Losing It #3
Contemporary New Adult
Available October 15th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...
Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.
It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.
Finding It, following in the wake of its hugely entertaining predecessors, seems initially as though it's going to pale in comparison, heroine Kelsey a woman who in the opening chapters makes us question whether or not we can even bring ourselves to spend several hundred pages with her as she makes one spectacularly poor and dangerous choice after another. The only excuse she provides for her bar and bed hopping is the self-delusion she's filling herself so full of life that when she returns to a cold, empty and regimented world of wealth and privilege she'll have her time in Europe to carry her through. Her reasoning appears weak at best to us in the beginning, and it's difficult to do anything other than grimace at her behavior, watching as what appears to be a spoiled rich girl drinks herself to stupidity in order to forget the not-unique misfortune of having a grossly imperfect home life. What we soon come to see though is that we should have had faith in Ms. Cormack from page one, Kelsey's story turning out to be impressively gut-wrenching as it casts an entirely new light on a character we're mistakenly quick to judge.
After a rough start with Kelsey, we're given a few small hints here and there that bring an abrupt halt to the judgmental rant we'd been creating in our heads, forcing us to look harder at the young woman in black and white before us. What we find is someone with so many faces she honestly doesn't know if there's a real one in the bunch; someone who from an appallingly young age has been throwing booze and men in the path of her past as she's run away from it, trying in vain to slow down its relentless pursuit with obstacles so she can continue to find empty comfort in hiding herself away from the world. Though Kelsey recognizes what happened to her so long ago and what she's done to herself since then are far less gruesome than what so many others are forced to endure, it doesn't take away from the reality of her pain, and we feel every agonizing beat of her heart as it bleeds for the girl she feels she could have been.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the romantic setup of Finding It is how little we actually get to know Jackson Hunt, a young man of secret smiles and hooded eyes that hide far more than they reveal, but even so Ms. Cormack writes a stunning relationship between the two of them rich in realism and believability. Just because we don't get to know him all that well doesn't mean he's not an absolutely fascinating character with a past as dark–and in some ways darker given his time in the military–than Kelsey's, and he easily manages to charm us just as he does her. It's not difficult to guess what he's hiding, but knowing in advance doesn't detract in the least from the devastation we feel when Kelsey learns the truth for herself, the fragile foundation of a new life brutally ripped away to reveal ruse where she desperately needed reality.
Though the bitter and deeply troubling relationship with her parents could have been explored with more depth, it likely would have taken us on an unnecessary detour, our minds and hearts so involved in Kelsey's life that we can't help but want every element of her existence to be detailed for us. Overall, Finding It rockets right on by both Losing it and Faking It to easily become the best of the series, taking us to new emotional highs and lows and challenging us as readers to not make snap judgments based on limited information, instead showing us just how much unexpected beauty can be found in patience.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.