Saturday, May 10, 2014

Book review: I Found You by Jane Lark

Tomorrow is for regrets. Tonight is for being together.

On a cold winter night, Rachel and Jason’s lives collide on Manhattan Bridge. She’s running from life, he’s running toward it. But compassion urges him to help her.

His offer of a place to stay leads to friendship and trouble. There’s his fiancée back home in Oregon and a family who just don’t trust this girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

But when the connection between them is so electric, so right… everyone else must be wrong. And as the snow begins to settle on the Hudson, there’s nothing but the possibility of what could be – of this, right here, right now. Them.

NOTE: I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I had hopes for I Found You, seeing who the publisher is. Unfortunately, sometimes the big houses don't do their job well. I'm saying this because there was absolutely nothing special about this story. The author tried to work in between the drama some valuable message, but it didn't quite work out. Not to mention that there was too much 'tell' in places, and there was a repetitiveness that had me feeling disappointed.

Writing style:
It needs working on. And editing - lots and lots of editing. There were phrases, sentences and scenes that were described more than once. The repetitiveness went on and on. It was everywhere, on every single page. I'm sure you think I'm kidding, or exaggerating, but I'm honestly doing nothing of the sort. I should've kept a notebook by me while reading, so I can count the number of times each phrase was repeated, so I could note it for you. I do have some examples though.
1) The first half of the book repeated the scene of the 'failed suicide' every other chapter, and I won't even dare guess how many times the author mentioned that Rachel was found by Jason on a bridge, while she was trying to jump over. I believe that seeing the scene once and having it mentioned again ONCE would've been enough. But no.
2)The second half of the book was the same, except here repeating scene revolved around how clingy and needy Rachel was. The phrase that could've been edited out around the 3rd time it was mentioned went something like 'God I love Jason. He's so nice.' or the alternative 'God I love Rachel. She's so hot.'

Story line:
To be honest, despite everything else, I sort of liked the story line. At least it had potential to be explored. It should've been given a chance to make a spectacular story. Instead, the writing turned it mediocre at best.
Anyway, I can't stress enough that neither the writing nor the characters had any say in my finishing this book. It was the story that kept me going, pushing through and not leaving it on my DNF shelf.

Themes:
- Suicide is never the way to solve your problems.
- Parental neglect can lead to horrible consequences.
- Sometimes, a good person would emerge and help the one in need.

Characters:
Jason started out as a realistic character. The first chapters were really good for him, except when he was using language that didn't really fit him. I'm not sure why the author wanted to make him cuss - he was a well mannered, nice guy and every time a foul word came out of his mouth, I not only winced, it made me apprehensive. It appeared that sometimes the author did not really know Jason at all.
Like I said, Jason was a nice guy. He was understanding (sometimes unbelievably so), forgiving (although that's quite unexplainable), never getting angry (even when he should), always patient. This sounds, at least to my ears, as the best description of the PERFECT guy. Well, all his nicety and such made his character seem all the more unrealistic. He had no flaws - or the tiny ones we could see were almost nonexistent.

I firmly believe that Rachel's character was the more realistic of the two. She behaved like the girl with the mental illness that she was. Everything she did was caused by ups and downs in hormone levels, which I guess I understand. What I didn't like was how much 'tell' there was going on in her thoughts. Instead of having the reader fell what Rachel felt, the author chose to tell us instead and that bothered me a lot.

Lindy, Jason's girlfriend at the time was a hypocrite that I didn't really like from the very first sentence she spoke. Sure, it wouldn't be easy to be in her shoes if she was indeed an honorable girl. But she was not, so I didn't really care about her feelings.

Jason's parents were just so weird. first, they wouldn't give Rachel a second glance, let alone a chance. And they were supposed to be small-town God fearing people... Gah! No good Samaritans there.
Anyway, when they turned the coin, it was so incredibly sudden, I would've fallen off my chair, had I been sitting on one. It was odd, completely set up and I felt cheated.

In conclusion:
In all honesty, I cannot recommend this book in it's current state. If it goes through major editions, perhaps something better will become of it. Right now though.. I'm sad to say that its potential was wasted.

My rating is: