book review :: if you find me by emily murdoch

18 March 2014

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: May 2nd 2013
Pages: 292
Source: Gifted
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sociology, Realistic Fiction, Family
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
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 the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away 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.
“Emily Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful…. book that charts the best and worst of humanity, especially family, with characters who worm their way into your heart… She validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it.” – Booklist (Starred Review) -goodreads
How is this a debut? Stunning, poignant, beautiful; If You Find Me is a striking novel that explores the themes of child neglect and unquenchable bravery, hope and determination. The way this book was written: words weaving across the page with raw but beautiful assurance which captured the heart and soul of the characters perfectly, made me want to stay in Casey's world for much longer than until the end of the book.
 “I answer her with my silence, understanding the full power of it for the first time. Words are weapons. Weapons are powerful. So are unsaid words. So are unused weapons.” - if you find me by emily murdoch
Within the pages of this book, Emily Murdoch creates a realistic protagonist, that of an abused child, who has a refreshingly unique outlook on life compared to others in her situation. With most of the characters I have read with similar backgrounds, that person has acted out, gone off the rails, disobeyed every rule they can. However, the author shows that some, like Casey, walk down the path of the other extreme. She obeys every rule, is politeness personified, and hovers around those she feels safe with like a fly afraid to irritate someone lest they swat them away.
“We make attachments to what's familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That's human. We make the best of what we're given.” - if you find me by emily murdoch
Casey was such a strong character that I immediately connected with her. Her matter-of-fact way of talking made it easy to understand her thoughts and feelings, and emphasized her distress and torment even more. She was so acceptant of her situation, of her past and present, that my heart ached for her - and i wished that the barrier of paper-thin pages would vanish so I could help her, just help her, in any way I could. Because she didn't deserve it. No-one in her situation deserves it. And no-one should have to deal with what she had to.
“My life's a tangle of past and present, like two separate puzzles with their pieces tumbled together. Nothing fits.” - if you find me by emily murdoch.
I honestly can't say anything bad about this book. If You Find Me is one of the most underrated books I have ever read and I can't believe it hasn't won award after award after award. Because it deserves it. Tragic and heartbreaking, it is about two girls against the world, about neglect and about love. Sisterly love, unpredictable love, familial love; it encompasses love in many different shades, with many different meanings and roots - and it is a book you should not miss. My rating: 


  1. I have been wanting to read this book FOREVER! I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, it makes me want to read this book even more now! Lovely review :)

    1. SO WHY HAVEN'T YOU? :P Really, go and stalk your library for it. ;) And thank you. :D

  2. Oh my does this book sound good. I love books that explore, not only romantic relationships, but other ones too. This sounds like a really powerful book and I really want to see if they have it in the library now! I feel sorry for the MC already... :'(

    Great review!

    1. IT ISSSSS <3 Yes, it's really refreshing and wonderful and gah.
      Go to your library then?..;)

  3. Right, I have been totally meaning to comment on this review because THIS BOOK IS AMAZING.

    Is it weird that I want to congratulate you for enjoying it? Because I do. SO WELL DONE FOR ENJOYING THIS BOOK. *pats Hawwa's head in approval*

    I definitely agree this book is totally underrated… like, really, we need to make up an award so we can give it one. ;) But seriously, I have never read a review which has had me nodding my head like this one – I totally agree with everything you've said. Especially "it encompasses love in many different shades" as that is SO true.

    Eeek I can't wait for Emily Murdoch's new book! I don't know what it's about or even the release date but I WANT. *grabby hands* I hope it has another wonderful protagonist like Casey – she was SO realistic!

    Anyways, beauuuutiful review Hawwa (as expected) and I'm glad you loved this one too! :D


      It is, and you know what, I think I might..;) The Extremely Underrated Book Award...Haha I hope your neck doesn't hurt...Thank youuuuu :)

      NOR CAN I. It comes out in toooooo long though. I need it now.:( I hope so too, but i have complete faith in her! :P

      Thhhaaankk yooouuu :)

  4. I didn't know about this book until now, but it sounds amazing (and your review is awesomely written. I love the descriptions :D) The two sisters sound like they'd be wonderful to read about, and I love books that have close sisters so I'm gonna go add this one to my TBRs.

  5. I cant BELIEVE it has taken you so long to read this. Amazing book <3

  6. I really can't believe that I STILL haven't yet read this book. What am I doing with my life?

  7. I just bought this with my Christmas money (mostly because I liked the cover - shouldn't judge by that, I know, but it was really pretty!) Now I really can't wait to read it.


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