Finley Sinclair is trying to outrun her not-so-distant reputation of being the party girl with a grief-stricken persona in disguise. When she follow's in her brother's footsteps and goes to Abbeyglen, Ireland for a student exchange program, she hopes to find a relaxing and invigorating town that has the essence of God--and her brother--that's she's been desperately looking for. Off to a rocky start right from the get-go, Finley encounters teen celebrity Beckett Rush not just on the plane but in the B and B her host family runs in Abbeyglen. Add to that a power-crazed, actress-wannabe, Catholic school girl and a project in a nursing home with a crabby old lady already destined to die, and Finley's stress level goes through the roof. Her search for her God gets cloudy and skewed when she is not ready to admit to imperfections that have been staring right in the face the entire time.
I have to say, right off the bat, I'm not one that likes to dote on Christian Fiction that often; if ever. Even when I started There You'll Find Me, I didn't know it had any elements of Christianity in it. Honestly, I was raised on this stuff since I was small but it still gets a kick out of shocking me every so often. I must break this review down into sections in order to explain cohesively how much this book affected me.
Characters: First off, we have Finley. Down-to-earth, heart-broken perfectionist Finley Sinclair. I felt so defensive whenever someone said one bad thing about this girl but she did an unhealthy amount of self-loathing that I just wanted to smack. In a way, this built her up to be the strong but vulnerable person she grew to be throughout There You'll Find Me. Beckett had his own flaws too, and at times I almost believed they were too flawed for each other. Beckett Rush was a conundrum waiting to confuse the heck out of me whenever he was in a scene. I loved his Irish accent and reassurances of his love for Finley, but I hated his corny lines and double life.
Plot: I have to begin with the romance. It truly starts from the very beginning and lasts till the very end. Like I mentioned before, both Finley and Beckett had so many unresolved issues that I almost believed it impossible for them to be together. But then the author inserts something the two have in common and that can no doubt help mend any rough patch they encounter, and that would be God in his almighty power. The other side plots that the author added to make this a whole story and not just a romantic tale, served their purpose in relying on the reader's sense of empathy and compassion. Mrs. Sweeney was a story on her own but I would have also liked to have seen more of a balance between that and Finley's passion for the violin.
Writing: I had no problems with the evenly-paced writing and the melodic tones instilled in the book. Honestly, if I had to guess, I'd say the book followed the flow Finley's composition for Will, her deceased brother. The short and sweet quotes in the beginning of each chapter really added to the book's appeal. Overall, it was the scenery described during Finley's stay in Ireland that took my breath away. I wanted nothing more than to see the beauty of Abbeyglen and its majestic ruins.
How unsuspecting this novel starts out to be...only to transform any opinion or expectation I had going into the book. I've never really experienced any other novel on such a soul-deep level before and it definitely captured my heart till the very last sentence.