Monday, September 5, 2011

Review of There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

Rating: 5 Stars
~  ~  ~
Synopsis from Thomas Nelson: 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?

Review:   Are you a young adult?  Do you enjoy vampire films? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you will love Jenny B. Jones' latest contribution to young adult fiction, There You'll Find Me.  If, like me, you answered "no" to one or both of the questions, you will still love There You'll Find Me.  When a book is a worthwhile read, it should not be boxed into just one or two categories, and Jenny B. Jones proves just that as she introduces her readers to Finley, an older teen, whose personal growth is being smothered by the overwhelming loss that she feels since the death of her older brother.  With bits of the trademark humor found in Jones' previous novels, like Save the Date, readers experience the wonders of Ireland, teenage relationships, and self-discovery along with Finley.  In past novels, Jones has tackled issues, like changing family dynamics, illness, and foster homes, but this novel presents the effects of grief and other challenges that many young women battle each day in a realistic manner.  You do not need to be a young adult to identify with both Finley and Beckett.  They struggle with fears and insecurities that are felt by both the young and old alike.  

Jenny B. Jones' beautifully demonstrates the bridge between generations by introducing Mrs.  Sweeney.   While Mrs. Sweeney is a supporting character in this novel, her story and its impact on Finley adds a depth to the novel that is emotionally stirring.   In the acknowledgments of There You''ll Find Me, Jenny B. Jones writes, "this book kicked my tail,"  but I believe that it is her best work to date.   Only the most talented authors can successfully craft a novel that incorporates romance, humor, grief, illness, and family relationships that remain relevant to any age group. It is clear that Jenny B. Jones knows and understands teens, but she also knows that we always remain part of who we were yesterday.    

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Thomas Nelson Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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