Review: Find Me

I received this book for free from BEA in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Find MeFind Me by Romily Bernard
Series: Find Me #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 24, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 307
Format: ARC
Source: BEA
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three-half-stars

“Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

In general, mysteries are one of the few genres that fail to interest me. Just like crime dramas, I generally find them really repetitive, and there’s often not enough character development to really get me engaged in the story. I do, however, make an exception for stories about psychopaths, and Find Me by Romily Bernard turned out to be just the sort of incredibly creeptastic mystery that I enjoy.

The overall plot and tone of Find Me heavily recalls the first season of Veronica Mars, which really isn’t a bad thing, since that’s one of my favorite mystery programs. Wick Tate, daughter of a criminal father, the sort of man whose behavior drove her mother to suicide, finally has a comfortable home with Bren and Todd, who are fostering Wick and her younger sister Lily. However, a cop named Carson keeps coming around, probably onto Wick’s recreational activities, which include computer hacking, a skill she learned from her sketchy upbringing among criminals. Then someone leaves a notebook belonging to a dead girl, Tessa Waye, on her doorstep with a note reading only “Find Me.”

Wick’s narrative voice is dark, mistrustful, and blackly comic. Bernard convincingly portrays Wick as a girl who has been dumped on by life enough times that she knows to be ready for anything and trusts almost no one. She can count the number of people she trusts on one hand. Wick is strong, clever, and backed into a corner. Her bitterness may be hard for some readers to relate to, but her core of sadness, particularly with the way the suicide of Tessa, a girl she used to be friends with a long time ago, and the way it stirs up memories of her mothers death. There’s a very emotionally powerful scene where Wick tells off a girl for her judgment of Tessa’s choice to end her life.

The mystery element does have a lot of commonalities with the first season-long arc of Veronica Mars. A popular girl dead, with few leads but a secret boyfriend. These commonalities didn’t really detract from the excitement of the plot, but I did note them. The ending really did creep me out and, though I wasn’t all that surprised by who the killer was, it was still utterly terrifying.

One thing did really bother me about Find Me, and that’s Griff, Wick’s love interest. Though they’ve known each other for three years, it’s in a very basic “we have classes together” way. They’re not friends, really. On the day when Wick hears of Tessa’s suicide, she goes home sick, and Griff texts her to see if she’s okay, having had her number from when they worked on a class project together. Up to that point, I thought he was a nice, sweet guy. Then, that night, he scares the bejeebus out of her when he climbs a tree outside her window because she didn’t respond to the text. WARNING: CREEPER ALERT. Then, later, she asks him for help with something and he offers to do so if she’ll kiss him. WARNING: NOT CUTE; SKETCHY. Later, he breaks into her room and leaves a drawing for her, since, again, she ignored texts. WARNING: RUN FOR THE HILLS. He’s also way too grabby and bossy. Wick recognizes and even calls him out on his stalkerish behavior, but is okay with it because it’s him. No. No. No. No.

The other issue is that a lot of plot lines still seem up in the air at the end. The mystery’s resolved, but Wick’s family drama is not. Based on the ending, it seems that at least one more book is in the works about Wick Tate, though I can’t find anything to confirm that. Plot lines left dangling isn’t an issue if this is a series, but certainly is if this is a standalone.

All in all, Find Me is a highly entertaining, heart-pumping mystery. Fans of Veronica Mars might especially enjoy Bernard’s debut. If there does in fact turn out to be a sequel, I’ll definitely be reading it for Wick’s delightful narrative voice, but hoping the romance goes somewhere less unsettling.

Favorite Quote

Lily’s started cheerleading. Yeah, exactly. You read that right. Cheerleading. I asked her if she was sick. She asked me if I was a bitch. We both about died laughing.

18 responses to “Review: Find Me”

  1. fakesteph says:

    I really enjoyed this one. Yes, you are right about Griff. Honestly, I forgot about that… I still ended up liking him, though. And I believe Bernard is working on book 2. Fingers crossed we get it, because I’m looking forward to more!
    fakesteph recently posted…Find Me by Romily BernardMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      I wanted to like Griff, and I do think he’s meant to be a good guy and not a creeper, but I couldn’t let him slide on what I THOUGHT was meant to be coming across. Climbing in the window of a girl you hardly know is not cool. I would like book two though for sure. Just wish they’d bought it before so I KNEW I was starting another series.

  2. kristin says:

    I’m in the same boat as you. I don’t tend to read mysteries or thrillers, they just don’t interest me. I don’t think I really even watch them. Although, I did watch a handful of episodes of Veronica Mars right before it ended. I like your “Creeper Alert”. Nice touch. HaHa
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous
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    • Christina Franke says:

      Oh, you should definitely watch Veronica Mars! What sets that apart from most mysteries is the characters. They are amazing. Also, it’s SO clever.

  3. I’ll be the first to admit that I had never heard of Find Me prior to your review today, but I’m certainly interested in reading it now! I do enjoy a good mystery and thriller although I find I rarely make the time to read the either genre, and this is something I would like to make more of a conscious effort to remedy as whenever I do delve into the genre I tend to have a positive experience with it. Plus, you had me with the Veronica Mars reference, which is one of my favourite television shows (Apart from season three, which I prefer to pretend never existed)

    Wick certainly sounds like a protagonist I can easily root for as I tend to love the hardened, embittered characters who’ve seen all the world can throw at them (I don’t know, nor do I want to know, what this says about me) Griff’s behaviour is a definite turn-off, though. While I’m not dying to read this particular novel immediately, it does sound like it would be the perfect book to add to my to-be-read list in October as it sounds sufficiently creepy and fast-paced enough to make it a quick, enjoyable read 🙂
    Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader recently posted…Do! Judge A Book By Its Cover – Issue Nine: FantasyMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Oh, really? A few people have already weighed on this one. Ashleigh Paige liked it a bit more and Giselle wasn’t impressed. If you read a lot of mysteries, it’s apparently not all that satisfying, but I’m not an expert on them by any means.

      Well, I still enjoy season three, but it’s not nearly as good as the rest. Sigh.

      The embittered, bitchy ones are my favorites. I relate to them. Haha. Not sure what’s up with Griff. I don’t think I was supposed to find him creepy, but who knows.

  4. Jessica R says:

    Hmmm. Interesting. I don’t really read a lot of mysteries either, but this one intrigued me. I like the sound of Wick as a character and as a narrator. Black humour is usually pretty entertaining and I like when characters aren’t perfect (or don’t just have stupid flaws like “she’s too selfless because she can do no wrong to others”), so I can see myself enjoying her.

    On the other hand, though, I really don’t know about this Griff character. He sounds creepy as heck and the alarm bells are ringing! That’s too weird for me. Hopefully, if there is a sequel (which I hope there is because those loose ends would bug me too), he is not the love interest for much longer!

    So basically, still intrigued and now interested in meeting Wick, but wary of stalker-boy. Thanks, Christina! 🙂
    Jessica R recently posted…Sophomore Spotlight: Trish DollerMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      The only thing I didn’t like about Wick, aside from not being bothered enough by Griff’s behavior, is that she does the whole “must avoid you to save you” thing towards him, even though she doesn’t for her friend. Like, there’s a legitimate reason to push people away, but why just him? It was a little overly tropey.

      Still, in spite of that, I do recommend it. I thought it was really fun, and the ending was really intense. Hopefully Griff will get over his stalking tendencies in the sequel.

  5. I can’t believe I didn’t pick up on the Griff-is-Creepy vibe (or maybe I did, and it’s just been too long since I read this? I don’t know.) Either way, I’m really excited that you liked this! Of course, the mystery itself is probably predictable, but for me, when reading a mystery, it’s all about the why’s and the how’s, and I think Find Me did an excellent, creeptastic job with this aspect.

    Also, Romily says there will be a sequel. That note at the end (I think it said “Remember Me”) is the title. I just can’t find it on Goodreads or the publisher’s website or ANYWHERE besides what she told me.
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  6. I don’t know. This may go in the category with Between the Devil where I can see big negatives that didn’t bother anyone else. It’s puzzling. Aaaaaanyway, I did think it was fun. I didn’t find it to be overly predictable, but if I’d been forced to make a guess, that’s who I would have gone for, but she did throw out some nice red herrings.

    That’s basically what I figured. The REMEMBER ME all in caps was pretty obviously a sequel. The only thing I’m not sure about is whether it’s definitely happening. It might not have been picked up by the publisher yet.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: Find MeMy Profile

  7. I usually enjoy thrillers and mysteries so I should like this one. I like that it has a Veronica Mars vibe- that’s probably one of my favourite shows. I don’t like the sounds of Griff though. He sounds really creepy. It’s weird how stuff like that flies in books but not in real life.
    P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex recently posted…Review: Masque of the Red DeathMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Veronica Mars is the beeeest. There are some differences, but the plot is so much like season one. WHERE IS MY LOGAN, THOUGH? Maybe he’ll become magical in book two. Logan was an ass at first too.

  8. It’s a part of series, that’s why the dangling family issues are unresolved, but Romily plans to 🙂 Find Me is one of those books that I unexpectedly liked, mostly because of the hacker thing and partly because of the mystery.
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  9. Lyn Kaye says:

    I am wanting this book more and more! GIMME HANDS.

    I am happy to see a fair rating for this book – the reactions have been a mixed bag for this novel.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa SeeMy Profile

  10. Yay! You liked it too! I don’t think I’ll ever understand how Griff was supposed to be a good, romantic love interest. Guy is a douchebag and worse. KILL HIM DEAD. I also take this as a sign I should watch Veronica Mars already. I always mean to, but I have poor time management skills when it comes to making time for a show.
    Ashleigh Paige recently posted…Blog Tour Stop! Review, Top 5, and Giveaway: No Angel by Helen KeebleMy Profile

  11. Jessie says:

    Okay, if this reminded you of Veronica Mars, clearly I need to get on watching that. I have always intended to, but I get distracted. HOWEVER comparing it to this book may be what finally gets my ass in gear.

    I didn’t even realize the commonalities of the mystery until you point that out. I totally missed that — however, I like what Bernard did with them in the end.

    THE ENDING WAS ABSOLUTELY CREEPY. UGH. Even though I figured it out just before, I was still massively unsettled by the end of the novel.

    Boo on the romance. Booo for Griff. Go away, Griff! Nobody likes you here. I was so happy Wick called him on his crap and stayed aloof for a while. And then she stopped doing that and I got sad. Say no to “romances” like this, authors.

    I haven’t heard anything but I am 85% sure there will be a sequel. Too much left unanswered and that last note… Yeah. There will be more from Wick.

    (Let’s hope Lily gets more characterization in the future, amIright?)
    Jessie recently posted…15 Day Blogger Challenge – Blog AppealMy Profile

  12. Jenni says:

    It’s funny, I just finished writing my review for this one and I totally gush about how much I liked Griff. But reading how you put it makes me think I might have a thing for creepers! LOL Anyhow, I actually liked him and the romance because it was not authentic at all and yeah it was a little weird, but I don’t think I would have bought Wick entangling herself in a regular romance that wasn’t a touch weird. I’m so happy that I am with you on this one because I had a damn good time reading it too!
    Jenni recently posted…Book Girls Don’t Cry – DNF!My Profile

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