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If You Find Me

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  19,709 ratings  ·  3,111 reviews
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
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Griffin
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  19,709 ratings  ·  3,111 reviews

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Wendy Darling
4.5 stars If You Find Me is a stunning debut that explores the consequences of child neglect.

The heart of this book is beautiful. There is poetic soul beneath the rough edges of backwoods dialect and unpolished story, and the honesty in the book's emotional journey shines through even when Carey is angry or scared. And while the ending may have felt a little too neat in some ways, there is redemptive and truthful quality to this girl's story that I respond to strongly. After all those years of l
In most recent news:

IF YOU FIND ME has been optioned for film!

(Popcorn flying everywhere! : )

And as many continue to ask, yes, there is an epilogue. You can find it in the paperback and Kindle editions of the novel.

As always, thank you for your kind words, your thoughtful reviews and your touching, heartfelt letters. It's a privilege to know Carey's journey has touched so many hearts and set so many of you on courageous journeys of your own.

Where there's
Emily May
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it

Believe the hype.

If You Find Me is one of those rare books that so expertly, sadly, wonderfully, horrifically captures the protagonist's pain. But not just pain. Their resilience, determination, fear and hope too. Fans of heartbreakingly powerful stories by authors such as Sara Zarr and Courtney Summers will surely fall in love with this story. A story which dragged my heart mercilessly along the ground without once feeling melodramatic or cliche or overdone. Emily Murdoch's debut is truly f
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 2.5

If You Find Me is a novel with a lot of heart but, unfortunately, isn't very realistic in terms of plot, character development, or in its portrayal of the child welfare system.

If You Find Me tells the story of fourteen-year-old, Carey Blackburn, who lives in the wilderness with her younger sister, Jenessa, and her increasingly absent bipolar, meth addicted mother, who abducted Carey when she was four years old. Carey is the primary caregiver for her sister and is responsible f
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
I knew it! I knew I should follow my instincts and stay far, far away from this book, but as usual, I let you people convince me with your wonderful reviews and look where it got me! I am heartbroken and depressed. And I ate more ice cream than one person should in a lifetime. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

If you find me, take me home, I’d written.

The story that poured out of Emily Murdoch and onto these pages is extraordinary in many ways, but above all, in that it defies ana
Okay, where should I start?

I really liked it. It was something different (or maybe something I never read before). But there were some things that did feel a bit ... off. I am not an American, and I don't know the social or children service system. But in many cases, I knew that it was WAY too easy.
(view spoiler)
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
"A book is a living, breathing thing. It spends the first chapters of it's life curled up in the mind, symbiotic with its creator as it grows fat and round." Emily Murdoch

I'm so very glad that this book grew into being. I picked up this small book when I saw it on my friend Jenny's favorite's list. I didn't really imagine what a punch these 245 pages could begin to deliver.
Carey is fourteen and taking care of her sister Jenessa in a camper. Not just any camper-these girls have no running water,
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook, arc
A deep and emotional journey into the lives of two very special girls, If You Find Me is a wonderfully inspiring story that brings us past the unimaginable horror it inhibits and makes it about hope instead, about second chances.

We meet Carey and Jenessa who are living--or surviving--in their mama's old camper in the woods. This immediately captured both my heart and rapt interest, seeing two very young girls having to fend for themselves in such cruel ways. I could see from the start how much C
* 3.5/5 stars! A beautiful story about survival, family and the strong bond between siblings. My favourite part about this book was definitely the relationship between the two sisters which was incredibly heart-warming and heartbreaking at the same time. However, I did have some problems with this book and specifically the portrayal of some of the characters, especially Delaney.
C.G. Drews
So woah that was incredibly dark and I didn't quite expect that...and obviously I LOVED IT. I mean, I don't love what happened. But I loved the story and I loved the writing and...gah, it was an incredible book. BUT SO DARK. Like I felt literally sick inside at the end. I want to scoop up these characters and protect them forever because they are brave but tragic beans and my herat bleeds for them. YES. MY VULCAN HEART HAD AN EMOTION. (That is saying a lot, right?!?!)

The story really reminded me
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, abuse

You can listen to If You Find Me playlist in 8tracks. Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

I read If You Find Me in one sitting down beside my sister. I was fighting back the tears throughout the whole ordeal, but once in a while I would catch myself casually wiping the mist in my eyes. I instantly connected with this book's prose and characters. Truth be told, I ached for this book over and over again.

If You Find Me follows the story of two sisters who lived in the deepest part of the w
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This is a pretty heartbreaking story, and I found it a difficult read. There's no other way for me to say this without sounding like a horrible parson lacking empathy, but it was frustrating for me to read this book from Carey's point of view, because her world view is so warped from all the abuse she has suffered, and all the brainwashing her mother has put her through.

After nearly a decade of being kidnapped by her mentally unstable and drug-addicted mother, Carey and her half sister Jenessa w
Elle (ellexamines)
This was good for 100 pages. Truly, I was somewhat enjoying If You Find Me. Okay, the pacing wasn't great, but it was just starting to get good as section one ended, and I was desperate to start section two.

And then it immediately fell off into the abyss of girl hate surrounding a boy and instalovey romance being what makes a rape victim feel better about herself.

I am not kidding when I say I went from enjoying this to hating it in around thirty seconds. Section two starts off with Carey being
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to ♥Rachel♥ by: Read-along with Leanne
Shelves: netgalley-e-book
If You Find Me was a story that took me through a whole range of emotions, and tore out my heart at times, but for the most part, it was a story filled with hope.

Fifteen year-old Carey has been raised in woods with her little sister Jenessa by their mother, both isolated from the outside since for most of her life. Thanks to her mother, Carey has always been under the impression they ran to escape her dangerous father. Her life in the woods has been no picnic (total understatement), but she alw
There's no mistaking the fact that If You Find Me is a thoroughly compelling, affecting, and poignant read, and the fact that it is a debut novel makes those attributes all the more impressive. At first, I wasn't entirely sure whether or not If You Find Me would be something I'd end up liking, putting into consideration I'm not the type of reading who goes actively out of their way for deep and poignant novels concerning child abuse and topics similar to child abuse, but I am unquestionably sati ...more
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from the Goodreads First Reads Program in exchange for an honest review.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch is a haunting read that will stay with you long after it's done. The novel stars Carey, a teenaged girl who has been living in an abandoned camper in the woods for years with her younger sister, Jenessa, who she has taken care of, while her druggie mother has been in and out of town and eventually, missing, for the past two months. The two girls get discovered by social se
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars for this touching story of survival and love..

 photo a7319c7136fea6cd424e5589ea7531cc_zpscb785080.jpg

Carey and Ness/Jenessa live in the woods, in a old dirty trailer, hidden from the rest of civilization.

Their absent mother often leaves them alone for weeks on end while in search of drugs and drink.
Carey knows that they are there for their own safety. Taken away from their father.
You see Careys father did bad things to her and her mother which resulted in Careys mother kidnapping her and bringing her out to hide in the woods.

After Nes
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
I wasn't as enthralled with this book as everyone seems to be. I gave it a reluctant 3 stars because it was very readable, and Murdoch graced her protagonist, Carey, with a unique voice. But that's not to say this book was without problems.

Carey and her little sister, Nessa, live in the woods with their meth-addicted, bipolar mother. Nessa has never known civilization; she is the product of a "random fuck" with yet another dealer willing to take sex as payment. Carey was kidnapped by her mother
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book about 5 minutes ago. I loved it. It was heart breaking and heart warming. I cannot wait for more from Emily Murdoch. So glad I stumbled across this book.
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews

3.3 Stars

Jeez, what is there to say?! Did I enjoy it? Not really, but it was written well, though slightly underdeveloped.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stories about children of mentally ill parents and/or drug abusing parents are ones that tug at the readers emotions and can be over-done, over dramatic. Author Emily Murdoch doesn’t fall into that maudlin trap.

In “If You Find Me” her narrator, Carey, is a resilient fourteen-year-old girl who assumes full responsibility for her young sister, age 6, and herself. Carey’s mom is a “meth-head” and often leaves Carey and her sister alone in the woods of Tennessee. Carey is adept at her rifle (she ne
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
We find the beauty, even in the lack. That's human. We make the best of what we're given.

The beautiful, heart-breaking story of Carey (15), who was hidden away by her mentally ill and drug addicted Mama in the woods, and who had to fend for herself and her younger sister, Jenessa (5). Written in a straight-forward, uncomplicated but deeply affecting style, which I thought was perfect as this is classified as YA, and because this is the way a young, self-schooled girl would express herself.

I l
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Carey and Janessa live in the woods -- Nessa's been there her entire young life but Carey's had a taste of the outside world, way back in the day. Their mother brought them there to protect them, but mom is never around. She's always out, looking for a way to feed the girls, for a way to keep them safe.

The story begins when that all changes. Carey and Nessa are taken from their home in the woods by authorities, who introduce them to their biological father and inform them they're going to be re
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Arlene by: Wendy Darling
"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But, the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you."

"...on beans I pray… "

Incredibly amazing!!

It always seems to be those amazing and moving books I experience that give me the most difficulty when attempting to put my reactions and emotions into words. If you were able to see the scribble
"I'm like Ness's broken-legged chipmunk, which had to be shaken and poked out of the birdcage once it healed, preferring the familiar, even if the familiar was a jail. Home is home."

I read this book with sad eyes and a hand clutched to my chest. If You Find Me me is a deeply affecting story of what happens after a girl, Carey (14), and her little sister Janessa (6), is reintroduced to society after spending a life isolated in the woods, with a drug-addicted, bipolar and just flat out despica
I think I need to reconsider one of my pet peeves.

After you read around in a genre, you start to develop your tastes. You learn to decipher tricky synopsises and read the codes to find the stories you would like, and you also learn about your own pet peeves. One of mine, as it turned out, is cutesy child characters. Namely, cutesy child characters that serve little purpose outside of motivation for the protagonist and a magnet for our sympathy. I despise poorly done characters as a rule, but it’
Carey and Jenessa are living in a camper in the woods, surviving on beans and whatever else they can find for food. Used to their mother coming and going, often disappearing for long periods of time, they don't think anything different of this time - until she doesn't come back. Instead, two strangers find them and take them back to the world outside. If You Find Me is a story of two sisters adapting to a new life, facing the painful truth of their past and confronting their mother's behaviour, ...more
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If you find me, take me home.”

4.5 (maybe?)

I admit it...I got all teary eyed at some point. And well, that doesn't happen that often.

Carey and Jenessa live in a camper in the heart of the woods. It's been like this since their mom took them away, claiming that their dad was abusing them. But now Carey's mom is never there. And where she is she smells of smoke and meth and of the men she takes home with her. So Carey takes care of her sister until, one day, they find them.
And they decide to tak
Two little girls have somehow been surviving in the woods alone for years by themselves after being kidnapped by their methadict mother. The mother has been gone for five weeks this time when a group of people, that seem to know them, come to take them to their father.
The oldest girl has some memory of modern life but for the youngest it is a huge culture shock to be brought into a normal home etc..
A great story of love, respect and forgiveness. The growth and strength of the girls is truly ama
This was such a beautifully told tale--kept me glued at page one and I finished it in one sitting. The only qualm was that I felt the second half moved a little too quickly compared to the first half. I highly recommend this. 4.5 stars.
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Emily is a writer, a poet, and a lover of books. There's never a time she's without a book. Her debut novel, IF YOU FIND ME, Released in 2013 through St. Martin's Griffin and Orion/Indigo UK.

IF YOU FIND ME, a Carnegie Medal 2014 longlister and a Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014 shortlister, is also a YALSA BFYA selection of 2014, has earned starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, and School L

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When it comes to the romance genre, second books can be a bit like second dates, can't they? You've had that great initial meet-cute with...
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“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.” 86 likes
“I answer her with my silence, understanding the full power of it for the first time. Words are weapons. Weapons are powerful. So are unsaid words. So are unused weapons.” 76 likes
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