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Ratings and Reviews (1 6 star ratings
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3.2 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    An emotional roller coaster of a read.

    Actually 3.5 stars but you can't do those. Definitely a roller coaster ride of a read! I enjoyed it and if I were more into YA, I might have loved it. Fourteen-year-old Marley Willits has disappeared. She was dropped off at school like usual but when her mother arrives home later, she finds a note on the fridge – Don’t try to find me. I’ll be okay. I’ll be better. I love you. A parent’s worst nightmare as Rachel, Marley’s mother tries to figure out why her daughter has gone missing and if she is somehow responsible for pushing her to run away. Whereas Rachel is nearly hysterical, her husband Paul is much more sensible. When the police tell them they can only do so much, he springs into action using social media and starting up a website to do everything he can think of to find his daughter and convince her to come home. Meanwhile, young Marley is very aware of what she is doing, and is doing her best to cover her tracks so she will never be found. Let me start by saying that I truly enjoyed this book, even when Rachel's self-absorption began to grate on my last nerve. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a roller coaster of emotion. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare in this age of the Internet, social media, and technology which allow a child to reach out further into the world than ever before, but which also might open up everyone’s lives to danger, and scrutiny, more extensively than ever as well. While Rachel and Paul are searching for Marley, their lives, marriage, and secrets slowly begin to unravel. Their marriage, not very stable to begin with, slowly begins to crumble as the cracks in their marital foundation fall victim to the weight of scrutiny by bloggers and social media trolls. When the reasons for Marley’s attempt to vanish with a college student she meets online finally surface, those cracks threaten to become irreparable. DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown is a gripping, emotional, eye opening look to the world of dangers, which our young adults are facing in today's world. It is a far more dangerous world for them to maneuver than it was for us in the pre-world wide web society in which we grew up. Stranger danger has always existed but predators have so many new tricks up their sleeves than just would you like a piece of candy, little girl? Yes, all turns out well for this family and the reasons fall to a young girl’s anxieties, feelings of isolation, and wanting some control over her life but what young girl hasn't felt all of those things as she begins to grow into an adult? The only thing about this book that I would change is not being inside Rachel’s head. Her narrative, whereas it assisted us in learning how she felt about her parents, her mother in particular, and the young man she thought she knew from her exchanges online, was too young for me, too disjointed at times. It was the YA—young adult—aspect of what could have truly been an incredible emotional and suspenseful read that kept me from loving this book. However, I do highly recommend reading DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown…especially if you’re raising kids in this modern world or thinking about doing so. It’s an amazing lesson is parenting in the 21st century. ***print copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
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