There You’ll Find Me

Jenny B. Jones, Author
Jenny B. Jones. Thomas Nelson, $12.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-59554-540-4
Reviewed on: 08/15/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-60814-925-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-60981-359-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-61375-013-1
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Finley Sinclair is many things: an heiress, an accomplished musician, a reformed wild child, and a grieving sister. In an attempt to feel close to both God and her brother, who was killed in a terrorist bombing, Finley becomes an exchange student in the same Irish village her brother visited several years earlier. Finley becomes fast friends with her host family and strikes up an uneasy relationship with a Robert Pattinson–like movie star who is in Ireland filming his latest vampire flick. While this has all the makings of an earnest YA Christian romance novel, Jones (A Charmed Life series) throws readers a curve by very gradually revealing that Finley has an eating disorder. While this novel has some similarities to Laurie Halse Anderson’s Wintergirls—another YA novel about an anorexic teenager—Jones’s decision to leave Finley’s “issues” unnamed until the very last pages of the novel is troubling. Finley has problems, but her life is also glamorous. The novel strikes dissonant tones, unsuccessfully combining sprightly teen romance with life-or-death topics. From the very beginning, Finley is counting calories and denying herself food, but no one takes note until the final third of the novel. And even then, the eating disorder is described as “the beginning of anorexia” brought on by grief and stress. For young readers, the mixed messages this novel sends about a very serious condition may be problematic. Ages 14–up. (Oct.)
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