July 19, 2013

Review of If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch


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 comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

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If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Publication Date:  March 26, 2013
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Griffin

Available for Purchase:

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

MaryAnn NewThis book killed me!  It brought out so much emotion in me that I honestly didn’t know how to handle it!  I bawled like a baby in the touching moments, I saw red and cried angry tears when reading the horrendous ordeal that these girls had to go through, I shed nervous tears for their first days of school and witnessing Carey’s integration into school.  If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch ripped my heart apart, and made my soul cry.  This is one story that readers will never forget.

Life in the Hundred Acre Woods is the only life that sisters Carey and Janessa know and remember.  And it’s routine for their mother to abandon them in the woods for weeks at a time with very little food.  But this time it’s different.  Their mother doesn’t return.  Instead, a surprise of all surprises finds them deep in the woods…Carey’s birth father.  But after being told by her mother that they ran away from their father because of his abusive ways, it’s not the happiest of all moments.

It appears that Carey and Janessa’s mother finally did something right.  Relinquished her custody of the children and gave it Carey’s father.  But learning how to live in an actual home…with food that they don’t need to ration, clothes that they can pick and choose to wear, warmth, running water and toilet paper, and all other essentials…is a huge step for both girls.

But with a deep, dark secret that looms over both Carey and Janessa, so deep and dark infact that it has caused Janessa to revert into not speaking, what would the consequences be should that secret come out?  Will they both lose the life that they have just become accustomed to?  Will they lose the family (their family) that has so readily opened their arms and accepted them?  Will love and acceptance ever be in their future?

Oh. My. Feels. you guys… Even with the dark and disturbing content that is found in If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, the possible light at the end of the tunnel…that little semblance of hope…kept me going.  I NEEDED to see if these girls were going to be okay.  I NEEDED to know if their drug addicted, abusive, neglectful mother was going to be out of the picture, or if she would re-appear and ruin what has just begun.  I HAD to know if there was going to be a happily ever after!

Author, Emily Murdoch’s writing was amazing.  I could easily picture every single scene in this book.  I could feel the pain and hurt in every word written.  I could hear the crunch of the leaves in the forest, the rumbling of hungry stomachs.  I could smell forest surrounding these girls, and I could smell the filth that they had to live in.  I could almost feel the cold chill of the winters as they huddled together to keep warm.  The raw emotion that is poured out in the writing is so overpowering at times that I felt like I was on emotional overload.  I was so angry at one point, that I literally wanted to throw my reader against the wall and scream “WHY!”.

I can’t even fathom how a mother could be the way Carey and Janessa’s mother is.  How low do you have to be to subject your kids to what these little girls had to go through?  To read about how they basically lived in fear…hungry and alone, except for the two of them.  And I absolutely love the character of Carey.  Against all odds, she fights to the bone and would do anything for her little sister.  She was courageous when she needed to be, on the inside and out… She put her sister before herself and ensure that Janessa wasn’t suffering as bad as she was.  I wanted to reach into this book and hug the living crap out of these girls, and shake the hand of a strong young woman who went above and beyond what was expected of her.

And omg the father/daughter moments.  I couldn’t handle it!  I was sobbing and weeping for Carey and her father, and the life that they missed with each other…which only made me hate and despise the mother even more.  See!  Emotional rollercoaster ride.

I recommend this read to fans who want to enjoy a contemporary read that will absolutely embed itself into your very being.  This is one read that readers everywhere will remember.



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, will be available from St. Martin’s on March 26, 2013 and from Orion/Indigo UK on May 2, 2013.

When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her caring for her horses, dogs and family on a ranch in rural Arizona, where the desert’s tranquil beauty and rich wildlife often enter into her poetry and writing. 

Emily’s other passion is saving equines from slaughter. She uses her writing to raise awareness of this inhumane practice, with the goal of ending the slaughter of America’s equines through transport to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. She offers sanctuary to abused and slaughter-bound equines who dazzle her every day with their forgiving nature and gratitude in exchange for security, consistency, food and love. 

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Emily hopes her penchant for writing will do just that.

All-in-all, she’s a lefty in a right-handed world, writing her way through life and smearing ink wherever she writes.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



  1. This is one of those books that I read,, then cried, then read so more then cried some more. Wonderful review.

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