Sunday, September 4, 2011
There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
In a small cottage house in rural Ireland, Finley discovers she can no longer outrun the past.
When Finley travels to Ireland as a foreign exchange student, she hopes to create a new identity and get some answers from the God who took her brother away and seems to have left her high and dry.
But from the moment she boards the plane and sits by Beckett Rush, teen star of the hottest vampire flicks, nothing goes according to Finley's plan.
When she gets too close to Beckett, a classmate goes on a mission to make sure Finley packs her bags, departs Ireland-and leaves Beckett alone.
Finley feels the pressure all around. As things start to fall apart, she begins to rely on a not-so-healthy method of taking control of her life.
Finley tries to balance it all-disasters on the set of Beckett's new movie, the demands of school, and her growing romance with one actor who is not what he seems. Yet Finley is also not who she portrays to Beckett and her friends.
For the first time in her life, Finley must get honest with herself to get right with God.
I read to enjoy and mind it greatly when something gets too preachy, so normally, Christian Fiction? Not my thing. And yet, THERE YOU'LL FIND ME has me feeling a bit different. A good portion of it is Finley's struggling to find her center again, her faith. I cannot say that I enjoyed reading her struggle but I did believe it. I felt it. As an MC she's quite different. I liked that she's stand-offish and that she had a goal in mind in everything she did. I enjoyed her trying to find her place... with her family, in her academics, with the new boy she'd come to be with... and yes, even in her world that's so influenced by her God.
That there's a boy in it is no surprise. It's at this point that things felt typical and cute. which was a nice change of pace from the more serious aspects. And truly, their banter was the most enjoyable aspect. I wouldn't say it was cats and dogs at first, but I will say that they were initially very unimpressed with each other. There's nothing new in said set up; however, it did allow a getting-to-know you process. That I enjoyed! Even if they didn't get to know each other completely because it's this that spurs on the conflict between them.
Did I say conflict? There's a multitude of the same that this book introduces... so many in fact that I felt it a tad overdone. These "issues" ranged from the the boy's fame issues and wanting 'the normal' to the girl's grief and search for closure then to her possible eating disorder as well as the MC's obsessive nature then to another girl's bullying, and finally top all that off with an old lady's tale of bitterness and anger. I can honestly say there's a lot to take in (almost too much). And while some aspects were dealt with completely some aspects were let by. This is fine though because overall I did enjoy reading this: the sad parts, the cute parts and all.
The part that felt most believable to me was was the slow realization by her and others that she might have had a problem. The sadder part was Mrs. Sweeney's tale... hers is a cross of Grumpy Old Men and Tuesdays With Morrie. The sweet and uplifting part was Finley and Beckett coming to an understanding even though getting to that point was difficult (and at times YA typical.) Biblical verses abound in this one, but it's understandable given that Finley's tale is one of faith and her search for God's voice, so it's a surprise to me too when I suggest that others read this. It's not overwhelmingly preachy and has moments that had me giggling and others still that had me wanting to know a little more...
The book officially comes out on October 4, 2011