Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: There You'll Find Me

There You'll Find MeThere You'll Find Me

Standalone or Series: Spin-off to Save the Date
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Christian* Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
Source: Purchased
Grief brought Finley to Ireland. LOVE WILL LEAD HER HOME.

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen-year-old. She's witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.

She decides to study abroad in Ireland so she can follow Will's travel journal. It's the place he felt closest to God, and she's hopeful being there will help her make peace over losing him. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane.

Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She's the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down. The loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to a new and dangerous vice. When is God going to show up for her in this emerald paradise?

Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Could it be God convincing her that everything she's been looking for has been with her all along?
I was so disappointed to give this book only four stars, and not the full five I had been anticipating. After reading Jenny B. Jones' awesome The Charmed Life series, I just knew that I had to get her other books, and I decided I was going to like them all. As usual, Jones manages to create what you think is going to be some fluffy, cliche book, but she always manages to throw in some stuff that gives the book a (sometimes dark) twist. Psycho football players? The murder of a circus star? Yeah, it was as awesome (if not weird) as it sounded.

This book had a different feel to it. Whereas The Charmed Life was about Bella, the daughter-of-a-world-class-plastic-surgeon-and-former-Manhattan-socialite-turned-Truman-nobody, it was brighter, at least in comparison to this book. The death of Finley's brother, Will, looms over the entire novel, giving it a darker edge. That doesn't mean this book doesn't have its light moments. It does. All the time. Hilarious banter between Finley Sinclair and Beckett Rush? (He is just as much of a movie star as his name sounds.) It's there all the time, and will keep you laughing.

Speaking of Finley and Beckett. Jones is a master at creating believable, real romances that aren't BAM! INSTA-LOVE!. He's one of the hottest celebrities on the earth, and yet Finley keeps her cool around him. She's snarky and witty on the outside, even though she's very broken on the inside. She has this thing (I call it OCD, but I'm not a doctor or anything) with organizing and controlling. She wants everything to be perfect. And she knows she isn't perfect, and that nobody is, but that doesn't keep her from trying to fix everything. Which is the reason that I had to dock a star. Because no offense, but I had not been planning to read a book about anorexia. The degree to which she kept bemoaning how fat she was and how food made her throw up was disturbing and annoying. The funny parts weren't funny. I know eating disorders are a real life problem, but I just didn't pay to read about them in this book.

I also feel like I should give Mrs. Sweeney some of the spotlight. Her relationship with Finley was truly inspiring and heart-wrenching. I don't really want to talk about it much, because it's one of those bittersweet things, but it was such an enjoyable part of the story. Definitely contributes to the book's "must-read-ness." (Yes, I just made up a really awkward hyphenated word.)

All in all, this was another wonderful product from Jenny B. Jones. She's a really great writer: not only in technique, but in how she composes the story and can draw the reader in. She can make you laugh. She can make you cry. I have not lost faith in her, and I am looking forward to more of her books. I feel like she and Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, are kind of similar in writing. While one is fantasy, and one is not (they both write about vampires, heh), I would recommend reading that if you liked this book.

*While this book is obviously Christian (many Bible verses and ideas of faith), it's not done so in a pushy way. She's not trying to convert you. Many other reviewers also agreed that this book was not overwhelmingly Christian.

First Line:
Sometimes I think about when I was little, and my older brothers would take me out to fly kites.

Random Quotes/Excerpts:
I couldn't look away from him. The breeze tossed my hair, bit against my jacket, and all I could do was watch this mercurial boy.
     His piercing gaze still holding mine, his fingers eased toward my face. I closed my eyes as his skin brushed mine, his thumb tracing a path across my cheek.
     Behind me a seagull called, its cry piercing the air.
     And the spell was broken.
     Beckett cleared his throat, dropped his hand. "It was..."
     Insanity. Ridiculous. A moment of crazy.
     It was seconds of heart-twisting awe.
     "It was a bug."

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.


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