Title: There You’ll Find Me
Author: Jenny B. Jones
Category: Christian YA
Publisher: Thomas Nelson, September 2011
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC from the publisher, via netGalley
Star Rating: 5 out of 5
I know that I’m a ridiculous fangirl for Jenny B. Jones. I’m someone who hasn’t liked much Christian fiction in a long time, but she makes me love it. I gushed ridiculously over Save the Date and I feel just as strongly about this one.
Save the Date was told from the perspective of adults, Alex and Lucy. It chronicled their lives, feisty resistance of one another, and eventual falling in love. Alex’s brother Will’s death was a heavy shadow over the book, and Alex eventually found his own peace and resolution. There You’ll Find Me is the story of Finley Sinclair, Alex and Will’s teenaged sister. Her grief is experienced much differently. Maybe it’s because she’s so young. Maybe it’s because she’s a girl and shows her emotions more openly. Whatever it is, it seems to be rockier for Finley to overcome.
Finley’s in Ireland for a school exchange program. She’s got a big audition for the New York Conservatory coming up, and she’s in Ireland to re-trace Will’s steps and write a piece of music in tribute to him. But her troubles run deep and she’s in the midst of a major crisis of faith. She meets a mean girl at school, has her heart stolen by a Hollywood heartthrob, and encounters all sorts of Irish characters, not least of which is a crusty old woman in her waning days.
But don’t be fooled into thinking this is a bubble-headed story, typical in much contemporary YA romance. No, this is much more. Finley’s troubles seem all too real and are dealt with in an utterly realistic fashion. There are funny moments, because Jones is a funny woman, but this is a tear-jerker, too. A crisis of faith is no laughing matter, and Jones treats it with seriousness and respect.
I can’t say enough good things about Jenny B. Jones and her books. Anyone who’s been resisting Christian fiction, as I did for so long, should stop resisting and read this author.