Monday, October 14, 2013

Review: Finding It

FINDING IT
Losing It #3
Cora Carmack
Contemporary New Adult
320 pages
William Morrow
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.


MY THOUGHTS
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.

Rating: 4.5/5


Find Cora:
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.

42 comments:

  1. Reading this makes me so happy!! I read a very bad review a few weeks ago and it made me sad! I'm so happy you stuck with Kelsey long enough to get to know her and finally understand her! We cannot love every heroine, but sometimes we do not have to love, but rather understand them!
    Totally getting a copy asap!

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    1. Kelsey is going to divide readers for sure, I didn't like her one bit in the beginning, but I was so glad I stuck with her!

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  2. I always find it extremely hard to connect with characters that make such questionable choices, but I'm glad Kelsey's actions made at least a little bit of sense by the end. I know what you mean about her relationship with her parents not being used to its full potential, it's a shame, really. But overall, I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as you did.
    Great review, Jenny!

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    1. I very nearly set this book aside in the beginning Maja, I just couldn't deal with Kelsey making such hugely dangerous decisions with absolutely no care for her safety, but I stuck with her and was really glad I did. I loved how everything played out:)

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  3. I am so glad that you enjoyed this book Jenny, but glad to see that it left a much greater and heartfelt impression with you. I like seeing characters win you over in a story, it seems with Kelsey's character you may need a little more patience to see this come through, but staying with her, is definitely worth it in the end. Wonderful review! :)

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    1. Kelsey was a challenge, and I liked that about her. I didn't like her in the beginning, and it was a gradual shift in feelings for me which was fun:)

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  4. It's book 3 already!? It seems like only months ago when I participated for the cover reveal of book 1. Anyhow, I've been planning to read Losing It but obviously, I never got around to doing it. So glad that you love this one though, Jenny. The author writes fast but the quality seems consistent, eh? I like that. :D

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    1. I know! She does write fast, but I think the books are getting better as they go, so like you said, quality isn't suffering in the least:)

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  5. I know you've enjoyed all of this author's work, Jenny, and this one sounds the most compelling to me, so I might start with this. I can't wait to meet these characters! Great review, dear!(:

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    1. I'd be interested to see what you think Keertana! Kelsey is going to be a love or hate character for people I think:)

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  6. I'm going to try it but I can see myself wanting to know more about Jackson and less about Kelsey (especially with that self-destructive behavior of hers. That kind of stuff always brings out the Mama Bear in me and I lose some of the enjoyment because I'm worrying about the character. Yes, I'm weirdly involved.).

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    1. This was definitely a hard one for me in the beginning Mary, I struggle with characters like Kelsey who seem content to with their lack of self-worth, but I so enjoyed her journey once she opened her eyes a bit:)

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  7. Okay, like I've said before, I've yet to start this series, but I'm really intrigued by the fact that this installment is better than its predecessors! That's almost unheard of! It sounds like there's a great balance, and I also love how dramatic this series sounds. Gahhh must read. Thanks for another wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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    1. There's going to be a giant split in the opinions on this book, but for me, it was definitely the best of the three. The most emotionally challenging for sure, and I loved that about it:)

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  8. Isn't that always the thing, a bad relationship with the parents

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    1. It's a common theme for sure, but never fails to make me sympathetic to a character!

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  9. I have seen some mixed reviews on this as well and I am so excited that you ended up falling in love with it!

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    1. I did love it Ali! Not at all in the beginning, it was nearly a DNF for me, but I've loved everything Cora's written, so I figured I should just trust her to bring me around on Kelsey:)

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  10. Alright, I think I need to rethink this series. The first book had me a little blah, but after reading so many good reviews on the second and third book makes me think that the series does get better.

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    1. I think they get better as they go Savy! I hope you give Faking It a try!

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  11. This is definitely one of the more positive reviews I've read. Seems like a lot of people are anti-Kelsey. I'm so glad you loved this; it gives me hope! I adore Cora Carmack and I want to adore all of her books!

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    1. I completely understand where the anti-Kelsey people are coming from, I was that way for a good chunk of the book as well, but then I started to understand her a bit more, and I loved her in the end.

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  12. Ok, why weren't you in my feed anymore? I just fixed that. I just finished Faking It last night (LOVED) and you are saying this one is your favorite so far??? HOW EVEN. I love these books so much, they're so much fun and so indulgent and GOODNESS GRACIOUS I need that in my life so much. Such a fun series. I'm actually writing on Faking It right now. Yay for loving this one but I love Cade SO MUCH I'm scared to love someone even more!!!

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    1. I don't know Asheley, but I'm so glad you remedied this travesty! ;-) This one is definitely my favorite just in the fact that I did a 180 on Kelsey, and I think it takes a great deal of skill to turn a reader's opinion on a character all the way around in the course of a couple hundred pages:)

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    1. Yes, yes you should:) GOOD STUFF AMANDA!

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  14. You know how I feel about characters who make one poor choice after the other and keeps jumping into the beds of strangers, so I'm really glad I read your review before I got to it, Jenny. I would probably have given up on the book, but I know now to stick with Kelsey.
    I'm super excited to meet this Jackson. I love a good mysterious guy, so I'm looking forward to knowing more about him.
    I'm glad this was your favorite, Jenny! Lovely review as always! :)

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    1. I'm the exact same way Nick, so I won't lie and say I was loving this book from the start. I nearly gave up on it, but I'm so glad I saw it all the way through!

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  15. Oh boy, Kelsey sounds like a difficult to like character, though I'm glad to hear that her behavior is well motivated and there's more to her than meets the eye. I absolutely ADORED the first book, Losing It, though I haven't read anything else by Cora since then. I just didn't think than anything could top the sexy guy with british accent, ya know? *wink wink*
    I do love her writing style and how sizzling with chemistry her books are, so I'll definitely read the rest of the series at some point! Gorgeous review, Jenny! <3

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    1. Difficult is definitely a good word for her, I had such a hard time with her as she just made one bad choice after another and put herself in some situations that could have seen her kidnapped, raped or dead, and given that she was all on her own in a foreign country, no one would have known. After a while though, I started to see more of who she actually is, and I liked what I saw and wanted to keep on this journey with her!

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  16. Oh, yes. Kelsey seems a bit caothic, but I trust you when you say her story really turns out to be a great one. Funny, I love the name Jackson. (Jackson Avery from Grey's Anatomy may have a bit to do with that little quirk, heh ;)) I'd love to meet this lad and seems like his and Kelsey's relationship is a gut-wrenching one. I love this cover, I like the premise and hopefully I'll like the book :) I'm glad you enjoyed it, hon!

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    1. I really hope you like it too Siiri, it will not be a story for everyone! She's a bit of a mess in the beginning, but keep reading:)

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  17. Wow, Jenny I admire you for sticking it out with Kelsey. I would have definitely given up on her very quickly. She definitely seems to be a love/hate character. I'm so glad the character changed and you really enjoyed the book.

    p.s. You can most definitely skip River Marked and jump to Frost Burned. River Marked does cover some interesting aspects of the coyote but the story is a drag. I think it would have worked much better as a novella.

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  18. Hmm, I am curious about Kesley now and the mysterious Jackson, despite issues it sounds like you ended up loving this, I cannot wait to devour it!

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  19. You have me wanting the first 2. That is why I passed on reviewing this one because I really want to read the first 2 (yes, in order... don't faint). Darn it! Now you have me wanting this one. Between you and Savy, I'm going to be reading a lot of NA soon.

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  20. I said I wasn't going to continue this series after the second book, but here you go saying that it was the best in the series. How can I resist that?! I have to check it out now! I'm glad that you mentioned that Kasey wasn't very likable in the beginning and opened up more later on, I probably would've given up on her otherwise. Thanks for the awesome review, Jenny! Sorry for being MIA last week.

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  21. Oh! Love to see that this book blew the others out of the water, that is saying a lot for you because I know you are a big fan of the first two books. I have this on my wish list. Why do I need to sleep, why can't I just read all night?

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  22. I have a feeling I would be very annoyed with Kelsey in the beginning, but I'm so glad I read your review, because now I will definitely stick with her! "Finding It rockets right on by both Losing it and Faking It to easily become the best of the series" <---your whole review makes me want to read this asap, but especially this line! Wonderful balanced review Jenny!

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  23. Your review intrigues me! I just saw a goodreads friend's status update for this story, stating she was halfway in and still didn't know the characters at all. Perhaps the second half makes up for that!

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  24. I still haven't read this series, or this author but I remember hearing lots of good things! I know as far as NA and contemporaries go we tend to have similar tastes so knowing that you liked it so much makes me know I must read this series!

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  25. I loved Kelsey in Losing It (I still need to read Faking it!) and I'm eager to see her get her own book. I'm a little nervous about how I'll take her in the beginning, because I can see her behavior bugging me as much as it did you. However, I'm glad that we're able to see cracks in her and that we find more depth and healing for her. I'm worried about the fact that we don't get to know Jackson well, but I keep hearing good things about him (hello swoon!), so I'm eager to meet him. I also see that he has a novella after this? I was worried at first that it's a full length book, because I don't like contemporaries that carry into multiple full length novels. Too much drama! But it sounds like it might be a benefit to get more about this guy. I'm rambling now, but you've reminded me about how much I like Cormack's writing and that I need to pick up her other books!

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  26. Unfortunately I never warmed to Kelsey and as a result I didn't really warm to this book, which is a shame as it had so much potential for me with travel themes etc. I thought the ending was very rushed too. I think I am maybe a little over 'NA' at the moment... :/

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