Wednesday, November 28, 2012

There You'll Find Me (book review)

When I picked this book up off the shelf at my church library, I wasn't really expecting it to be all that special. I took one look at the cover and expected just another fluffy Christian romance. (it's a bit very depressing to look at the teen section in our church library ~ mostly romance. And the public library? Don't even get me started.) But I was proved wrong by Jenny B. Jones's novel There You'll Find Me.
(as to why I picked it up in the first place if I expected to be disappointed ~ what can I say? I had nothing to read at home, and I'd read part of a review once on the internet...I figured I'd give it a try.)
I'm really glad I did. I'm not going to lie ~ there is a boy-meets-girl subplot. (with a cover like that, you had to know it was coming.) But Jones does a fabulous job with it ~ the few romantic scenes scattered throughout the book aren't over the top mush-and-gush. (it even earned the Sister Stamp of Approval! My younger sister ~ who is completely adverse to romance novels ~ read this book when I was finished, and admitted to me later that she'd even enjoyed it.)

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Finley Sinclair isn't traveling to Ireland for fun; after the death of her her older brother Will, the most important thing to her is her interview at the Manhattan music conservatory. Stuck in a rut and looking for God, she hopes Ireland will give her the fresh perspective she needs. After all, Will traveled the countryside a few years before, and found God ~ why can't she? 
When she reaches Ireland, she finds typical high-school drama, a famous (and handsome) teen actor, and a bitter old lady with a few secrets of her own ~ but not God. Is she doing something wrong? Or has everything she's been looking for been with her all along?

What I liked: Oh, where to start? I'm so pleased with this book, mainly because it kept me guessing. It wasn't a straightforward boy-meets-girl-conflict-happy-ending that I'm used to ~ subplot after subplot kept the pages turning, kept me wondering.
The actor (Beckett.) He was a little bit cliche, but Jones handled his character well. He wasn't just there for the romance ~ he had his own story, his own secrets. He was complex, and I appreciated that.
Finley's motivations. Gah, I hate this whole hinting-around-what-I'm-trying-to-say-so-I-don't-give-it-all-away. It makes everything so much harder. Anyways, I'm doing my best. I loved Finley's internal conflict, her struggles with herself and how she deals with her grief. And all that other stuff that I can't tell you but you'll figure out if you read the book.
The subplot concerning Mrs. Sweeney (the bitter old lady,) and the mystery that surrounds the theft of her sister's fiance.
Erin. (she's the daughter of the people who own the hotel where Finley stays. geez, try saying that ten times fast!) I fell in love with her right away...she's so happy and full of sunshine and cute as anything. When everything seems to be going wrong, every book needs a light spot ~ and a lot of the time, that bright spot was Erin.
The conflict ~ between Finley and Beckett, Finley and Erin, Mrs. Sweeney and her sister, etc. Tons of conflict; no slow spots here.

What I didn't like: How much can I say without spoiling the plotline? For starters, Beckett. (Yes, I know I listed him in the "what I liked category," too. Sh.) I did like his character (and he had his redeeming qualities, as stated above) but the relationship between him and Finley has been done before.
(spoiler warning)
When Finley finally makes things right with God, it's very, um...perfect. She finds the cross that she's looking for, and when she does everything falls into place. She can feel God's presence and everything is finally clear. And I'm totally fine with that happening to her - but all at once, as soon as she finds the cross? Life doesn't always work out so perfectly, and I would have liked to see this portrayed in a more realistic manner.
(end spoiler warning)

Overall, I'll give the characters 7 stars out of ten. While I did enjoy reading about them, they weren't oh-my-gosh-fabulous. They were good, and I loved spending time with them...but I think 7 stars is adequate.
Plotline gets 8 stars. While the basic premise might seem cliche, the many sub-plots (and love able characters) kept me turning pages late into the night. Even though this was supposed to be a Sunday afternoon read, I got most of it done Saturday night.

...realizing how many times I used parenthesis and ~ in this review. Yikes.
...loving my small group
...on the hunt for more books! any suggestions? IrishGirl



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  2. Sweet I'll have to check out that book sometime!!


    1. :) Let me know if you do, okay?

    2. will do!! sorry about those other too comments were deleted by me oops. i did something wrong..

      anyway!! looking forward to read it!!


  3. Ahahahaa, our church library is so sad.



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