Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: There You'll Find Me

Book being reviewed: There You'll Find Me
I give this book:
5 out of 5 owls!

 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?

Some would disagree with my rating of 5 out of 5 owls for this book, but I would have to stand firm behind this decision.  My decision is mainly based on how much I can relate to Finley and her story.  While I haven't lost a loved one, I have, however, been through some very trying times over the last year and a half which lead to some of the most difficult days I've faced thus far in my life.  Also like Finley, I didn't rely on my faith in God while going through those hard times.  I was stumbling along blindly in the darkness never searching for His light to lead the way.  I eventually hit my breaking point and turned to my faith to pull me through.  It hasn't been easy, but I've realized that I don't have to face my hardships alone, all I need is prayer and to have faith.  And you know what?  I've been much happier and have found an inner peace since then.  Just like Finley.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not some crazy, Bible-thumpin' Christian who's going to condemn you to hell for not believing, that's not me.  I was just simply saying I could relate to Finley's story and her renewed faith in God.  So please, if you don't believe, don't degrade me or tell me how I'm believing in a god that doesn't exist.  I respect you, you respect me -- to each their own.  Besides, this was still a great book to read!!

The two characters that I absolutely adored most in the book were Mrs. Sweeney and Erin.   I knew there was something more to Mrs Sweeney than that surly, mad at the world demeanor she first portrayed.  That bad attitude was something she used as an armor to protect herself from the world.  She knew people judged her for the mistakes she made without anybody really knowing why she made the choices she did.  All she ever cared about was protecting her sister and her son, but most never knew that. 

I won't deny the fact that I shed some tears when Mrs. Sweeney died.  It was sad that she finally received her sister's forgiveness at the very end of her life, but I'm glad she still did nonetheless.  She was able to pass on into the next life with a clear conscience and with more love in her heart than she had felt in years.  Life isn't always fair, and in Mrs. Sweeney's case, it most definitely wasn't.  She deserved to pass on with her soul at peace.  

Poor, poor Erin.  This girl was one of the sweetest characters I've ever seen in a book.  She was so kindhearted and nice to everyone, yet she was the most bullied by Beatrice and her crew.  Even though there was obviously a romantic connection bubbling between Finley and Beckett, I was silently hoping Beckett would take Erin as his date to the dance.  What better way to get back at the bully than to be the date of the most popular movie star on the planet?   Beatrice's evil ways knew no bounds when she wanted something exactly her way.  Erin being Beckett's date showed Beatrice that she couldn't control everyone's lives.  

Erin was also the first to hone in on Finley's possible battle with an eating disorder and the poor girl tried so hard to help Finley, to get Finley to talk to her, but Finley wouldn't because she was in denial.  Erin seemed to be mistreated the most in the book, it seemed she was even mistreated by Finley sometimes.  Not that I think Finley would intentionally hurt her, just that the eating disorder caused Finley to act selfishly at times which can hurt those closest to you.  

And because I usually do, we'll touch base on the lead male character, Beckett.  The Irish-born, American-raised, famous movie star had his moments where I felt I was being swept off my feet right along with Finley.   Between the accent, the charm, his devastatingly good looks, it seemed Beckett Rush had it all.  You eventually find out that this heartthrob is carrying around a ton of problems that have been weighing him down for years.  

Like Finley, Beckett was also in denial.  He lived each day thinking that he had to do what he was told and live this fake life that the media portrayed because his dad had convinced him that that's how he was suppose to live.  It was amazing to watch the two main characters come together and help each other while figuring out who they themselves were. 

Just for the inspirational aspect alone, I would highly recommend this book.  But I would also recommend this book simply because it was a refreshingly good read, and there were also many lines in the book that brought me many good laughs.  Jenny B. Jones is a very talented writer with a very quirky sense of humor.  If you pick up a copy from the store or a library, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Happy reading, Bookworms,

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