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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

ARC Review: Where You'll Find Me & Author Giveaway!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25666024-where-you-ll-find-me?from_search=true&search_version=service

Please note:  I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher as part of Read Write Love's Sunday Street Team.  This has not influenced the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From GoodReads):

In this powerful and buoyant YA novel, a thirteen-year-old girl learns to navigate the shifting loyalties of friendships in middle school and deals with challenges at home.

The beginning of the eighth grade is not what Anna thought it would be. Her lifelong best friend has ditched her for the cool kids, and her mom is in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Anna finds herself where she least expects to: living with her dad, his young new wife, and their baby, and starting a new year at school without a best friend. With help from some unlikely sources, including a crazy girl-band talent show act, Anna learns that sometimes you find what you need to pull you through in the most unlikely places.

Review:

When I first read the description of the book, Where You'll find me, by Natasha Friend, I was immediately interested.   Middle School is a time of huge transitions from child to teen.  I had a similar experience of getting dumped by my best friend when I was 15, so I could relate to the main character on a very personal level.  

The story centers on Anna, who is facing not only getting dumped by her best friend, but the aftermath of her mother's suicide attempt.  While her mom is in the hospital, Anna must live with her estranged dad and his wife (who is only 10 years older than Anna!).  Anna feels anger, guilt, embarrassment, and loneliness as she tries to make sense of all these changes.

While I have never dealt with suicide in my family, my parents often fought in front of others and it seemed that the whole neighborhood knew about my parents screaming matches.  I was often very self-conscious about this.  So I felt that the book was right on target as it showed how embarrassing and upsetting it is to have well-meaning teachers give you the "if you need to talk" sympathy speech. 

At first, I felt so sad for this girl.  So many awful thing were happening to her at once.  I felt like, wow, is this kid going to make it?  Anna's journey mirrors her mother's; she is dumped by her best friend just as her mother is abandoned by her husband.  Although Anna is not bipolar like her mom, she does go through some understandable depression and then she slowly emerges from it.

The author also showed how relationships change over time.
As we move from preteen to teen, most people wind up drifting from their old friends to other groups of kids.  They find their tribe.   At first, Anna has no no one to sit with at lunch and settles for hanging out with the weird kids.  Over time, Anna starts to see these girls for who they really are.  These are smart, creative, fun individuals who draw Anna out of her shell and help her regain her self-confidence.

I liked that the book didn't have instant solutions to Anna's issues.  Her (and her mother's) journey back to normalcy came in baby steps.  From developing new friendships, to finding a way to come to terms with her parent's divorce, Anna grows up.  She learns to accept what happened and to forgive herself for her anger and guilt.

I found this to be a wonderful book.  It was difficult to read, at times, due to how sad it made me.  But then, slowly, I could see hope for Anna, her family and her friends.  I hope that many teens read this book and can see it's message of hope.

Rating: 


Release Date:  March 8th, 2016

Source: Obtained from publisher via NetGalley

Format:  E-book

Recommendation: This book deals with some difficult issues in an entertaining and hopeful way. 

Would I read more from this author?  Yes. 


About the Author:
Natasha Friend--wearer of silly hats, lover of press-on mustaches, admirer of Gloria Steinem, devotee of well-named nail polish shades--is also an author. When she is not writing books, you will find her playing Wiffle ball, turning cartwheels, making chocolate-chip pancakes, singing, dancing, and wishing she was in a talent show. Natasha lives in Connecticut with her husband, three kids, and dog. Where You'll Find Me is her sixth novel. Visit her online at natashafriend.com

The author  has graciously done a rafflecopter giveaway:  Enter for a chance to win!



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2 comments :

  1. Sounds like a great book. I don't usually enjoy sad books, but this one sounds like it has a lot of meaning.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for joining SST! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book :)

    ReplyDelete




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