Friday, January 31, 2014

REVIEW: Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher

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.

My Thoughts:

"I think sometimes it's easier to pretend to be okay than it is to admit weakness"

Hanley Helton has been escaping her pain through the regular parties she goes to to get drunk. She shuts herself off emotionally from everyone around her. If you don't allow yourself to feel, you can't hurt. She keeps her family at arms length and rebels against her parents rules. Her relationship with her best friend is only superficial, no more that gossiping about who's hooking up with who and where the next party is at. Hanley's escape route to these parties is through the garage. One night while sneaking out she discovers someone has been camping out in that very garage. That someone, is runaway Nate.

"It's perfect. You're beautiful."
My cheeks warm. I'm far from perfect and too messed up to be beautiful. But Nate makes me feel like that doesn't matter.

I really connected with these characters. Despite Hanley's tough exterior, she is a softie at heart. Nate was just one big ball of perfect. And it was him that I was most intrigued with throughout the whole story. Both dealing with pain, loss, grief, guilt and loneliness. I loved the relationship between the two of them. It had the most perfect tempo to it. It was sweet, but it was also caring and deep. They didn't instantly fall in love, but they slowly found something in each other that they each needed. They comforted, they questioned, they supported and they loved. 

Erin Fletcher eluded to the reasons for Nate being a runaway throughout the book, and it's not until fairly late in the story that we find out those reasons. We had gotten glimpses of Nate's pain at different stages, but it really pulled me up and made me take a real hard look at the depth of the pain that Nate must have been experiencing. It was also a really original and heartbreaking subject matter. 

Pain guilt and grief. Quite possibly the very hardest things to deal with. Sometimes, so hard that you can't see things from anyone's perspective but your own. If guilt is what you're dealing with, you manage to carry that pain squarely on your own shoulders. But sometimes grief see's you directing that pain at the very people you love the most. Where you'll find me dealt with all of that.

The one drawback for me was that the side story of Rosalinda didn't seem to get resolved enough for me. I would have loved to find out the choices she made and the impact of those choices. She eluded to things but I don't think there were ever any final decisions made.

Where You'll Find Me drew me in from the very first page. It was a quick and at times emotional read. Love find's us when we least expect it, in the oddest of places, but sometime's it's exactly at the right time we need it. 

4/5 Perfect Nate Stars

Copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

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