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Finding Jake

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  13,919 ratings  ·  1,442 reviews
A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney.
Kindle Edition, 277 pages
Published February 24th 2015 by William Morrow (first published February 1st 2015)
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,919 ratings  ·  1,442 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Life is kind of like that, picking the memories you want to frame. We all have an idea of how it should be, all smiles and swing sets. There are the more unsavory moments that we leave in the box stashed up in the darker parts of our psyche. We know they exist but we don’t go flaunting them in front of the dinner guests.
There are three main elements in Finding Jake, the parent/child relationship, the way the world treats those who are different, and the mystery of what happened leading up to,
Diane S ☔
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
t's become the norm today for a publicist to compare a new book to one that's earned accolades in the past. In this case, Finding Jake is compared with Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin.

The problem is: that book was filled with confident and powerful prose and acute insights into a damaged and unknowable child with serious psychological issues. In this case, the prose is faltering, which made me not at all sure I could trust the author to take me through the story.

Unflaggingly support
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-read
Simon Connolly's world is about to be turned upside down when he learns about a shooting at the school his kids Jake and Laney attend. With no time to spare Simon races to where the nightmare is unfolding. Simon is fearing the worst, but he never imagined to be confronted with what he was about to see.

Finding Jake was a page turner and one in which I really enjoyed. Not only was it a psychological thriller, it was also a tale about courage, love and strength. I have no hesitation in HIGHLY reco
Linda Strong
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Simon Connolly is a stay-at-home dad, raising two children, while his wife who is an attorney, works. Not the ideal situation for everyone. but this has been the norm for the Connolly family for 17 years ... when Jake first came home from the hospital.

Simon is starting to feel the empty nest syndrome ... both kids are in high school. He's a dedicated father, and fears for his children. He listens to the news, reads the newspapers, knows that danger is out there.

And then comes the phone call that
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
This was a gripping read. As soon as I started I just had to finish it.

Simon is a stay at home dad to his two kids Jake and Laney. When he gets a text saying there is a shooting at his kids school his world is torn apart. We read this story through Simons point of view with alternating chapters going back and forth from past to present. We read of the turmoil Simon goes through with his insecurities about rearing his son.
There is so much more to this story. I'm really glad I didn't read any spoi
Disclaimer: I was provided an ARC of this book for review from the publisher.

We Need To Talk About Kevin was one of my favorite books of the last few years. It is one of those books that is powerful and gripping and terrifying all because of the fact that it is so realistic. I loved it and thought it was brilliant, so the recent spate of what-kind-of-child-did-you-raise books are coming as no surprise to me.

And for the first quarter of this book, I will admit that it did feel like We Need To T
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I ran out of steam to want to review this book. There were too many things I did not like about it that did not allow me to fully enjoy the book, as excited as I was to start it.

I found mom and dad unlikable. There was no chemistry between the two and there was no chemistry between the dad and his kids. I didn't quite feel that bond that united dad to Jake, much less to Laney, the youngest daughter. I found the dad to be whiny and insecure and boo-hoo-hooing every other chapter about how he felt
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't feel good about reading books that are ripped from the headlines and based on national tragedies. That being said I do seem to manage my way through that as I have read both Nineteen Minutes and Defending Jacob. I haven't yet been able to bring myself to read We Need To Talk About Kevin or Columbine. I still can't believe these things happen outside of fiction, let alone the regularity with which they occur. This is the stuff of the most horrific nightmares imaginable.

Finding Jake is a s
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book in one day, which, given my busy schedule, says a lot for the story. It had me hooked from the first page. There will be many people who compare this book to other books about school shootings, but I honestly don't see how a comparison can be made. This is a unique story about a stay at home dad, Simon, and his deep thoughts, astute observations and never-ending concerns surrounding the upbringing of his children, his marriage, and his inner battle about the parental role he ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
4.5 stars

"You may have heard of my son, Jake. Most people have, but they don't know him. Not really."

Being a parent is hard. I myself am not a parent, but I have seen many parents who say it's hard raising kids. They are happy, of course. From the moment their child is born till they leave for college, there is a love for them to see them grow up and be happy. But, in between those years, and sometimes even past adulthood, it can be hard. Deciding what's good for them, seeing how they interact
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Simon is a somewhat angst-ridden stay at home dad with two kids and successful-attorney wife. There’s a mass shooting at the local high school, and it looks like his son was involved. The novel alternates between the present and flashbacks of Jake’s childhood, as Simon frantically tries to figure out what happened.

Addictive plot, tight structure, large issues, so why only two stars?

I’m a big believer in the old writing adage, “Show, don’t tell.” When an author conveys deeper truths through ima
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
Simon Connely has a supporting wife and two loving children. Jake his son is a introverted child who always took care of the ones around him, caring and sensitive are one of his many unique traits. When Simon agreed to become a stay at home Father, He did not know how much he would enjoy it. Laney his daughter is a bright girl who has grown accustomed to her brother playful teasing, together as siblings they are inseparable. Simon's relationship with his wife is suffering due to the lack of affe ...more
Oct 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's no way for this not to be compared to "We Need To Talk About Kevin". I think the author knew that would be the case, and the development of the story and "creative" ending was designed to lessen the "knock off" accusations just a bit. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, Lionel Shriver is beaming. To Me, however, this is a much better novel. This felt more authentic, and less pretentious than "Kevin" did. The writing is solid enough to lend forgiveness to areas of the story that ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Finding Jake was a very good read!

It the story of a stay-at-home dad, named Simon, and his experiences when there is a school shooting at his children's high school. The book is told in the past and the present (the time of the shooting). It is very cleverly done.

Finding Jake centers around a school shooting but is so much more. It touches on parenting and stereotypes. As a parent, I found myself easily relating to Simon throughout the story. That said, it got pretty emotional for me. And it re
Rheama Heather
After a high school shooting, Jake disappears. His family is left confused and shattered. Was Jake an accomplice or a victim?

I was quite bored with the first eighty percent of the book which mostly consists of mundane details of Jake’s childhood filtered through the lens of an insecure stay at home dad. The "current" scenes describe the family waffling between Jake's guilt or innocence in a variety of settings. Rinse, wash, repeat.

Then the final leg of the book ripped my heart out and left me de
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emer by: JENNY
Read as part of the ABN Summer Reading Challenge recommended by Jenny

(view spoiler)
Mark Rubinstein
Feb 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finding Jake is a lyrically-written, heart-wrenching novel about a father's fears and doubts concerning his son. A school shooting has occurred, and Simon Connolly learns the shocking news that his son was seen leaving the school after the incident. Adding to the horror of it all, is the fact that Jake is now missing, and his blood is at the scene of the shooting. Simon begins second-guessing himself, wondering if he ever really knew his own son, one he raised as a stay-at-home father. The writi ...more
This was a quick and easy read and I found it interesting as it moved along quickly. I would have given it 4 stars except that after I finished, I felt unsatisfied. I found that it lacked a viewpoint as to why the tragedy took place. A sweeping panorama of bullying off in the wings (as opposed to front and center in the story) and a stay-at-home father's constant doubts about his parenting skills did not give me enough to have it resonate and touch a chord within me. For those who do not like th ...more
Judy Collins
FINDING JAKE by Bryan Reardon is a compelling and heartfelt tragedy; A psychological intense suspense, keeping you page-turning to learn the fate of a teenage son.

Simon Connelly is a freelance writer, and a devoted upper-middle-class suburban stay at home dad to his son, Jake and his daughter Laney, while his wife, Rachel is busy with her legal career.

Presently, the kids are teens. Laney, outgoing and Jake, introverted. They have weathered the storms of typical teenagers, until one day a text
Amanda Cinelli Keith
4.5 stars. I did not want to book this book down. As expected, it was tragic, suspenseful, heartbreaking, and made you question so many of your own parenting decisions. Although the Dad got on my nerves at times, I was fascinated by the husband/wife role reversal in this story.
Our book club could probably discuss this one for hours! Must read.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, that was depressing! A good book, just a bummer of a story. As a new dad, there were a couple of spots in this book that hit me right in the feels pretty hard.
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A sad and heart wrenching story. Every parent's nightmare. Very well written and enjoyable as an audiobook.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
A school shooting.
13 dead.
One suspect dead.
One missing.
How well do we really know our kids?

Stay-at-home dad Simon Connolly never liked his son Jake's friend Doug. Simon always taught his kids to be kind, but when quiet, introverted Jake takes his dad's words to heart, befriending the unlikable, bullied boy Doug, Simon actively tries to dissuade the relationship. His perfect marriage to Rachel begins to show cracks as Jake and younger sister Laney hit grade school. Rachel wishes she were home mo
Karyn Niedert
This book was extremely close in nature to Lionel Shriver's "We Need to Talk About Kevin", but Reardon's take on the buildup and aftermath of sorrow after a violent and deadly school attack was unique and powerful. His narrative POV from stay-at-home father Simon was heart-wrenching yet familiar to all parents whose children suffer through a difficult time in adolescence. I was hooked throughout the story, and managed to read this in a day. The denouement was EXTREMELY satisfying, as Simon find ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book reads like the author tried to write a memoir, realized his life wasn't particularly interesting, so he fictionalized it with a school shooting.

If that doesn't sound like a recommendation, there's a reason.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a parent, I connected to this book on so many levels. The ending hit me like a ton of bricks, and now I'm crying like a damn fool. Tour stop + review coming May 7th!
Heidi The Reader
Another read that I wouldn't have touched without the encouragement of the book club. At first, I did not like Finding Jake. I thought that Reardon was presenting the glaring differences between introverts and extroverts as traditional gender role difficulties. I didn't think that Simon was avoiding playdates because he was a "guy" but because he was an introvert. But, I suppose, being a guy didn't help him build any common ground with the stay-at-home moms, which Reardon discusses in depth. Als ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me a lot of "We Need To Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver and "Defending Jacob" by William Landay. Very similar plot lines (even down to the first name) about a seemingly nice boy from an upper middle class family with professional, successful parents, living in a small, east coast town in the U.S. All three boys are around the same age, all seem to be "a nice kid" (though upon reflection, have instances of possible mental health issues that the families remember later) AFTE ...more
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Play Book Tag: Finding Jake ~ 4 stars 3 18 Jan 01, 2018 09:41AM  
Play Book Tag: Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon - 5 stars 2 12 Jul 08, 2017 04:59PM  

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I write psychological thrillers. The stories tend to surprise me. Taking a left when I signaled a right. Life when I felt death nearby. The characters are not alive. They do not exist. Yet I try to slip into their skins as I write. Mining for the emotions that flood during times of stress and tragedy and adventure. When the journey ends, a hole opens. A sense of deep mourning. And from those ashes ...more
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“Life is kind of like that, picking the memories you want to frame. We all have an idea of how it should be, all smiles and swing sets. There are the more unsavory moments that we leave in the box stashed up in the darker parts of our psyche. We know they exist but we don’t go flaunting them in front of the dinner guests.” 4 likes
“Any anger I feel vanishes. What is left cannot be described. It is guilt piled onto emptiness and set afire.” 2 likes
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