Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 4, 2013 | 10 Comments

Review: If You Find Me by Emily MurdochIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Published by St. Martin's Griffin (3.26.2013)
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Source: I own it
Buy on Amazon

3 Stars

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.

My thoughts

I’d heard very good things about this book, but didn’t really look twice at it until C.J. Redwine recommended it at her book signing. I thought for sure it was going to be a tear-jerker, and something I could find that could compare to Before I Fall, but for some reason it just didn’t work for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous story. But I couldn’t connect like I’d hoped.

I think my main issue was that the writing style didn’t get to me. I found it a bit dry and clinical. This story had the potential to be very moving and emotional, but I just didn’t feel it. There was a disconnect there for me that kept me from truly feeling the story to the core.

It was terrible to think of what Carey went through, and that was really the driving point of this book. There was one scene in particular that had some very vivid imagery that had me cringing. I can’t even imagine how awful it would be to grow up like she did, with no electricity and nothing frivolous! Carey and Janessa barely had the things they actually needed

Something I feel the need to point out – for me, personally – is Carey’s language. She was perfectly capable of speaking correctly, she proved that when she went to her new home. The don’ts and ain’ts didn’t bother me all that much, because I can understand that she was brought up on that language and it’s comfortable for her, but what bothered me was that she said Injun. Injun? Really? She could spell certain ‘big’ words correctly, like impenetrable and hyperventilating, and Jehovah for crying out loud, but not Indian?! Are you serious? I don’t know why that irked me so much…

There were a few times that I felt a twinge of something at least, but only in the scenes that involved Carey’s parents. I really liked how gentle and understanding they were with her, despite her somewhat uncouth temperament. As someone who is very close to her parents, that got to me slightly. But the very tender scenes should have been packed with emotion! I really think the issue here was me. Perhaps it was a mood thing, who knows. 


“We make attachments to what’s familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That’s human. We make the best of what we’re given.”

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 2/5
Cover: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

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10 responses to “Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

  1. I’m sorry you couldn’t connect with this book! For me, I think this book was precisely well-timed when I read it. I’m not much of a contemporary reader, but I absolutely fell in love with the characters and their development :) I hope your next read wows you more! :)

  2. Lol at “injun”. I don’t even remember that part! Wow that’s lame.

    Great review though! I think I felt similarly. I liked it but didn’t love it!

  3. Ehhh… I’ve actually not read this one >< But reading certain reviews that have been going up and around make me iffy about it. (But that quote makes it sound pretty… philosophical ;) Pretty cool!) It sounds like a hit or miss for many, like you either become attached to it, or you don't… Hmmm.
    And Injun? Erm… Heh. Well. Certainly, if she can pronounce big words, I don't think indian should be much of a problem really. Ha.
    Well, I might make time for it, because there are definitely good things that have been said about it, but I'm sorry you didn't really enjoy it as much :(
    But great review as always, Jessi!! <3

    • It wasn’t all THAT philosophical, to tell you the truth. Which is sad, because you’d think it would be. Sadly, that was one of the few quotes that were like that.
      Who knows, maybe you’ll love it! Many people did, I was the black sheep here =/

  4. Huh. Haven’t read this but I’m not sure it’s something I’d even pick up. Actually it’s on my kindle I think….so maybe cross that? Lol. Anyway, I’m glad it wasn’t a total botch. I know it was tricky in the beginning. However, if C.J. loves I might have to give it a try just like you did. Love that woman. Lol.

    Great review Jessinator!
    <33 Inkinator

  5. A pity this didn’t work out for you! I’ve heard such great things for If You Find Me, and there seems to be a lot going on in the contents of this book… But ugh, that Carey persons sounds very off, and slightly fake. Really? Injun? xD Not going to be picking this one up anytime soon, enjoyed reading your opinions! =)

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

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