You can also find this review and more on my blog Live a Thousand Lives!
I received a free copy of this book from Entangled Teen Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have read a lot of books in the Contemporary Romance genre over the past two years, but lately I have had a taste for more action and less romance. Because I am out of practise when it comes to romance novels, I was not sure if I would be able to give this book a proper review. But I am happy to announce that reading a particular genre after taking a long break from it is like riding a bike again after a few years. It takes a little while to get used to it, but once you settle in and go along for the ride, it is a lot of fun. At least that's how it feels when you luck out and read a good book!
Where You'll Find Me dealt with some heavy issues, but the overall tone of the book never became depressing.The only complaint I have about the story telling is that it was a bit rushed. Everything progressed too quickly. It's a short book, and I like the fact that it moved at a steady pace, but it could have benefited from an additional 50 pages. The characters were very interesting, and it would have been nice to spend more time with them.
When the story begins, Hanley (Love that name by the way.) has closed herself off from everyone around her. She hides behind sarcasm and drinks until she can't feel anything anymore. All her relationships are either superficial or antagonistic. Her best friend has been placed into a category of someone who is only good enough to drink and have mindless fun with, her sister is just a nuisance, and, of course, she fells like her parents don't understand or care about her. As the story progresses, Hanley learns that maybe she doesn't know everyone as well as she thinks she does and the people around her are capable of more than what she gives them credit. Often times when I read these types of stories, I find myself wishing that the main character would step outside of their own pain and look at things from another perspective. Hanley is one of the few characters that I've encountered who actually does this. She thinks about more than just herself, and I was impressed with all of the different emotions the author was able to explore in such a small amount of pages.
The relationship between Hanley and Nate was very sweet, but again I wanted more! I am not a fan of insta love, but even though the connection formed between these two overnight, it made sense in this setting. Hanley was suffering from grief over loosing someone very close to her, and was doing everything that she shouldn't to ease the pain. She internalized, pushed every one away, and drank way too much. It was very believable to me that she would form such a tight bond with some kid who sneaks in her garage at night because she was not making very smart decisions in other areas of her life. She was just lucky that it was Nate who showed up in her garage and not some deranged serial killer.
When reading a romance novel, the most important thing to me is that the bond between the two people feel real. I need to understand why they feel so strongly about each other. I don't care if it takes them 24 hours or 24 years, if I don't get why they have such intense feelings for each other, I chalk it up as a romantic failure. Even thought they fell for one another quickly, I know why Nate loves Hanley, and I am very sure of why Hanley loves Nate. They understand each other, don't judge each other, have some very important things in common, and meet each other in the right place at the right time. Everything aligned perfectly, and two kids that needed a friend met and found a safe place together.
There are a few twist and turns in the story that involve Nate and why an intelligent, charming, and seemingly normal young man has no place better to sleep at night than Hanley's garage. Even though I wasn't brought to tears, I felt for him and what he went through. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future because I think she can challenge her readers a bit more with a longer novel.
Where You'll Find Me is adorable and well written, and that is high praise coming from someone who has read hundreds of books in this genre. If you're in the mood for a very sweet book that will have your heart aching towards the end, then you should give this a read. It also had an ending that put a big smile on my face. ;)
Because of language and minor sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.