March 1, 2013
St Martin's Press
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.
"Review from I ♥ Bookie Nookie" By The Romance Reviews 2 years ago
IF YOU FIND ME is a gut-wrenching tale of abuse and abandonment. It will make you want to hug every child you see and protect them from the evils of the world.
Children should have the luxury to behave as such and they are supposed to be loved and protected from all harm. Fifteen-year old Carey has not had this luxury in her short life. As the daughter of a meth addicted, mentally ill mother, Carey has had to take on the role that should have been her mother's responsibility – the role of provider, teacher and disciplinarian to her younger sister has sadly fallen into her capable teenaged hands.
When Carey was very young, her mother whisked her away to a camper in the dense and secluded national forest that she now calls home. When her mother gives birth to a little baby, her mother is unable to care for the child and irresponsibly leaves them to fend for themselves for days, weeks and months at a time. Carey is forced to grow up much faster than any child should ever have to. Until one wonderful day, when their whereabouts is finally discovered by a man she comes to know as her father and is taken to a world filled with modern conveniences that most "normal" people take for granted every day. Although this world is scary and foreign to Carey and her baby sister, Nessa, they quickly learn what it means to truly be loved and cherished and most of all protected.
Carey is such a strong character. I love her! I love how she grabs the bull by the horns and hangs on for dear life – because she knows that is the only way to survive the vicious bucking ride-of-a-life she has been thrown into. Witnessing the transformation of Carey and Nessa was uplifting and emotional. Although their story is a very sad tale, it really forces you to stop and think about how a simpler life is not always such a bad thing – though few would actually want to live it.
IF YOU FIND ME is a wonderful story for all ages – a word of caution, there are recollections of rape, abuse and drug use, but the story overall is one to be enjoyed by all. Pull up a chair, grab a tissue and hug your children because this is an emotional novel you will not want to put down until you have read the very last page.