*I received an ARC from the author. The book will be available from St. Martin's Press on March 26, 2013.*
Easily one of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful books I've EVER read, If You Find Me grabs you at page 1 and doesn't let go. We join Carey and Janessa on a journey of acceptance and self-discovery that will pull your heart in all kinds of directions. It's truly a joy to share Carey's ups and devastating to experience her lows, but the book gives Carey, and us, an opportunity to find inner-strength. She has to deal with so much so quickly--meeting the father she hasn't seen since she was younger than Janessa, trying to distinguish the lies her mother told her from the the truth her father tries to help her understand, a step-sister who fears being the laughingstock of school because of Carey's presence in her classes, and the boy she grew up with who hoped and prayed she'd come back. For a girl overwhelmed at the gestures of clean, store-bought clothes, Carey handles everything with a dignity and grace that only being Janessa's caretaker in an RV in the middle of a national park forest could provide her. Her strength is truly astounding, and her selflessness is overwhelming. She truly had to grow up ahead of her time.
Murdoch ends the book on a purposeful cliffhanger. Not one that makes you wish and pray for a second book (though I certainly would not argue if we got a sequel), but one that makes you think. Really, it ends at the perfect place--Carey has finally come to terms with basically her entire life now. She almost has this zen moment after she confesses the mystery of the "White Star Night" that she mentions here and there throughout the story. It was a strange feeling of completion for me as a reader, almost like letting out a breath that was held for too long.