I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Find Me by Romily Bernard
Published by HarperTeen on September 24th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, YA
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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.
Find Me has a fairly strong beginning with dashes of tense, well written scenes. This made me sure that it would be an entertaining read if nothing else, but unfortunately it ended up being mostly boring with too much of the same old same old.
My first problem with this book is character development – or the lack thereof. We’re told Wick is this great hacker, a trait meant to impress but never felt genuine. All she does in this book is track an IP. Not only is the ability to dig up public information not hacking, the few examples we get are weak and some of it inaccurate. When you get a Facebook notification email, digging through the header would give you the originating IPs for the message’s relay servers: Facebook numbers, not user IPs. This is just one example and something non tech-savy readers might not know, but it shows a lack of research, making the story unrealistic for those of us who do. The other “hacks” mentioned are not especially challenging, either.
Aside from these grand skillz, Wick is your average thriller/mystery character who stupidly takes things into her own hands. Of course, this backfires, but I bet you’ll never see that one coming! *sigh* I understand she suspects one officer of being dirty, but I doubt a whole police station would ignore threats made on an 11 year old, or an address where a wanted criminal is hiding. This criminal in question – her dad – is not the mafia, it’s just him and his partner alone in a house, so why is Wick not turning him in when he blackmails her? I don’t even understand what made them so dangerous to begin with. Simply telling us someone is to be feared doesn’t alarm me. Oh he cooked Meth, he must be some scary mother… Heisenberg is not your average meth cook persona, FYI. Also, where is the psychological side of this story? Being an abused criminal’s daughter and everything… It might have added a layer of emotion to an otherwise dull plot.
The side characters – flat, flat flat; nothing but stereotypical personalities.
My second problem is with the romance. Firstly it felt forced, lacking any sort of spark. Secondly, the love interest blackmails Wick into kissing her – and not in any romantic, joking way – and then throws her in a pool when she outsmarts him. Next thing you know she’s sleeping with him. Does this give you butterflies?
My third and maybe biggest issue is with the immense predictability of the plot. I knew who it was by page 50. Actually, I was thinking there was NO way it could be this guy, because it would have just been too easy. But nope. It was him. Making the least guilty looking character into the guilty is the oldest tactic in history! Maybe they were hoping adding a few overly suspicious looking characters would distract us?
I admit to being entertained until about halfway, and the writing itself is good – especially for this genre. It’s the plot that’s weakly executed, full of clichés and boring characters; empty of anything that would make it memorable. It might gather a better fan base from readers who are very new to the genre, but I’ve read too many thrillers to be one of them.
2 Hot Espressos