Dayla's Reviews > If You Find Me

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
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Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Emily Murdoch’s debut If You Find Me is as impressive, as it is eye-opening. With powerful prose, unflinching narrative, and characters that are impossible to not love, Murdoch has written a wonderfully dark novel that will take the reader by surprise.
Murdoch has the ability to create the same sense of anxiety within the reader that her protagonist, Carey, senses as her world begins to change, even when there is reason to trust--making her readers’ experience thrilling, terrifying, emotional, and disturbing.

The narrative of the novel acts as a barrier between Carey and the reader, since she does not give anything away, but barely hints at the storm raging beneath her cool and untrusting exterior. 

As readers, we truly have no idea what she is capable of. We believe Carey to be resourceful, but we do not know to what extent. If You Find Me takes its time to not just explain to us what Carey has survived through, but to show us what has made Carey the untrusting character she’s become. As the novel progresses, Carey slowly opens up and begins to trust, if not herself, then the reader. 

The descriptions of the events that further darken the tone of the novel are deeply disturbing, but so beautifully done that one can’t help by empathize with the characters. The great thing about Murdoch’s writing is that she creates a tormented character that is still relatable. We’ve all been the new student, we’ve all had secrets, and though most of us can’t compare to what Carey experiences, we still, despite all odds, connect with Carey. 

The hint of romance in the novel is a promise of better things to come for Carey, but it does not overtake the importance of Carey finding a new way of life.  

Murdoch offers us hints of what the girls suffered through while living in the woods, but it isn’t until the unexpected conclusion that we truly see what has altered their lives forever. 

I would recommend If You Find Me to lovers of contemporary fiction in the young adult age group. This book is truly about finding yourself when there appears to be no one you can trust, and no way out. The hope and redemption sit heavy on the pages as both the reader and Carey navigate her new world.
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