Hello, hello! I'm Kayla, a twenty-year-old girl with a penchant for Young Adult novels. Bookishly Spellbound is my little corner of the web where you'll find my thoughts on the books I am reading and the occasional fangirling over other stuff I enjoy.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren that allows book bloggers to showcase the books they’ve received in the past week, whether it be your own purchases, from publishers, library checkouts, borrowed, won, etc.


Unbroken by Melody Grace That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard True by Erin McCarthy Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


I’ve acquired a lot of great books over the past few weeks – some purchased or gifted, some from NetGalley and a few from the publishers themselves!

Unbroken by Melody Grace (for review)
That Time I Joined the Circus by J.J. Howard (NetGalley)
True by Erin McCarthy (NetGalley)
Crash by Lisa McMann (free from local theater when I saw The Host, and yes, I’ll be having a giveaway with the extra copy! ;) )
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (purchased)
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead (NetGalley)
If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (from publisher – thanks St. Martin’s Griffin!) — Read my review here
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (purchased)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (NetGalley)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (from publisher via NetGalley – thanks St. Martin’s Griffin!)
Altered by Jennifer Rush (Easter gift from my momma!)

What did you get this week?

REMINDER:
There is only 5 days left to enter the giveaway for Emily Murdoch’s debut novel, If You Find Me. 2 winners will receive a finished copy of the book.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

If You Find Me
by Emily Murdoch
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 256
Source: ARC for review
Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

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.

Review: I wasn’t entirely sure If You Find Me would be the book for me. I had a little trouble adjusting to the backwoods dialect in the beginning, thinking it was just so distracting that I’d never get into the book. But after the first chapter, I grew accustomed to it and realized it appropriately added a bit of character to the novel. Emily Murdoch takes us on a journey into the lives of two sisters who were kidnapped and abused but come to find that a second chance at life isn’t always impossible. If You Find Me is a compelling and emotional debut that I am so happy to have read!

Carey and her younger sister Jenessa were recently abandoned by their drug addicted mother in an old camper in the woods. They’re left thinking she has just gone out for supplies but they soon discover that she has left them when one day, a social worker and a father they can’t remember appear in the woods. Carey and Jenessa are then taken from the life they’ve always known to live with their father and must learn to adjust to living in the real world.

The bond between the sisters was one of the highlights of the novel for me. Though Jenessa didn’t talk much, Carey always had some sort of sixth sense when it came to her sister. They had such a powerful connection that really affected me emotionally. Carey is a mature, level-headed lead character that you can’t help but sympathize with knowing how she had to grow up far too soon so she could raise her sister. But it was Jenessa that I fell in love with. She’s just so precious and I found myself continually wishing I could just scoop this poor child up and give her all the love and care she deserved.

It was so heart wrenching to read about all that these two had survived in their short lives, far more than any child should have to go through. Poor Jenessa eating herself to the point of sickness because all she’s ever known is canned beans had me tearing up, and even Carey being so grateful for something as simple as toothpaste. But it was so fulfilling to see the girls get a real home and family to take care of them. While Jenessa seemed to take to this new life immediately, Carey is left conflicted, constantly warring on whether she should hate her mother for what she put them through and missing the home she’s always known but determined to get comfortable with this new way of living being presented to her, at least for her sister’s sake. The feeling of still having to be the adult seems to be permanently ingrained in her and I was constantly yearning for her to realize she could just lay back and finally be a kid.

The ending was a little too abrupt for my tastes; I would have enjoyed a short epilogue to see what things could’ve been like for Carey and Jenessa in the future. But all in all, Murdoch beautifully tells a touching story that held my rapt interest until the very last page was turned.

Giveaway

St. Martin’s Press has been kind enough to offer up two finished hardcover copies of If You Find Me for two lucky readers! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only and will end on 4/11. Please read the rest of the terms & conditions in the Rafflecopter form below.
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