Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard

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Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard
Find Me
Romily Bernard
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: September 24th 2013
by HarperTeen

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“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.
-A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review-

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 Stars
2 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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24 Responses to “Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard”

  1. Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    When I read the summary I was expecting this book to be exciting. I guess not. I feel like sometimes books would do better without any romance in it. If it doesn’t come naturally then why bother? I’m definitely not reading this one. Great review Giselle.

  2. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    So the two main things I rely on for a good book is the characters and if applicable; romance. I highly doubt I’m going to love this one as much as I expected before all the reviews. And predictability? Don’t get me started.

    Fabulous and helpful review Giselle! <33

  3. Chri @ Fathomless

    Aw, I’m sorry it was mostly just boring for you. Find Me sounded so interesting (and the cover – how cool does that look?) But flat characters, predictable plots, and forced romance really isn’t my thing. *sighs* doesn’t it seem like, these days, romance is always part of a book’s downfall? :/ And Wick with her skills. Or rather, the lack of… Eh. Thanks for the honest review!

  4. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I read this a few months ago and I think I enjoyed it a bit more than you did. However, all the points that you made bothered me as well. The characters weren’t very developed, but I’ve sort of come to expect that in YA mystery books lately. Also, I completely agree about the romance. Something was off with it.
    And yes, the book was so predictable. Once I met the guy, I knew it was he/she! It was so silly and I kept hoping it wouldn’t be that person, but that wasn’t the case unfortunately.
    Anyways, I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you, Giselle. Hopefully, you’re nect book is better.
    Great honest review! 🙂

  5. JennRenee

    I really had high hopes for this book. the lack of research would also bother me although to be honest, not sure I would have know anything about the hacking.

    I do need good character building in my books, flat characters do nothing for me.

    great review.

  6. Christianna

    Wow this is one of the first reviews I’ve read that hasn’t raved about this one. I always like to see what the other side of things look like for a book, so this review was awesome. I’m still very curious about it though!

  7. Pili

    Thanks for a very honest review Giselle!
    I thought this book’s premise sounded great, but I’ve read quite a few reviews that say the same thing about poorly developed characters and unimpressive plot, so I’m not sure I’ll give this one a chance…

  8. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Bummer, I wanted to read this one because of the hacker aspect. (I pretty much am fascinated with anything illegal) I was kind of bummed when I got denied but now I’m thinking I dodged a bullet. I hate when the suspect is so predictable you think there is no way they can be it.

  9. ShootingStarsMag

    That love interest sounds horrible. This is one of those books I don’t even think having a romance is needed. I hate when people include side plots of love/romance for certain titles because it’s just distracting for me.

  10. Shelly

    I was really looking forward to this one! It’s disappointing to see that the characters are predictable and that the romance is forced. Great review! 🙂

  11. Shannelle (The Tracery of Ink)

    Well, that’s sad. It sounds really interesting, but I guess that hacker part wasn’t really pulled off. Which is actually a very hard topic to include to begin with, because you have to be a hacker to make the whole thing seem authentic.

  12. Emily

    It’s a pity this novel fell short of its promise.
    I also guess that if you read a lot (like a know someone here does 😉 ), it may seem to lack that oomph that other readers will get. Clichés and a forced romance don’t work for me, and I like things to be more deeply developed instead of being based on a superficial level.
    Great, insightful review, though Giselle!

  13. Molli

    Damn. I’m leaving this one on my TBR until I see some other reviews (I think yours is the first I’ve read,) but it does sound very frustrating. The synopsis makes it sound like the MC is some master hacker, but it seems like she isn’t really all that great. Plus the love interest stuff and the factual mistakes could be a bummer.

  14. Vivian

    Ugh, this doesn’t sound like a book for me. Lack of character development? I live for the character appeal! Sucks that it was a bit cliche and wasn’t memorable. I think I’ll pass on this one! Great review!

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