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If You Find Me | [Emily Murdoch]

If You Find Me

Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa have lived in the woods with their mother for as long as they can remember. Now abandoned, they must fend for themselves - until they’re found by Carey’s father and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of comfort. Carey desperately wants to believe in this new reality but is held back by loyalty to her mentally ill mother, who gave Carey her violin and taught her to play the music that helps her survive.
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Publisher's Summary

A deeply compelling mix of high school drama and page-turning mystery that asks profound questions about family, truth, and love

Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa have been living in the woods with their mother for as long as they can remember; the sheltering trees and a broken-down camper are all they know. But what they’ve never been told is that Carey vanished from the real world ten years ago, when their mother took her, causing an uproar in the media - and in her father’s life.

Now, abandoned by the mother they trusted, they’re often left alone for long periods of time to fend for themselves - but, in one moment, everything changes. They’re found by Carey’s father and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world, one of shopping malls, shiny appliances, new clothes, and mouth-watering food. Carey desperately wants to believe in this new reality but is held back by a deep and painful loyalty to her mentally ill mother, who gave Carey her violin and taught her how to play the soaring music that helps her survive.

And then there’s the other piece of Carey’s past that haunts her, the story of what happened to her and Jenessa on that dark night in the woods - the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Will Carey ever be able to trust her father and his family enough to fit into this new life? Will Jenessa finally break her silence and ruin the cocoon of safety that Carey’s built so carefully around them? And what will happen if the secret comes out?

©2013 Emily Murdoch (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc

What the Critics Say

“Grabbed me by the heart on page one and didn’t let go till the very last word. Murdoch’s language is lovely, her storytelling gripping.” (Carol Lynch Williams, PEN Award-winning author of The Chosen One)

“Within two pages, I was so hopelessly hooked, I felt like the story had attached itself to me…Original and suspenseful, but most of all, it was Carey’s voice that had me flipping the pages…One of those books you devour.” (Jennifer Brown, author of Hate List)

“Searing…Hurt my heart and will probably haunt my dreams—a beautiful book about survival, identity, family, love, and so much more.” (Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (178 )
5 star
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4.4 (162 )
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4.5 (161 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-05-14
    The Reading Date CA, United States 02-05-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heartfelt and Harrowing"

    Emily Murdoch’s debut novel and is heartfelt, harrowing, and lovely all at once. This is a tough issue book about abuse and survival that is hard to hear/read at times but very powerful and uplifting too. Tai Sammons’ performance makes the story feel even more realistic.

    If You Find Me is the story of 15-year-old Carey and her 5-year-old sister Jenessa. They live in the woods in a camper with their unstable mother who frequently leaves them alone to find drugs. Carey is more like a mother than a sister to Jenessa and they only have each other to rely on. One day, Carey’s father and a social worker suddenly appear to rescue them from the woods. Now they must adjust to life in the real world, including school, technology, what to wear, and how to act. But the woods still haunt them in various ways, and secrets can’t be kept forever.

    The descriptive writing would sometimes distract me with its elegance and I’d get lost in the story. Even though the subject matter is disturbing, Murdoch adds lighter moments like a new friend, or a cute dog, to brighten the mood. But at the same time there are certain recollections of Carey’s that hurt like a kick in the gut. The reader learns about Carey’s backstory through flashbacks that hint at the mystery behind Jenessa losing her voice.

    Carey has an artistic spirit and a unique way of thinking and expressing herself. She is such a mature character, that it was easy to relate to her from one mother to another, even though she’s still a teen. The sisterly bond is strong understandably, and I rooted for them both to get some well-deserved peace and happiness. My heart soared with each small victory on their journey, and ached for the pain that lingered.

    Tai Sammons’ reads the audiobook, and this is my first experience with her narration. Her dialect is spot on and she conveys Carey’s emotional state of being well. The book is set in Tennessee and Sammons’ gives the book an authentic feel with her Southern accent. Sammons’ gets to use her talents on different types of voices like the mean girl, authority figures, and a child’s voice for Jenessa. I’d listen to this narrator again- she delivers a strong, nuanced performance that made me feel all the emotions. Though the book is powerful on its own, the audiobook made me connect even more with the story.

    If You Find Me is a great choice for realistic contemporary readers, and one you won’t want to put down.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hill Tennessee 07-03-13
    J. Hill Tennessee 07-03-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Really good book."
    What did you love best about If You Find Me?

    The premise of the story was very interesting. A person often reads about a mother and children who go missing and presume they are either dead or hiding from the violent father/husband. This book makes you rethink this.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The way that the oldest daughter fought to keep her sister safe.


    Which character – as performed by Tai Sammons – was your favorite?

    The oldest daughter.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John PLAISTOW, NH, United States 06-14-13
    John PLAISTOW, NH, United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I really enjoyed this book"
    Where does If You Find Me rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Ranks very high


    What was one of the most memorable moments of If You Find Me?

    Getting evaluated for placement in the school


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The step sister comming around


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    it is a great story

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Centerville, TN, United States 05-11-13
    Diane Centerville, TN, United States 05-11-13
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    "One of the best books I have ever listened to!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of If You Find Me to be better than the print version?

    Yes, this was read by Tai Sammons and much feeling came forth.


    What did you like best about this story?

    When Carey found out the truth about what happened to her.


    Which character – as performed by Tai Sammons – was your favorite?

    Carey for sure. Nessia was great too.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If you find me.


    Any additional comments?

    I originally got this as a library book. Then because I loved it so much I bought both the audio and the kindle version of it. Thank You very much!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Virginia Beach, VA 04-20-13
    Lauren Virginia Beach, VA 04-20-13 Member Since 2006
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    "So worth a credit!"

    I was riveted by this book. I usually want my credits to be used for longer titles but this book is outstanding. Narrator was perfect. I listened to it in about 24 hours but every time I re-started the app, the cover graphic was so poignant. It's really just a great listen, excellent book and worthy performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karstensmom Rensselaer, IN United States 04-10-13
    karstensmom Rensselaer, IN United States 04-10-13
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    "Well-written characters, good story!"

    Tai Sammons really brings this book to life. I truly enjoyed this book! The author does a beautiful job with the characters and storylines.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Los Banos, CA, United States 09-26-14
    sherry Los Banos, CA, United States 09-26-14 Member Since 2011

    Audio books have opened my world so much. I have been a member for a few years and i plan on being a member for many more years <3

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    "I Love This Book!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to all my friends because its a wonderful book about strength, loyal, and love shines through.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of If You Find Me?

    When Carey finally gets to confront her dad, and tell him her secret.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Carey's sister knows there is something is wrong with shortly the dog.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, also this is a book i will listen to many more times.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is really worth the credit. You wont be sorry!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 08-18-14
    Douglas Owen Sound, ON, Canada 08-18-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Lots of potential"
    Would you consider the audio edition of If You Find Me to be better than the print version?

    I don't know I've only listened tot eh audio edition. I'd like to see the print one... just to see if the audio edition missed a few pages though.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Emily Murdoch? Why or why not?

    Yes, I'd be willing to give this author another listen. While I do have some issues with the book itself I did enjoy the story overall.


    What does Tai Sammons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator helps carry the story along, providing distinct voices to most characters and just provides polish to the story.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    A few scenes could have moved me if they'd been executed better.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know if it's the author's fault or the narrator's but there's spots in the book where scenes shift without much lead in. For example, in one scene Carey and her family are around the table eating. An argument breaks out. Carey's dad says he'll talk with Del (Carey's step-sister) after dinner. He never does and the author loses a chance for some character development.

    The book could be 4 or 5 stars, except that it feels more like a teen-fiction checklist. It sometimes felt like the author had a checklist and she was writing stuff to cross those items off rather then a full story. There was quite a bit of insta-love going around too.

    I did really like the idea and quite a bit of the story. It was the execution that brought the quality down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikki overland park, KS, United States 08-15-14
    Nikki overland park, KS, United States 08-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW...just WOW"

    This is not my typical book choice but it was on sale so I grabbed it and Wow. Just WOW! I wish I was good at reviews because I know I wont do this book justice! What a heartbreaking, great, powerful story. This book really makes you think. I can't imagine living their lives. The characters were great! Carrie is AMAZING! And what an exceptional person! The way she took care of her sister and everything! Janessa...loved her... Her Dad & Melissa were great & even though the step sister was "the way she was"; you understood her too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 07-25-14
    Judy 07-25-14 Member Since 2011

    I have nearly 400K miles on my van and I listen to a LOT of audiobook! I'm a musician and I listen as I travel from concert to concert.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please AUDIBLE, Display YA if SO!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    About halfway through this book it began to dawn on me that it seemed to be written for a younger audience. I looked it up and ...SURE ENOUGH...it's designed YA. This is the second time this has happened to me on AUDIBLE and I'm sort of miffed. I'm well over the age of 15!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Emily Murdoch again?

    Only if she writes something that's not written for teens.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I can't even answer this question.


    Was If You Find Me worth the listening time?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    PLEASE let your members know when a book is YA!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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