don't think I'm going to forget Carey and Janessa anytime soon. They truly left a mark on me and I'll be revisiting their story again. Go pick up If You Find Me, you won't regret it.



  1. I don't know why I've overlooked this one so often, Aman! The premise just never really captured me, but your review certainly has. I love it when a book has the power to actually make you feel something, and it sounds like this does so really well. I can't wait to give it a go! Great review! :)

  2. Oh man Aman, I really need to read this! It sounds amazing and horrifying at the same time, and I both really want to know what happened to these girls with their nightmare of a mother, and I also don't because I know my jaw will drop. Curiosity is going to win out though, and I know I'll pick this up because I have to know:) Stunning review!

  3. Excellent review Aman! I've had my eye on this one for a while, I really must pick up a copy soon!

  4. I wasn't aware it was so short. I've heard it'd really emotional and brilliant. So great that you loved the characters. It sounds so mysterious and good, but for some reason it just doesn't allure me. Your review got me pretty close to wanting to read it though:) I'm glad you enjoyed it, Aman!

  5. Hmm. I wasn't very interested in this one before, but now I think I may give it a shot! It sounds like this was fantabulous read, Aman! It's on the TBR for sure. ;) Fantastic review, girly!

  6. I super looking forward to reading this book, I have heard such positive and gripping reviews for it. I haven't really read many mysterious or gripping books like this, almost seems far, so i'm very intrigued. Lovely review! :)

  7. I see this one everywhere, and almost always in a positive review! Thanks for clearing up the lost in the woods thing, I really thought that was what the book was about. Great review! :D

  8. OMG!!! Right? I loved this book so much! SO MUCH of this book was heartbreaking, but I also found it very hopeful as well and admirable. The characters really made the story in this one. Carey rocked so hard! I feel like I'm all over the place with this comment haha. It happens when I get excited that someone loved a book I loved!! Awesome review, muffin!! <3

  9. This was such a great book! You wrote a wonderful review -- hope it inspires a lot of people to read it!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  10. I recently won a copy of this one, and now I'm even more excited to read it! Gotta love realistic MCs! Great review!

    -Taylor @ Reading is the Thing

  11. If I wasn't interested in this book before, I am now! I've seen so many rave reviews for it that I'm intrigued. You make me extremely curious to know what happened to Janessa to make her that way and I can't say no to good suspense/mystery books. Fab review, Aman!

  12. Wow, this sounds like a great book, or you've made it sound like a great book. Ah hell, whatever, it sounds really nice and interesting. I love WHYs and so that's right up my alley. I'm glad you liked this book so much, Aman and lovely review!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  13. I thought this was powerful, heartbreaking and emotional, too, Aman! Wonderful review! :)

  14. AH! I'm pretty sure we have almost the exact same taste in books. And I LOVE IT! I'm so happy that you enjoyed this one. It was definitely everything you said it was.

    Great review!

    Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog


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