January 18, 2014

Title: Where You’ll Find Me

Author: Erin Fletcher ♥ @ErinFletcher11

Published: January 7, 2013

Publisher: EntangledTEEN

Pages: 211

Source: Publisher

Summary from Goodreads: 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 the past 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, Hanley’s trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate’s recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn’t sure which is worse: that she’s harboring a fugitive, or that she’s in love with one.

Average Goodreads Rating (as of 01/17/2013): 3.86

  • Christina thought this title was mostly enjoyable. It goes on her third shelf.

**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.

♥ Initial Thoughts and Rating: 3 stars! The summary instantly captured my attention, but I found the actual book to be a bit lacking. It was a good read- held my interest, made me laugh- but I felt like there could have been more below the surface if the author would’ve scratched a little deeper with the characters and the plot.

The Lowdown: There’s not much here that I can tell you aside from what you already know from the book’s summary. Hanley Helton, young party girl who prefers to drown out her demons in copious amounts of alcohol and parties, is startled to find a boy her age living in her garage. She learns his name is Nate, but that’s about all she learns about him. After threats of calling the cops and charming rebukes of stalking, it takes one night of freezing temperatures for Hanley to let her walls crumble and she invites him to stay hidden in her garage? After all, what kind of person would she be if she let another person die?

Soon, these two are swept up in a youthful romance. All it takes is Hanley’s worlds colliding for everyone’s secrets to start being uncovered, and when Nate’s back is against the wall, he has no choice but to run. However, there’s something about Hanley that makes him want to stay and face his trouble head-on.

My Thoughts: This was a good and quick read, I just felt like there were key elements missing for me. Even if I was able to push aside her inability to flip the hell out because a stranger was in her garage, their whole relationship seemed to develop too quickly for me to really appreciate it. I can understand compatibility and an instant connection, but everything about their love/romance felt really rushed to me . (Which, in a sense, I guess it had to be because this is only a two hundred page novel, but still…) Not only that, but a lot of their spark/chemistry never felt real to me either. It always came across as though the author was telling me about their feelings and never really letting the characters express it for themselves. The only thing I really got from Hanley (and her friends) was that she thought Nate was hot and that she found is crooked tooth and crooked smile really appealing. I just wanted more. To feel more invested, for the characters to feel more invested.

As for the actual characters, Nate, Hanley, and all the secondary characters were likable, but their personalities were a bit lackluster to me. Once again, I only ever felt like the Ms. Fletcher barely scratched the surface of who they really were. The potential for a better development was there because they each had a solid foundation to build off of, but in the end, my understanding of them only ever seemed skin-deep. Additionally, their individual “conflicts” were a little predictable and didn’t seem to “shock” me like I felt the author was pushing toward. Even more so, I felt like two of the secondary characters’ side-plot was a tad dramatic and didn’t necessarily move the plot forward at all. (I don’t know, maybe this was added in for a possible companion book or novella option?) Mostly, I was disappointed that the two main characters’ struggles weren’t given more emphasis and consideration in the resolution of the book. When Hanley finally allowed herself to open up to her parents, I was surprised that everything still appeared to be brushed under the rug which bummed me out and made me a little judge-y of her parents.

All that being said, I can definitely see where this book and characters could have that relate-ability quality. I may not have been thrilled with the parent portrayal in this novel, but perhaps teenagers would be able to connect to the angst, though I honestly wish it would have pushed for more positive outlets of dealing with these emotionally distressing situations in a better manner, even if it only would have came in the end.

♥ Rec It? I really feel like this is a case-by-case referral basis, meaning I can’t give a blanket “This book is for everyone!” statement, but I may know a few people that might would enjoy it. So, if a little angst with a side of fluff and a heaping of mystery sounds like your kind of book, then give this one a shot.

I know it probably seems like I came down hard on this novel and that I maybe didn’t enjoy it, but that’s not the truth. It was good and I read it in a few short hours. It made me laugh, there were a tiny sprinkle of swoons, the premise was interesting (though it lacked a little in execution), and the characters were good (but they really could have been great). In short, I saw how much promise Where You’ll Find Me had, if only the author really would have dug in deep and fully realized the potential her story possessed.

A very special thanks to EntangledTEEN for providing me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

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