Book Talk: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Book Talk: If You Find Me by Emily MurdochIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2013
Genres: Contemporary YA
Format: eARC
Source: For Review

I received this book for review consideration from the publisher. This in no way swayed my opinion of the book. Pinky swear!




Want an “at a glance” look at what I thought? Check out my Review On A Post-It or my “Final Thought”


Carey can’t remember much about the life she had before her mom moved them away to a small trailer in the middle of the woods where they have no contact with the outside world, no electricity or running water. All she knows is taking care of her baby sister while her mom comes and goes. This last time her mom leaves she doesn’t come back and the next thing Carey knows is that there are two people showing up at the trailer and the two girls enter the world they’ve been cut off from and thrust into a family which makes her question all she’s ever been told about her life and a secret that Carey has to deal with that has made her sister Jenessa stop speaking.



Oh my heart. It just ached and also swelled with feelings for these sisters. It’s one of those reading experiences where I realize how lucky I was as a kid because there are all sorts of real life people who endure these things they did. I actually have someone very close to me who experienced what the mom did to these kids (minus like the extreme poverty and such — the taking them away). This was such an emotional and compelling novel that definitely tugged on my heart strings.

1. My heart ached for Carey and Jenessa: It ached for the conditions they lived in with no running water or electricity and a young girl taking care of a baby. The things they saw and experienced and how they had to work so hard to just survive. My heart ached as they are brought back into society and went to live with the father that their mother forced them away from. My heart couldn’t handle the sort of feelings I had as they tried to reconcile who they were vs. the world they haven’t ever really known vs. everything their mom told them. It was in the small things like them experiencing a real shower or a tv but also how they integrated into a real family.They’ve gone from being just the two of them and their mom (sometimes) to living with their dad they’ve never known and his family. Then they are expected to exist in a society they haven’t known — school, lingo they haven’t heard, pop culture/fashion they know nothing about.

2. As someone who has sisters the bond of those two sisters just took hold of me: Carey has basically taken care of Jenessa for her whole life as a motherly figure and really all they have is each other. They’ve been through awful things together and the bond that happens between sisters in all the good, bad and in between moments is so strong in this story. It melted my heart really. Even in the bad situation they were living in, they had their good times because they were together and weathered all the storms together. I thought a lot about my sister and I and how even in the worst times of our life (losing our mom for instance) we’ve always been there for each other.

3. Carey is one strong character: Early on Carey takes on a role that no child that young should have to. But she does it and all the things she goes through turn her into the amazing person she has turned out to be. She is wise beyond her years out of necessity. She takes care of her baby sister. She does the cooking. She is resourceful, thinks quick on her feet and even teaches her and her sister things that the other kids would be learning in school. I was just constantly amazed by her and the kind of person she was really reminded me of someone I know who is young and has had to grow up more quickly than most do.




Re-readability: Maybe!
Would I buy a copy for my collection? Yes!

a5Basically everybody?

a8If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch was equally as heartbreaking as it was heart LIFTING. It just was the type of story that really got to me emotionally and wedged its way into my heart so much that when I had to put it down I kept thinking about it until I picked it back up…and well after I finished. It was an amazing, beautifully written story about sisters and family and just how the human spirit can just be so so beautifully alive and can triumph even in the worst situations.

review-on-post-itIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch


a8j* Have you read this one? What did you think? Similar or different from me? I would LOVE to hear regardless!
*If you haven’t read it, does it feel like something you’d be into?
* What are some books you’ve read with strong sister relationships?


The Perpetual Page-Turner

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY! I obviously love this one a whole lot, and exactly because like you said it is both heart-breaking and heart-lifting. The sister relationship in this one is just so INCREDIBLE and I also adore the rest of the family. And everything <33333

  2. Ooh! This one sounds really good! I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary lately and I will definitely see if my library has this one. Thanks for the rec!

  3. Oh Jamie, I’m so glad you loved this book. I read it a long time ago and was absolutely riveted. This is one of my favorite types of contemporary because even though we all have our own issues in life, this is one type of life that I just haven’t (thankfully) had to experience, so it is always really interesting to see how these characters DEAL. Wow, such a strong girl, right? And I loved E Murdoch’s writing. So, so happy you loved this one. I still think about this one quite a bit and I read it pre-pub, I think. Just, wow. YAY for you!! (:

  4. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of it. Nice review.

  5. This was one of my favourite reads this year. I was so nervous about it because it’s not something I would typically read but I loved it. Definitely an emotional read. I can’t wait for her next book.

  6. I loved this one too. It really got to me – those poor girls. So much emotion!

  7. I haven’t read this book, but it’s been sitting on my shelf, judging me. I’m so afraid of getting caught up in the emotions. (I know I will be so emotional.) I’m just a huge fan of books that deals with sibling relationship. That’s where the water works and the heart clenching start. 😉

    Now, I’m even more pumped to read this.

  8. I haven’t read this, but it sounds like something I’d love so I should probably get onto it soon, hey! Great review, going to bump this one up!

  9. Oh gosh, If You Find Me was so heartbreaking yet hopeful! Judith was also the person who convinced me that I need to read it, and man, was she right. It seriously is one of those stories that’s well-done because everything that these girls go through feels authentic, whether the actions or the emotions. So happy you wound up reading and loving this!