Thomas Nelson Publishing, 4th October 2011
“There You’ll Find Me” is a Young Adult novel by Christian author, Jenny B. Jones. The story revolves around Finley - an eighteen year old girl, still coming to terms with the death of her older brother. Armed with her brother’s travel journal, she goes to Ireland in an attempt to see and experience the same Ireland he did.
Finley’s journey finds her crossing paths (and butting heads) with a famous teen heartthrob, and a crotchety old woman who is dying of cancer. Both relationships she fights against, but in the end they challenge her to face the truth about herself, her brother – and God.
This year, for the first time in many years, I have been reading YA novels again. And of the several I have waded through lately, “There You’ll Find Me” is definitely my favourite. It’s a more mature YA. Finley has real and relatable issues – without the massive chip-on-the-shoulder. She’s strong, but has to deal with her prejudices.
Beckett, a teen Hollywood star, is more than what is said about him in the gossip magazines. He’s a surprise package, and I loved the banter and misconception that characterized his relationship with Finley. The deepening of their understanding of each other is compelling, and the burgeoning nature of their relationship is tastefully intertwined with the deeper themes of the book.
I really enjoyed the depth brought to this book by the passion and meaning that Finley derives from her music. I also loved the fact I was able to do some armchair traveling of Ireland. I found that these two elements, coupled with Finley’s quest to find a God she feels has gone silent on her, gave this book a warmth and substance I often find lacking in YA novels. Since it’s clear from the beginning that Finley is searching for God, there’s no surprise “witnessing” component from an obscure not-so-likeable character who’s been lurking in the wings just waiting to pounce. This gives the book a genuine, non-preachy quality.
This is quality reading. My only complaint is that it came to an end :). I am truly pleased to have discovered the writing of Jenny B. Jones.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed 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.”