Saturday, August 24, 2013

There You'll Find Me


Author: Jenny B. Jones
Release Date:  October 4th, 2011
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre(s): YA Contemporary, Christian Fiction
Pages: 314

Summary (Goodreads):
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 Minor Spoilers~

         Right off the bat I’ll tell you- I have a bit of a bias on anything Jenny B Jones.  She’s witty, she’s sassy, she’s deep, and she writes Christian fiction.  To me that’s like the all kill. I’ve read her Charmed Life series and Save the Date, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the other stuff she’s written.

         There You’ll Find Me is a gorgeous book about a girl whose lost her brother- and her self- and is trying to reclaim it in Ireland. 

“This is Ireland, Finley.  It’s rough. It’s wild. And it is holy.”

I don’t usually like to use quotes, but that one by the *sah-woon* worthy Beckett Rush pretty much sums up Ireland.  The details about the place are amazing, and Ms. Jenny does great justice to this picturesque land.  One of my favorite scenes is when Finley and Beckett visit the Cliffs of Moher.  The way she describes it, it’s so powerful and so beautiful.    I understand why she chose Ireland as the place where Finley finally finds peace through God.  In the beauty and the strength of this place, it’s impossible not to feel and see God in everything.

I love Finley! She’s so very strong, yet fragile, and a bit sassy to boot ;).   She’s also very real. Though I couldn’t relate to her situation specifically, I related to her as a person.   Finley goes through all the Christian teenager stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis: friends, enemies, drama, boy troubles, temptation.  I thought her name- warrior- was very appropriately chosen!:) 

I also love how Ms. Jenny dealt with doubt.  Who doesn’t have doubt from time to time?  It’s hard to keep the faith when that very faith had a major shakeup and it seems like God’s not talking.  But ultimately, as Ms. Jenny shows, God’s love wins over all.  Even if we can’t hear Him through all that junk in our lives, eventually He’ll come through and He’s faithful to us until the end.

Now, Beckett Rush.
Beckett, Beckett, Beckett.  He’s like the ideal guy we all wish existed, but sadly, doesn’t. 
An actual personality: check (should be a given… but sadly in YA it’s like a Golden Ticket)                                               
Bad-boy attitude that hides softy interior: Check.
Treats girls like they SHOULD be treated: check.                              No insta love: CHECK AND MATE.
 If there’s one thing I hate the most (besides cliffhangers, and ya know, Rick Hangers) its insta- love.  **more on that below**
Beckett is fully fleshed out- no cardboard character here.   He has his own issues too-overbearing dad, fame- and we see his satisfying resolution as well. 

**WARNING: Mini rant starting.  Proceed with caution**
 It brings absolutely no depth into their characters, and it’s a MAJOR turn off.  Where’s the chemistry? The courting, the flowers, the complements, the bickering ?  I want to be able to root for their relationship because they actually know each other and I was there to witness their interactions.  If they just fall in love likethis, I don’t feel any attachment to their relationship, and whatever happens to them (“Oh noes! Eddie fell off that cliff and will now have to go through an extremely painful journey to come back to his eternal love, whom he met an hour ago!  Is he going to die? Is he EVER going to be reunited with his eternal love? Oh the suspense!”), I could care less (“Eternal love? Uh please, girlfriend, they met an hour ago.”).  It’s so satisfying when those characters that had been flirting and bantering throughout the entire novel finally come together, and you could do a small “I-knew-it!”dance.   What could more fun that than?   (Ms. Jones obviously understands our need for a “Yes! They-finally-got-together!” conga line. )    
*End rant*

Besides Finley and Beckett, two of my favorite characters are Mrs. Sweeny and Sister Maria.  Mrs. Sweeny is hilarious! She has so much life- but also a lot of bitterness and regret.  Her story is a sad one, but she teaches Finley on how to let go-before learning it herself.   Sister Maria is the steady hand/ mentor in the novel.  She is very mischievous and also has her own brand of humor (she changes her Facebook relationship status from ‘single’ to ‘it’s complicated’, stating that she’s waiting to see how long it takes the priest to catch on LOL).

Overall, this was a great read- definitely one of my favorites.  I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

Rating: 5 out of 5

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