Sunday, August 17, 2014

Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard

Find Me
by Romily Bernard

Available as: hardcover, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 307
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: September 24, 2013
Suggested tags: young adult, mystery, thriller

First in the Find Me series. From Goodreads:
" “Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

{ I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. }

Find Me follows Wick, a skilled teenage hacker, as she tries to solve the mystery of a classmate's death. There are some complex issues in the story including rape and abuse, as well as the added elements of foster parents and a biological dad on the run from the law... but I wish I could say the mystery itself had more complex elements. It seemed like the killer was obvious pretty early in the story, but I was hoping I was wrong. (SPOILER - highlight to read: I wasn't.) Despite that, Find Me still kept me hooked and reading fast to see what would happen next, as Bernard has a talent for writing suspenseful scenes. So while I wasn't floored by the mystery at the heart of the story, I still enjoyed the story itself.

Before starting Find Me, I was afraid I might feel a little alienated by the hacking, as I know relatively little about how computers work and zero about hacking. Actually, though, I thought that the hacking gave an interesting edge to the story and that it was handled quite well for readers who are not familiar with it. I didn't understand all the terms or programs they were referencing, but I still understood what they were trying to do. Was it complex enough for actual hackers (or readers with an understanding of computers more advanced than my own) to enjoy? I don't know... I'd have to guess maybe not, since I had no problem following along.

I'm not sure I feel about this as a series. Find Me could have been a standalone, right up until a messy final paragraph. Find Me wraps up with a neat ending, but then it tags on an extra paragraph implying there will be another book and another mystery to solve. That last paragraph read to me like an afterthought, like, "oh wait, we need to remind everyone there will be a second book..." But maybe I'm being too picky. I knew going in it was a series; I just wish they had put a little more effort towards leading into the next book, or otherwise just left it out entirely.

Otherwise though, all pickiness aside, this was a satisfying read from a storytelling aspect, if not from the mystery aspect. I'll be tempted to pick up the next book, Remember Me, but I'm hoping it's very different from Find Me. Find Me was a good story, but I don't know if I'd want to read a sequel that follows a very similar pattern of solving a mystery implied by a note using hacking. Hopefully Remember Me will throw some new twists and turns in.

Final verdict: I liked it! I thought this book was good! I may not buy it for myself but I enjoyed reading it. I would probably recommend it to others.

{ Find Me book trailer }

More about Romily Bernard }

Romily Bernard's Goodreads profile
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