Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

The Basics:
Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher
Entangled: Teen
YA, Romance
Published Jan 7, 2014

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


When Hanley Helton discovers a boy living in her garage, she knows she should kick him out. But Nate is too charming to be dangerous. He just needs a place to get away, which Hanley understands. Her own escape methods—vodka, black hair dye, and pretending thepast didn't happen—are more traditional, but who is she to judge? Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley¹s trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate¹s recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn'tsure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.

Why I picked up this book:

Who doesn't want to fall in love with a hot guy living in their garage?

My thoughts:

I pick books up for the most superficial reasons, and then they turn out to be full of heartwrenching material. Up front, I read to escape. I want to enrich my life by living as many lives as possible via reading. I can fall in love for the first time over and over, rule kingdoms, learn how to cast magic, save the day, solve the murder, catch the bad guy - the sky's the limit when I read. So, as you can imagine, I have to make a very conscious decision to pick up books with heavier material in them.

This book managed to be both a fun teen read, but also about very real and heartbreaking issues. I won't spoil any of it, because part of the book's journey is working through the revelations as the characters are ready and/or forced to confront them. Certainly, there's a lot of grief and guilt and love in this book, and they're not fluffed off in favour of a romance.

Hanley's a typical teen in that she feels isolated by her own view of the world, her own experiences, her emotions. She's trying to avoid feeling anything too deep by launching herself into a world of partying and superficial friendships. When she finds Nate living in her garage, she's forced to confront some hard truths. I can only imagine what it would feel like to discover someone so like herself - a teenager from a reasonably well-off family - forced, for whatever reason, into homelessness in the middle of the winter. It strips away petty concerns, bringing Hanley's own pain that much closer to the surface.

Nate's another one of those mysterious good-looking guys with a secret. I like what this book does with his character - he's a source of emotional strength and turmoil for Hanley and I like that he's not in a position to save the day for her.

Bottom line:

I definitely recommend this one. I think that what Hanley and Nate are both going through is something worth pausing for and really considering. I'd love to sit and chat about this one with a group of friends (or fellow readers... future friends?)

4.5 stars
For fans of YA with depth, teen romance, stories of grief and loss.

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