There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Thomas Nelson, 314 Pages
Source: Bought the Audiobook
Age Group: Young Adult
Recommended for: Fans of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
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 can’t believe that I waited so long to get to this book. It absolutely blew me away.
Finley was such a real character; she grieved in more ways than one and with no one to really turn to (especially in a foreign country), she looked for her faith in the landscape of Ireland, where her murdered brother, Will, felt closest to his own faith. She struggled to understand the beauty that Will saw while he studied abroad, and my heart ached for her as she missed the importance and beauty of life in the present. This girl was broken in a way that no one but herself would be able to fix. The pacing for her story was absolutely perfect; nothing ever felt rushed – feelings and relationships developed naturally.
The minor characters of this story were also so clear in my mind – the mother of your closest friend who treats you like one of her own, in this case the host-mom. The best friend who only wants what’s best for you. The mean girl at school. They were “stereotypic” characters written in a way that was unconventionally conventional. What I’m trying to say is that they were written well and weren’t just cookie cutter characters meant to be place holders for real people. The host family of Sean, Nora, Liam, and Erin – with all of their strange quirks (Liam and his legos!) and their quaint family-run Bed and Breakfast made the environment feel warm and cozy. And the setting of Ireland itself whisked me away to a world of accents, stews, and Celtic crosses.
There was also more than one plot going on in this book and each was intricately woven into Finley’s story and gave her such a three-dimensional feel. I didn’t feel jerked back and forth between all of the plots and people, and enjoyed every moment of the book while I was in it yet still itched to find out what happened next in the other plots. It really drove home the point that Finely’s life wasn’t all about ONE thing (a cute boy, acing a final, grieving, finding her faith, etc) but that she had to handle all of these things at the same time, much like real life. And the faith portion of the book was incorporated in a way that didn’t feel “preachy” or overly-religious.
Does the whole “movie star falls for girl-next-door” thing sound cheesy? Perhaps, but don’t pretend like you haven’t enjoyed a story like that before! Besides, this is so much more than that.
My friend, Tatiana, said that she’s wary of contemporary books right now because too many of them are discussing grief and death, and although There You’ll Find Me discusses both of these things, it also focuses on hope.
There You’ll Find Me was a humorous and heartbreaking read. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel. I highly recommend this book to contemporary lovers, especially if you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars by John Green or The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta.