Thursday, September 19, 2013

{Tour Stop} Book Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard (+Giveaway)


Title: Find Me
Series: None (yet? ^-^)
Author: Romily Bernard
Pages: 307
Pub Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen/HarperCollins
Book Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars


When did I stop believing in happy endings? Maybe I never did.
Wick Tate doesn't have an ideal life. Her mother jumped from a building to end her own life, her father is a sociopathic felon, she and her sister are in the foster system—currently on foster family #4, and the police may be onto her hacking business.

Every decision Wick makes is for her sister, Lily. She hacks to make money so they can make it on their own; so they can run if their father ever comes for them. She lies about the detective stalking them so as not to frighten Lily. She makes herself a rock, never letting anyone inside. Her sister is all that matters to her.

Until a dead girl's diary shows up on her doorstep with two simple words:

Tessa Waye used to be Wick's very best friend. Until Tessa's parents decided Wick was trash and forbade them from seeing each other ever again. From then on, Tessa walked right by Wick as if she didn't even exist.

Tessa then became the epitome of a popular in-crowd girl at school. On the outside, her life was perfection. On the inside? Turmoil, despair, loneliness. Tessa decided to end it all with a jump.

So how did Tessa's diary end up on Wick's doorstep? Why did Tessa Waye decide to end her own life? Someone thinks Wick can find the answers.

- - -

Ohhhh, where to begin? Find Me is quite the debut! Romily Bernard floored me here. I am a little bit speechless, to be honest.

I guess I can start at the beginning. :)

Find Me opens up with a chill. Right off the bat, Romily paints us a perfect picture of Wick's hacking abilities and the reasons behind it. She also paints a perfect picture of Detective Carson—the man who sits outside their house every night, creeping, stalking, waiting... until this night. He gets out of his car and actually tries to get into the house. Wick is at the ready with a baseball bat, her sister Lily behind her, terrified.

And I won't go any further... but my point is that the author sets up the story fantastically. I was engrossed from the very first moment. This thrill and suspense doesn't let up. It's continues through the entire book and only gets more intriguing and mysterious. It'll definitely capture your attention and hold it.

There is a bit of romance mixed into the story. Griff is our book boyfriend here, and he is a great one! The spark between he and Wick is something they've both been ignoring for awhile now. They begin spending more time together and learn they have more in common than they ever imagined—some good, some very very bad. After battling with herself on whether or not to trust him, Wick lets Griff in on her issue with Tessa's diary. Griff then joins the hunt for the man who drove Tessa to her fatal jump. As they grow closer to finding the guy, they also grow closer to one another.

“Three years, Wicked. I waited three years, and you were worth every damn second.”
Now I'm smiling.
“Again,” I whisper, and we kiss and kiss until want rolls through me like honey and lights me up like gasoline.
I'm impressed that Romily Bernard was able to balance the romance and mystery/thriller elements so well. It's a perfect mix; not too much of one or the other. Griff is a character you will definitely love in more ways than one.

One major thing I liked about this book was this: At the beginning of each chapter we get a snippet of Tessa's diary. This allowed us to know her and her situation from the inside out. This was a great way to let us get to know her despite the fact that she is dead from the beginning of the book. The diary snippets are powerful and moving, but sad and bleak at the same time. You can see her falling apart right before your eyes and if this were a real-life situation, I imagine reading the things in this diary would be so very hard for anyone, especially a girl who used to be best friends with the person. Wick does go through bouts of guilt and wonder at the fact that no one knew what was going on with Tessa. She hid it all so perfectly that no one suspected a thing. 

He never stares at me, never does anything improper, when we're around other people.
He's too careful. Looking at us, no one would even guess. Funny, how... everyone still stares at me.
That's why I had to learn to disappear.
Right in front of their eyes, I vanished.

—Page 82 of Tessa Waye's diary
The story definitely comes with a darkness. Tessa was going through something awful, and the saddest part is that she kept letting it happen over and over. It was tough to put myself in her place and to sympathize, but she is a young girl and hadn't learned the life lessons to yet that'd help her to fully understand what she was allowing to happen. Once I realized that, and realized her ultimate sacrifice, I felt so close to her character. Tessa Waye is someone who will stay with me forever.

As for the mystery, well, that was amazingly done. As with any great mystery-maker, Romily Bernard set everything up wonderfully. She dropped hints at all the right moments and pointed us in three or four different directions. She kept me on my toes and kept me guessing. I was never 100% sure who the mysterious guy was until very close to the actual reveal. And what a reveal it was! I won't go into details, as that would be totally spoilery, but it was huge! It was very cinematic. I could see it all playing out perfectly. I think this book would make a fantastic movie! Viewers would be on the edges of their seats. ;)

Overall, Find Me was perfect from cover to cover. I love the characters. I feel they were well-built and very realistic. I loved the suspense and the mystery. I think the romance was perfectly done and very well-balanced. I absolutely loved the ending. It was dramatic and high-velocity. I should also mention that although not a cliffhanger, Bernard left the ending open for a second book! Hell yes! Give me more!

Do I recommend this book? Definitely! Instant favorite. If you haven't gotten a copy yet, you should probably go and do that now!

*This book does contain violence and some slightly adult themes of the sexual and verbal nature. Nothing too heavy.*



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