Thursday, February 9, 2012

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones

There You'll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones
October 4, 2011; Thomas Nelson

*I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Summary

Grief brought Finley to Ireland. LOVE WILL LEAD HER HOME.

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?(courtesy of Goodreads)

Review

I went into There You'll Find Me looking for a light, fluffy escapist romance. I didn't care if it was realistic or perfectly written. I was looking for fun and sap and that's exactly what I got. Handsome uber famous teen idol movie star falls in love with an ordinary, pretty-but-not-too-pretty teenage girl? Who doesn't dream of that? (Actually, I think dating a movie star would be far from perfect, but I'm putting my rational mind aside for the moment).

Finley and Beckett are awesome characters. First off, they have fabulous names. Beckett especially - since that happens to be one of my favorite boy names. Finley is the type of girl who doesn't put on airs; what you see is what you get. She is funny, sarcastic, and kind. She is also very hard on herself. She is mourning her brother's death in a terrorist attack and is spending her year in Ireland trying to rediscover her brother, partly in hope that she can be as good as he is, as faithful as he is. But unless it's absolutely perfect, it's not good enough.

Beckett is as charming and funny as it gets. The star of a series of teenage vampire movies, I imagine him as a cross between Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner (Rob in looks and Taylor in personality). He has a jet-setting, gossip-column filled life, but we quickly realize that he is much more than that. Beckett doesn't want to be a silly teen idol. He wants to make movies that mean something and have faith in something more than him. Instead of surrounding himself by yes-men and drooly girls, he prefers to be near Finley, who spends most of her time being annoyed by him.

The banter and flirting between the characters was as cute as it gets. I loved how Beckett purposely called Finley by the wrong name, like "Flossie" and "Frannie." Beckett comes off as a little conceited, but it ends up reading as funny and even though Finley may be annoyed, the reader knows she'll succumb in the end:

"[Beckett] 'And as for girls who try to stay away from me - my charm always wears them down.'
[Finley] 'I'm up-to-date on my shots, so I'm pretty much immune to everything'"

Even better, Finley and Beckett fall in love by being friends and spending time together. How refreshing. Finley desperately wants to find a particular Celtic cross that her brother photographed. Beckett happily plays tour guide. And in return, Finley helps Beckett with lines. Her non-simpering attitude inspires him to be a better actor.

Ms. Jones' writing is easy to read and flows nicely. She came up with a good plot framework that provided reasons for Finley and Beckett's lives to intersect. A tad coincidental (okay, more than a tad), but it worked. Finley's host family was also a highlight. Her host mum and dad added a positive, strong parental influence to the book. Her host brother was adorable and her host sister was a great best friend type.

If you start thinking too much about the book, you can easily become annoyed. The Christian element, while not preachy, is too prevalent for my taste. Finley is a "normal" girl who also happens to be a hotel heiress who spent much of the past year partying (Hilton-style). Beckett's speech and mannerisms become progressively more Irish as the book goes on; oftentimes, he doesn't sound like a real teenager (i.e. "If I'm going to be your bloomin' tour guide..." - nobody below 80 says 'blooming').

Don't bother thinking while you're reading this book. You'll miss all the fun of a cute romance that progresses at a realistic pace with likable characters. There's a time and place for saccharine sweetness.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

22 comments :

  1. I think I might be a little in love with Beckett already...

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  2. What a great book for a light reading. Thank you for the review, now I'll just go on my task to hunt for this book:)

    PS. Beckett makes me think of Castle (or was it Bones? LOL)

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  3. That sounds like a nice light read :) Thanks for the review.

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  4. This sounds like a refreshing romance for a sunny afternoon. I hadn't heard of it--thanks for the review!

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  5. This does sound like a fun light read. I'm not a big fan of overly prevalent Christian elements either though. But I like that they have a friendship first.

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  6. LOL, you're right no one says "blooming". Bloody, yes. I don't mind a fluff read no and then, but the religious element might turn me away. If this was a movie, I may see it on DVD.

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  7. Awesome review, Ive never heard of this book but Im always up for a fun and light read! so Im adding this on my list. thanks! <3

    ✿FICBOOKREVIEWS✿

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  8. I'm loving the sound of this, sometimes you just want that fun book that doesn't make you think too much and is just fun for fun's sake. I like Finley already based on her "immune" quote, I like a girl with a little sass:) Thanks for the review Alison!

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  9. Okay, I'm in love with Beckett already if I can imagine that he looks like Eddy but acts like Jake. Plus, he is an actor in on a vampire show. WIN. :)

    Glad you got exactly what you expected. Makes for some fun reading.

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  10. Loved the review! This looks like something I could enjoy!

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  11. I just adored Beckett! He was such a great character. I loved the whole vampire bit, because come one! Who hasn't had the daydream of meeting Taylor Lautner or Rob Pattinson in real life?? *swoon*

    Thanks for the great review, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this book!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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  12. Jenny had me with Ireland--and and hot boy! Plus, it's totally cool that they fall in love through friendship. Those stories are my faves.

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  13. You're right, there is a time for sweetness. Sometimes I just want something quick & light. These days I often go for a short story though.

    Tahlia Newland, urban fantasy author of ‘A Matter of Perception’ – quirky, surprising & thought provoking tales http://tahlianewland.com/short-stories/

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  14. Very detailed review - I liked your good and not-so-good explanations, would have picked this novel up if it weren't for the preachy religion element.

    Dee from www.readseverything.blogspot.com

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  15. I've been searching for more travel books. This one sounds like just what I've been looking for! Great review!

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  16. This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy. I would have to be in the mood for this type of book Great review!

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  17. I don't mind a fluffy, mindless read at all, but I think some of the criticisms you had would bother me, too. Appreciate the honest review.

    Wendy @ at The Midnight Garden

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  18. I'm definitely reading this one. I already knew about the Christian undertones from another review I read, and I'll definitely try not to let it bother me too much when I pick this one up. Hopefully there will be enough banter to distract me from the religion.

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  19. This sounds so sweet. I think I might have to check it out.

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  20. I really adored the fluffiness of this book as well as the more serious issues too. And since I'm Christian, that part didn't bother me. Basically this was an amazing book for me! Glad you were able to enjoy most of it.

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  21. There You'll Find Me is Jenny B. Jones deepest, most poignant book. Already an avid Jones fan, I ached for broken Finley, cheered for misunderstood Beckett, and fell in love with irascible Mrs. Sweeney. Jones traipses across the Atlantic to Ireland for this book and does a masterful job immersing the reader in the culture and cadence of the country. She employs larger-than-life characters, and makes them real with a deft hand. And she delivers a supremely satisfying ending.
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