Monday, August 29, 2016

Unwrapping a Review of DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown

I love a good mystery, so when a William Morrow publicist asked if I’d like to read a copy of an upcoming new suspense release by a debut author—not romance by the way—with the following blurb, I quickly agreed. I didn’t expect it to get lost in the mail and take two years to find me, but it was rather worth the wait. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown was released July 2014 but like I always say, it’s never too late to read any book.

***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review


When a 14-year-old runs away, her parents turn to social media to find her-launching a public campaign that will expose their darkest secrets and change their family forever, in this suspenseful and gripping debut for fans of Reconstructing Amelia and Gone Girl.

Don't try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley's hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have "limited resources." If they want their 14-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches

But Marley isn't the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It's not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it's discovered that she's lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley's disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?

~*~            ~*~            ~*~             ~*~

Fourteen-year-old Marley Willits has disappeared. She was dropped off at school like usual but when her mother arrives home later, she finds a note on the fridge – Don’t try to find me. I’ll be okay. I’ll be better. I love you.

A parent’s worst nightmare as Rachel, Marley’s mother tries to figure out why her daughter has gone missing and if she is somehow responsible for pushing her to run away. Whereas Rachel is nearly hysterical, her husband Paul is much more sensible. When the police tell them they can only do so much, he springs into action using social media and starting up a website to do everything he can think of to find his daughter and convince her to come home. Meanwhile, young Marley is very aware of what she is doing, and is doing her best to cover her tracks so she will never be found.

Let me start by saying that I truly enjoyed this book, even when Rachel's self-absorption began to grate on my last nerve. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a roller coaster of emotion. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare in this age of the Internet, social media, and technology which allow a child to reach out further into the world than ever before, but which also might open up everyone’s lives to danger, and scrutiny, more extensively than ever as well. While Rachel and Paul are searching for Marley, their lives, marriage, and secrets slowly begin to unravel. Their marriage, not very stable to begin with, slowly begins to crumble as the cracks in their marital foundation fall victim to the weight of scrutiny by bloggers and social media trolls. When the reasons for Marley’s attempt to vanish with a college student she meets online finally surface, those cracks threaten to become irreparable.

DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a gripping, emotional, eye opening look to the world of dangers, which our young adults are facing in today's world. It is a far more dangerous world for them to maneuver than it was for us in the pre-world wide web society in which we grew up. Stranger danger has always existed but predators have so many new tricks up their sleeves than just would you like a piece of candy, little girl? Yes, all turns out well for this family and the reasons fall to a young girl’s anxieties, feelings of isolation, and wanting some control over her life but what young girl hasn't felt all of those things as she begins to grow into an adult? The only thing about this book that I would change is not being inside Rachel’s head. Her narrative, whereas it assisted us in learning how she felt about her parents, her mother in particular, and the young man she thought she knew from her exchanges online, was too young for me, too disjointed at times. It was the YA—young adult—aspect of what could have truly been an incredible emotional and suspenseful read that kept me from loving this book.

However, I do highly recommend reading DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown…especially if you’re raising kids in this modern world or thinking about doing so. It’s an amazing lesson is parenting in the 21st century.

Happy Reading Everyone!

DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown, William Morrow Publishing, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.

1 comment:

CrystalBee said...

Well, I guess you could say it tried to find you... And it succeeded! Great review. I love books like this. Gonna have to get my copy out and read it.