Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark Series #1)

Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark Series #1)

by A. Meredith Walters


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Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark Series #1) by A. Meredith Walters

New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters delivers an emotional, heart-wrenching story about the all-consuming power of first love—for fans of J.A. Redmerski and Colleen Hoover.

Maggie Young had the market on normal. Normal friends, normal parents, normal grades…normal life. Until him.

Clayton Reed was running from his past and an army of personal demons that threatened to take him down. He never thought he had a chance at happiness. Until her.

Maggie thought their love could overcome anything. Clay thought she was all he needed to fix his messy life. That together, they could face the world. But the darkness is always waiting. Sometimes the greatest obstacle to true love is within yourself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476782317
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 06/17/2014
Series: Find You in the Dark Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 378,704
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

A. Meredith Walters is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of New Adult novels including Bad Rep, Perfect Regret, Lead Me Not, and the Find You in the Dark series. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a counselor for troubled and abused children and teens. She currently lives in England with her husband and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

Find You In The Dark

  • chapter

    “you have got to be kidding me.” I groaned, kicking the tire of my piece-of-crap Toyota Corolla that had refused to start. Standing in my driveway, I unleashed every curse word imaginable as the minutes slowly ticked toward my inevitable tardiness. “Won’t start again, Maggie-Girl?” My father had poked his head out of the screen door. He had most likely been made aware of my predicament by my sailor-worthy tirade.

    Sighing, I slammed my car door shut and picked up my messenger bag. “Nooo . . .” I dragged out the word in tired defeat. My dad held the door open for me as I made my way back into the house. “Didn’t you just have it in the shop two weeks ago?” he asked as I slammed my bag down on the kitchen table and threw myself into a chair.

    I blew my bangs out of my eyes in frustration and didn’t bother answering. Everything was going so spectacularly wrong today. I shouldn’t have bothered to get out of bed. Maybe I should fake a cough or something and try to convince him to let me stay home.

    My father took a bite of toast, crumbs falling into his neatly trimmed beard. “Well, I’ll drive you to school. Can’t have you missing that big chemistry test.” He smirked at me, as if reading my ulterior plot to skip school.

    I groaned for the millionth time that morning. I’d completely forgotten about the test, but of course my dad, with his iron-trap brain, remembered. Well, that thoroughly screwed up any chance of a good day. Merry freaking Monday.

    “Maggie May, what are you still doing here? The tardy bell rings in T-minus-ten minutes.” My mother breezed into the kitchen, pouring herself a cup of coffee and conferring with her watch to make sure she wasn’t mistaken about the time. Looking at my superserious, all-business, pretty fantastic-looking mother, I wondered, and not for the first time, how I could have come from her DNA. She was my opposite in every possible way: where her hair was blond and shampoo-commercial perfect, mine was a dull, mousy brown that refused to be managed into anything resembling a fashionable style. My mom had a perfect figure. She didn’t look anywhere near her age, whereas I had the misfortune of being dubbed a “late bloomer.” My underwhelming cup size and nonexistent hips were hardly anything to write home about.

    But I did have her eyes. And I will say, allowing myself zero modesty, that they were pretty awesome. I loved that I shared the same dark-brown eyes and thick lashes. They were my best trait (well, aside from my astounding wit and amazing personality, of course), and I received my fair share of compliments because of them. So, no, you couldn’t compare me to the back end of a dog or anything, but, like most teenagers, I was anything but pleased with myself.

    “Her car wouldn’t start. I’m just getting ready to take her to school.” My dad filled her in before I could answer. My mom gave me a sympathetic smile before giving her husband a rather obnoxiously sweet kiss good morning. They were really nauseating at times, the way they were still so in love with each other. However, deep down, I just wanted the same thing and I spent a lot of time freaking out that I would never find it. But that was a panic attack for another time.

    “We can help you with it this time, you know. You worked really hard over the summer to buy it and it’s been nothing but trouble since you parked it in the driveway.” My mom, despite her Barbie-perfect appearance and a no-nonsense accountant’s personality, was pretty amazing. I took the bagel she handed to me and licked the cream cheese from the top.

    “Thanks. But I still have money saved up. Let’s just hope I don’t need a whole new flipping engine or something,” I muttered. My mom ruffled my hair as if I were still five and picked up her briefcase. “Well, Marty, if you’ve got this under control, I’ve got to get to the office. I’ll probably be late tonight.” My mom ran her own accounting firm in the city—and worked a lot.

    She leaned down and gave me a quick kiss on the forehead and my dad another loud smack and left. I shoved the rest of my bagel into my mouth and wiped my lips with the back of my hand. A napkin appeared under my nose. “I don’t think you were raised in a barn, Maggie,” my dad joked. I lightly touched the napkin to my now-clean mouth, just to make him happy.

    “You can head on out to the car. I’ll meet you there. Call Burt’s garage today; they’ll come and tow the car. Mom and I will pay for the towing, you pay for the repairs. Deal?” My dad put his tea mug in the sink and filled it with water. I felt guilty having my parents pay for my car in any way, shape, or form.

    I had been the one who insisted on buying the shitmobile outside. My dad wanted me to shop around more, to get a CARFAX report; all that rational stuff that I, of course, wouldn’t listen to because I was seventeen years old and I knew way more than my parents. Well, I learned that lesson the hard way.

    But I knew I most likely wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the tow and the repairs. My savings from my job at the ice-cream stand over the summer were almost depleted and I would be firmly in mooch territory soon if I didn’t find another way to earn money.

    I mumbled something unintelligible, not bothering to formulate words. Dad only chuckled. “I’ll interpret that as a thank-you,” he said, shooing me out of the kitchen. I walked out to the family minivan, not focusing too much on the public mortification of my librarian father taking me to school. If I hadn’t been feeling so negative, I’d have appreciated how considerate he was.

    I really was lucky in the parental department. My mom and dad always seemed to take my teenage moods in stride. Not much ruffled their feathers. Not that I’d done much ruffling in my seventeen years.

    So here comes the obligatory life rundown: I was your typical teenage girl, living in small-town America (Davidson, Virginia, if you really wanted to know), on the corner of Cliché and Stereotype. My life had been conventional and uneventful. I grew up the only child of the local beauty queen and the bookish guy she fell in love with. We had an apple-pie life of family dinners and games of Monopoly on Thursdays (Wednesdays if it was Mom’s week for Bunco).

    My best friends, Rachel Bradfield and Daniel Lowe, had been my partners in nonexistent crime since the womb. Our mothers had grown up together and it was predetermined that we would be as close as they had been.

    I was suitably smart, sporting a solid B-plus average, and had aspirations toward college, just like my friends. I did my homework, followed the rules, and basically bored myself to death. I also was in a very deep, crater-sized rut. How sad to be a senior in high school and already done with it all. And the year had only just begun! It was the first week of September.

    My car’s refusal to cooperate this morning only added to my overall malaise. I waited less than patiently in the passenger seat, tapping my fingers on the dashboard in an imperfect rhythm. “All right, Maggie-Girl, buckle up.” My dad’s persistent use of my childhood pet name (only mildly less obnoxious than the fact that I was named after some ’70s rock song by a guy with really bad hair and a penchant for supermodels) was sort of grating this morning. I wasn’t sure if Dad had yet realized that I wasn’t ten anymore. My parents had a really hard time accepting that I was—gasp—almost an adult. Although, to be fair, most days (this morning included) I didn’t necessarily act the part.

    I pulled out my phone and sent a quick text to Rachel and Daniel, letting them know I was running late. Judging by the time, I was at least missing the painful drone of our assistant principal, Mr. Kane, as he read the morning announcements. He always sounded as if he needed to blow his nose.

    So maybe the day was still salvageable. I tried to minimize conversation as Dad drifted lazily through our tiny town toward the high school. He sang along, rather badly, to the Righteous Brothers, his voice an alarming falsetto. His shoulders swayed with the beat.

    Dad was being so over the top that I couldn’t help but crack the barest hint of a smile. He caught me, of course, my emo facade at an effective end. He let out a whoop. “There’s my girl’s smile! I knew it was hiding somewhere.” He reached over and poked me in the side, causing me to squirm and laugh grudgingly.

    “You are such a dork, Dad,” I told him, not unkindly. He only grinned and turned up the radio. The auditory torture didn’t last much longer before we pulled up in front of Jackson High School. I barely gave my dad time to slow down before I propelled myself from the still-moving vehicle.

    “Don’t forget to call the garage at lunch,” Dad reminded me again. I gave him an ironic salute and turned to walk toward the school. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only straggler this morning. A few other kids were hurrying from the parking lot.

    I fumbled to get my phone out of my jacket pocket, wanting to send a last text to my friends to let them know I was there. I was having a lot of trouble getting it out; thus I was less than attentive as I slammed into the back of someone who had stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.

    “Hey!” I yelled as I collided with the very solid body. I dropped my phone, the back popping off and the battery skittering across the concrete. The guy dropped the papers he was holding and they scattered at his feet.

    We simultaneously let loose a string of expletives that would have earned me a mouth full of soap had my mother heard. “What the hell?” the guy growled, stooping to pick up the items he had dropped in our human fender bender. Okay, I was already in a craptastic mood and his snotty tone was just the icing on an already pissy cake. So, maybe I was being clumsy and all, but I didn’t need some random guy giving me grief. “Oh, I’m sorry; did I miss the Stop sign?” I fired back, not bothering to look at the jackass as I tried to fit the broken metal onto the back of my phone.

    I heard what sounded like a gritting of teeth. “Guess it’s too much to expect an apology.” His sarcasm was thick, his words ground out through an obvious grimace.

    “Probably,” I quipped, finally looking up into the most amazing pair of brown eyes that I had ever seen.

    Hot damn. Cue the violins and happy cartoon bunnies; I was in the middle of a Disney moment. Because this guy was gorgeous. And we were standing so close to each other. If he hadn’t been holding on to a barely contained rage directed at yours truly, it could have almost been construed as romantic.

    Just add delusions to my growing list of issues.

    Mr. Cutie stood there in all his infuriated glory—and he was seriously angry. His perfectly symmetrical face (covered with a fine dusting of adorable freckles, I might add) was flushed a rather alarming shade of red. Those awesome brown eyes flashed murder. He was quite a bit taller than I, with dark hair that curled around his forehead and ears as if he hadn’t bothered with a haircut in a while. He had a cleft in his chin and a tiny scar under his right eye. And, despite his obvious good looks, he appeared decidedly unhinged. Wow, they were only papers.

    Cute Boy took a deep breath and closed his eyes. I jammed my hands into my pockets and made the decision to get the hell out of there. I started to move around him, making sure to give him a wide berth. His voice, much calmer now, stopped me. “Well, you could at least tell me where the main office is. You know, after practically running me over and all.”

    If his tone had been playful, I would have been able to pretend he was flirting with me. But nope, he was terse and irritated and in a very bad mood. And I had had enough of it for one morning. So, his cuteness aside, this guy could go take a flying leap somewhere.

    “You’re a big boy; I’m sure you can handle this one on your own.” I turned and quickly walked away.

    “Thanks for nothing!” he yelled after me. Yep, Hot Boy came with a bad attitude. Not really my idea of a good time, thank you very much. I couldn’t get away fast enough.

  • Customer Reviews

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    Find You in the Dark 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 106 reviews.
    StephWard More than 1 year ago
    'Find You in the Dark' is a new adult/young adult contemporary novel that revolves around Maggie Young, who has had a normal life for as long as she can remember. That is, until she meets Clayton Reed - a mysterious and tortured guy who thought he never had a shot of being happy. Until he met her. They both thought that their love could overcome any obstacles life put in their way. But sometimes the darkness can overshadow the brightest things and the only way to find happiness is to dig deep within yourself. I normally don't read contemporary romance novels, but I'm glad I gave this one a chance. It deals with some very serious and heavy issues - namely mental illness - and it's not a story that everyone will enjoy reading or be able to relate to. I was easily drawn into the story and understood what Maggie and Clay were going through because I deal with mental illness myself. I don't want to ruin the story for those who haven't read it, so just suffice it to say that it has a lot of hard issues, serious topics, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to read. I cried - a lot. I normally don't react physically to books like that, so when I do I know that it's had a deep effect on me. The story is very well-written and has a believable yet heartbreaking storyline. The characters are easy to identify with and I immediately felt like I knew them all on a personal level - which only made me root for them and empathize with them all the more. Maggie and Clay's story reads like a classic tale of true love overcoming all obstacles if given the chance. This novel was beautifully written and told in a way that really brought me into the story. The romance level was a great fit for a New Adult book. Overall, this is a great contemporary romance that fans of the genre will love. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was one of the most heart wrenching stories that I have read so far. And I hope that in the sequel that Clay and Maggie get their Happing Ending.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    this book hit home, I love how its not just some silly love story, its that and more, the way the author got into the mental health issues blew me away! I'd recommend this book to anyone and everyone?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This book is VERY well written. I truly felt my heart break for Clay and Maggie. I would try to take a break at times but felt myself pulled back and couldnt stop until I finished the book! If there is a 2nd book I will most definately read it! If you know anyone with mental illness I strongly recommend this book! It really hit home with me and helped me to understand what they go through.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Was very good. If you have ever dealth with anyone with mental health issues this book definelty gets under your skin! I felt it all it was so emotional and difficult to read do to the depth of those emotions. There were a few times I wanted to put it down and stop reading NOT because it was a bad story just because it was hard to read as it hit very close to home and made me uncomfortable with the feeliings it stirred up in me that I haven't felt for some time. It truly was an amazing story and the author really did amazing in tapping in to both sides on mental health!!
    happyat44 More than 1 year ago
    what a great story.. i will never forget maggie and clay.. i cried for them and was happy for them... 2 people with a love so strong that they would do anything for eachother. of course you have to read shadows in the dark to be completed satisfied.. this was def one of the best books of the year.. it got me to understand the problems that people suffer with and it broke my heart.. so happy for clay to be the strong person that he was and for maggie to be right there waiting for him... applause for a. meredith walters..
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I am blown away... i loved this book. The story is incredible and throws you into every emotion possible. I thought it was going to be the typical "boy meets girl" but i couldnt have been more wrong. Amazing story A.Meridith Walters your not just a writer your a genius....
    upallnightbookblog More than 1 year ago
    This is a story of an all consuming first love.  Maggie loves Clay.  Clay is sick.  Maggie is ready to abandon everything for Clay.  She would go where ever he lead her. "But I knew this love was an intense, hungry thing.  I worried for a moment, as I fell asleep, that his love would eat me alive." "Sometimes, love can't make everything better, and the best thing for everyone is to walk away.  No matter how much it may hurt."  So sometimes you read something and it touches home in so many places.  You may not be sure if you want to go on because the images the book is sparking for you is all to familiar.  For me this book is that.  My very first high school love was similar in so many ways to Maggie's.  Reading this captured so many of those moments.  Moments where myself as a young naive girl  found myself accepting my jealous loves I'm sorry one to many times.  Walters captures these moments with the honesty and vulnerability that they deserve. Sometimes in this book universe we joke that reading is our therapy.  I think in a lot of ways that this book is very much one of those books. For me I decided that I would love me more than I loved my crazy first love.  In the book Clay gets his much needed help but not after so much damage has been done. I love that this book also sheds a huge light on Bipolar disorder and mental health.  I have always believed that there is an awful stigma to mental health as a disease and if this book helps someone who loves someone with mental health or someone who has issues than kudos to you Meredith Walters. This is one of those reads that I will think about for a long time.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This is my first review i have ever felt compelled to write. I loved this book! The characters were very relaable...i could see so many people I know in all of them! I couldnt recommend this any more! Cant wait for the next book to come out...
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    amazing,must read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Emotion emotion emotion there's lots of it it was like a roller coaster one min everything is going up the next it come crashing down in a pile of emotions. With that said i cant wait to see what happens next.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This would have received 5 stars if attention to formatting had been paid. Conversations were hard to follow because dialogue was all in one paragraph. Otherwise it was good.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Excellent! Don't be scared by the topic folks. This is a beautiful story about love that transcends high school amd teenage angst. Can't wait for the sequel! Oh, it has some pretty steamy scenes too!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Oh man this was a great book! Don't keep us waiting ---- when does the sequel come out?
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Wow! This book was great! The only time I put it down,was because I was crying so hard I couldn't see. This is a must read. I can't wait for the next one!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Wow. Just wow.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Justcallmelyss More than 1 year ago
    'Find you in the Dark' - Brought me from exciting butterflies to tears. This was a great read keeps you hoping for a happy ending, but also keeps you personally questioning... what would you do? I was with someone with a mental illness when the first time I read this book, so I was able to personally relate to it for other reasons. Honestly it helped in understand in many ways, but also why I think I was so moved by it. Highly Recommended.
    apowers2 More than 1 year ago
    This book is fantastic and what a great lesson in tolerance, patience, and the need to reach out for help from others. What can I say about this book, wow, it is an emotional roller coaster, such highs and lows, one minute I am laughing and the next I am crying my eyes out. I love, love, love Clay he is so troubled yet so loving, my heart breaks for him, the struggle he goes through  everyday, the deep hurt caused from his parents, they are such horrible people. I could see the writing on the wall of what was going  to happen but no matter what I could not prepare myself for the devastation I felt, if there was not another book I would be furious  that I read this. I am so glad I waited until all of the books in the series was written because to have to wait to see what happens  next would have killed me. I love Maggie, she is funny, sarcastic, loyal to a fault, and so loving. She loves Clay so much and my heart broke for her everytime she had to deal with "issues" that came up and how this book ended had me doing such an ugly cry, thank  goodness my husband wasn't home he would have thought I lost it. The letter at the end of this book was beautiful, truthful, and  heart-wrenching. The author did such a wonderful job depicting how one acts when dealing with "issues", how others around this  person may react, and how desperate a person can become to escape it all. I work everyday with young people dealing with "issues" and this was a great representation of how some people can act, how some people can be so desperate, wanting to feel "normal" how no matter how hard they fight they can't do it alone. I love how Maggie continued to love Clay, support Clay, and yes of course she thought her love could cure all doesn't every teenager think love is this overpowering force that can change the world lol, but she  saw in the end that no matter what he still needed help from others. What a great example for our young people to teach tolerance, understanding, to learn what not to do, and to learn to turn to someone else if a loved one needs help, fantastic writing and what a great story. I am now going to read on and see what happens to this wonderful couple with my fingers crossed for a great HEA. 
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    From beginning to end, you will not want to put this book down. This is an amazing story of love and pain that is caused by mental illness. You almost feel what they feel and you to want to find them in the dark and make things better. Now one of my favorite books...a must read!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Very well weitten, a bit long at times, but enjoyed- thank you!
    xxBianca More than 1 year ago
    First, I would like to commend the author for shedding light on something that is not talked about enough in our society-mental illness. Mental illness awareness is not discussed enough in the real world. There is a stigma attached to it. This novel brought light to mental illness in that it demonstrated that there is light in darkness. The series revolved around seventeen year old Maggie Young and Clayton (Clay) Reed. One day at school, Maggie collides (literally) into the life of Clay. From their first encounter, Maggie was intrigued by Clay, the new kid at school. He was quiet and seemed to want to be invisible to everyone else. Maggie makes it a point to get to know Clay. Little did she know that she had pulled Clay out of the darkness he has been facing for much of his life.  “You ran into my life, this beautiful amazing girl who changed everything.” This book had a heavy subject matter, but I believe the author did a great job on how two teenagers would deal with it. Maggie was your average teenager, but bored with monotony. She wanted more. She wanted a change. And that came in the form of falling in love with Clay Reed. She knew deep down inside something was wrong. Clay opened up with Maggie regarding the mental illness he has been battling for years. The problem that their loved face was that they thought,if they pretended to be normal, everything would be ok and that all the needed was love… “And if he went into the dark again, this time I would be there to find him- to follow him. Because I thought, perhaps quite immaturely, that my love could help him, Maybe our love could do even more than just help-maybe it could heal him. Fix him. Fix everything.” This ends with a cliffhanger in the sense that something happens where they have to be apart. Maggie fights to save Clay, but they soon find out that Clay needs more help than she is able to give. I fell completely for Maggie and Clay. Although they are teenagers, they dealt with adult subject matters. There are a couple of steamy parts, but for the most part it is really sweet.  Love is a scary thing. When you have never experienced it from your parents, how do you know to give love? This is a huge challenge I think Clay faced. He was not used to feeling love from his parents. Clay’s mom and dad are socialites in Miami that are involved in politics. They blame him for his “problems “When you’re in a room Maggie, all I see is you. You make everything better. Clearer. You stop the crazy noise in my head. I can think, hell I can breathe when we’re together. What you make me feel is the most unbelievable and scary thing I’ve ever felt” Overall, I truly loved this story! I don’t think I have ever read anything like this. The love Clay and Maggie share is powerful and consuming. This book will make you laugh out loud and cry. The author did a great job at allowing you to truly feel the emotions of the characters. At the end, I asked is love enough? Can love survive this? You’ll have to read the next one to find out
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    It was okay but Maggies character annoyed me so much. I wanted to choke her half the time
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The millions of exclamation points, def annoying in the midst of an amazing story