Nate doesn't tell her why he's in her garage, and she doesn't tell him what she's running from. Soon, Hanley¹s trading her late-night escapades for all-night conversations and stolen kisses. But when Nate¹s recognized as the missing teen from the news, Hanley isn't sure which is worse: that she's harboring a fugitive, or that she's in love with one.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.55(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Where You'll Find Me
By Erin Fletcher, Heather Howland, Sue Winegardner
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2014 Erin Fletcher
All rights reserved.
The third step down holds my fate in its hands. There, the padding beneath the beige carpet is almost nonexistent. The supporting boards and beams creak with age. I learned these facts the hard way back in eighth grade, after my parents discovered the word "curfew" and once again earlier this year when I was too excited, too drunk, too something to remember the Third Step Rule.
Tonight I don't forget. I clutch the wooden banister and step over Third Step onto its silent neighbor, Fourth Step. It takes a long second before the familiar chainsaw of my dad's snoring sounds again. I'm in the clear for now.
I tiptoe down the remaining stairs. The front door is before me, freedom within reach, but that door creaks and groans too much for my needs. The well-oiled door to the garage is my escape route of choice.
On the way to said door, I pause to pick up my black knee-high boots. My sister Heather calls them "stripper boots" and steps on them every chance she gets. My parents nag me to keep them in the closet, but I need my shoes available for times like this. Opening and closing the closet door is an unnecessary risk.
Escape is close when my nose tickles. Shit. If I had a petite, polite sneeze like most girls have, this might not be a problem. However, my sneezes measure on the Richter scale. I obeyed the Third Step Rule and had my shoes ready to go, but now I'm going to ruin it all with a sneeze.
The door leading from the house to the garage is thick. If I can just get on the other side of it, my family might not hear me. As I step into the garage, those familiar sneeze-preceding sniffs start up.
My eyes water as I close the door and turn the handle back into place without a sound. Before I can step away from the door or cover my mouth, I sneeze so hard that my teeth clink together and I think that maybe I should have peed before leaving the house.
The sound echoes off the walls. I tense, waiting for one parent or the other to throw the door open. To ruin my plans. But that doesn't happen.
Instead, from across the frigid black garage, an unfamiliar male voice says, "Bless you."CHAPTER 2
"Who's there?" My voice shakes as much as the dumb girls with the big boobs who ask that question in horror movies, usually right before they get killed.
There's no response. At least not one that's audible over the blood rushing in my ears. It must have been my imagination. I force my hands to stop shaking as I pull on my boots.
"Aren't you going to say 'thank you'?"
My heart stops. That was not my imagination. Ohmygod, there's someone in my garage. A guy someone. I'm going to die. I'm going to be raped and tortured and cut up into tiny pieces, but I can't do anything about it because my limbs are frozen in place.
"That's usually what you say, you know. When someone says 'bless you.' The polite thing to do is to respond with a 'thank you,' especially after a sneeze like that. Wow."
My legs are still paralyzed, but I'm able to reach to my left and feel along the wall until I find the switch. The lights are such a shock after the pitch black that I flinch. After a few blinks, my eyes adjust. The three-car garage is bigger than most in our neighborhood. Closest to me is my dad's white Chevy Malibu. The middle space contains my mom's white Trailblazer. Heather's hand-me-down Lumina (white, of course) is in the driveway, because the final spot in the garage is reserved for my dad's prized possession: his black 1977 Firebird Trans Am.
What I don't see between the cars and the rest of my family's belongings is the owner of the mysterious male voice. "Who's there?" I ask again. My gaze darts from one car to the next, waiting for any sign of movement.
The choices of possible weapons near me are lame: a bag of dirty car-washing rags, a garden hose, and a container of rock salt for icy steps. Something rustles over by the Trans Am. Lameness aside, I grab the salt in one hand and the hose in the other.
There's a laugh. "What are you going to do with those? Give me a salt water bath?"
At least the tone is more teasing than menacing, but I still tighten my grip on the hose. "Who are you? Where are you? And what are you doing in my garage?"
"I live here."
I almost laugh. "Um, no. You don't. I live here, and I think I would know if there was someone else living in my house."
"I didn't say that I lived in your house. I said that I live here. In your garage."
I roll my eyes. "Right. Well, I'd like to be able to see the crazy guy who claims to live in my garage, so can you ... show yourself or something?"
"That depends. Can you lose the salt and the hose?"
After a second of hesitation, I set the weapons down, making sure they're still within reach. There's more rustling as a guy stands from between the Trans Am and the far wall of the garage. His hands are raised in the air like he's the one who's afraid of me, like I was holding something a lot more dangerous than a mineral and a garden tool.
"I'm innocent," he says. "See?"
He looks a little bit older than me, though not by much. His hair is light brown and super short, like it has been shaved or buzzed recently. Even with the distance between us, the bright blue of his eyes catches my attention. Everything about him screams "Michigan in winter," from the thick navy and gray North Face jacket to the pink skin on his nose and cheeks. Everything except hanging out in a garage.
The guy shrugs, and his jacket makes the rustling sound I heard before. "This is the perfect place. Your parents leave the garage door open when they come home. I make sure I'm inside before they close it, and then I unlock the side door so I can come and go if I need to. The Trans Am doesn't seem to mind sharing the parking place with me. What year is it? A '76?"
Wow. My family needs to do a better job with the whole "security" thing. "It's a '77," I say. The Firebird is always covered with a brown tarp, and my dad would shit a brick if he knew a stranger was standing this close to the car, let alone lifting the tarp enough to guess at what year it is. "Just like in the movie —"
"Smokey and the Bandit," the guy finishes with a nod. He rests his hands on the roof of the car, and I'm shocked that it doesn't trip some kind of alarm. The car has been around since I was a kid, and I've never touched it. There's rumored to be a picture of me sitting in the driver's seat, probably on a bright, sunny day — the car has never seen a single drop of rain — but since I've never seen the picture, I'm not certain of its existence.
My phone buzzes in my pocket, and I glance at the display. Rosalinda found a ride for us and is waiting at the end of the subdivision. If I don't get there soon, she's likely to drive down the street with the horn blaring. If my parents can't sleep through a squeaky step, there's no way they'll sleep through that. "You need to leave. Now."
"Aw, come on. If I was going to rob your house, I would have done it a long time ago. That's not why I'm here."
"Then why are you here?"
He smiles, tight-lipped. "Long story."
"If it's such a long story, why say anything? Why give your hiding place away?"
He gives the coat-rustling shrug. "You sneezed. It was the polite thing to do. Besides, I can trust you."
His confidence borders on arrogance that makes me cross my arms over my chest. "And how do you know that?"
He motions toward the house, then nods toward the door where I will make my escape. "Because you know about needing to get away."
On one hand, he's right. Who am I to call out someone using my garage as a getaway when I'm about to use a party at someone else's house as my own escape? On the other hand, whatever he's getting away from could be dangerous. Illegal. "Sorry. Not saying you have to go home, but you can't stay here."
"You should know that I'm not above begging."
"And you should know that I'm not above calling 9-1-1."
"Okay, okay," he says, pushing off the car and picking up a backpack, which he slings over one shoulder. "I'm going."
My phone buzzes again. Really, ridiculously time for me to go, too. As I approach the side door, the space between me and the stranger shrinks to a few feet. Up close, the jeans and Puma tennis shoes he's wearing make him seem far too normal and rich for a guy who claims to be living in my garage. His blue eyes shine even brighter than they did from a distance.
He opens the door for me in a gesture that would be sweet if the situation wasn't so bizarre. "After you."
"No, really. After you." I check the door handle to make sure it's locked before following him out of the house.
"Have a good time tonight." His smile reveals a crooked front tooth, and I can't help but wonder what it would be like to kiss that mouth with that crooked front tooth.
I duck my head, as if he can read my thoughts through eye contact. "You, too." And ugh, that was stupid. The chances of him having fun while finding someone else's garage to live in are slim to none. It's like when someone wishes you a happy birthday and you say, "You, too" without thinking about it. "I mean ... stay warm. Or something."
"I will." He turns left, and I turn right, toward the end of the subdivision. We're a few feet apart when he says, "Bye, Hanley."
I don't stop to ask how he knows my name.CHAPTER 3
"Earth to Hanley," Rosalinda yells. The sharp scent of vodka snaps me back to reality. The song she's yelling over is from a couple of years ago, before my world fell apart. Music from back then never fails to catapult me on an unwanted trip down memory lane. "You want?" Rosalinda holds a brim-full shot glass in front of my face. I snatch it out of her hand before she gets impatient and downs it herself. It has happened before. She leans close to my ear, and her Love Spell body splash overpowers the smell of the alcohol. "What's up with you?"
The song is loud enough that the bass vibrates in my feet. I close my eyes and down the shot. It burns. A chaser would be nice, but the threadbare armchair I occupy is way too comfortable to abandon for beer. Basement house party furniture is ugly, but it has an uncanny ability to swallow occupants for hours at a time. "Just ... thinking."
Rosalinda's dark curls bounce against her shoulders as she claps and says, "I can take care of that." She takes my empty shot glass and dances away.
Part of what I love most about Rosalinda is that she didn't ask what I was thinking about. No talking or explanation required. The best kind of friend to have. Though she's had more to drink than I have, she's still coordinated enough to dance while she fills two shot glasses. She's wearing a white tank that shows off her tan skin and a hot pink bra. Even when Michigan's temperatures dip below zero, Rosalinda rarely wears a jacket because it covers her outfits. The guy from my garage obviously doesn't share her concern. He's got bigger problems than fashion, now that I kicked him out.
"Stop thinking so much," Rosalinda yells as she hands me the refilled shot glass. "You look constipated."
"Who's constipated?" Clinton yells as he approaches. This is his party, but he's been in a corner, making out with a blond junior all night. A bit of lipstick stands out on his cheek and the collar of his polo shirt. He must own a polo shirt in every color and pattern ever made. It's all he wears, and I've never seen the same one twice.
"Hanley," Rosalinda answers.
Clinton leans on the arm of my chair and plants a kiss on my cheek before saying, "Hope everything comes out okay." He gives a dimple-laden smile, like he's funny or something. I narrow my eyes and flip him off. He laughs and tucks my finger back down. "Drink up," he says, clinking his half-empty beer bottle against my shot glass hard enough that vodka spills onto my jeans.
"Drink, drink, drink," Rosalinda yells. Her own shot glass is already empty.
The second shot goes down easier than the first. It doesn't burn so much as warm away the song, the memories it brings, and all thoughts of the stranger who claims to live in my garage.
"Atta girl!" Clinton takes our shot glasses and kisses Rosalinda firmly on the mouth. "Don't cause too much trouble, you two," he calls over his shoulder as he walks away.
Maybe I should tell him about the lipstick stains, but before he can even put the empty shot glasses down, a brunette senior loops her arm around his waist, fingers hooked through his belt loop. Nah.
"He's such a slut," Rosalinda says. I don't argue. The song changes to an annoying one I've heard way too many times this winter, but I'll take it. "Ohmygod, I love this song! Let's dance." Before I can cling to my chair, Rosalinda pulls me to my feet.
The room sways for a second. Alcohol never really hits me until I stand. The familiar fuzzy feeling takes over as I do what I do best. Dance. Drink.
* * *
I love my boots. Really, I do. But walking in heels while drunk is a challenge. I keep twisting one ankle, then the other as I walk from the driveway to the sidewalk that leads to the side door. The junior who drove me and Rosalinda home beeps the horn of his truck twice as he drives away.
Waving in his direction throws me off-balance enough that I twist my left ankle. Again. "Shh," I exclaim to the horn-honking truck driver, even though he's already long gone.
Twisted ankles aside, I make it to the door without further interference. I dig my keys out of my pocket and close one eye as I try to fit the correct key into the keyhole. Instead, I drop the whole ring. As I bend over to pick it up, I fall against the door and slide to the ground. When I look up, the door handle is at least a mile away. I'll just sit here for a little while. Let the world stop spinning. I close my eyes and lean my too-warm cheek against the cold door.
"Need some help?"
When I open my eyes, I expect to see my dad standing over me with his arms crossed and a scowl on his face. Instead, the voice belongs to the mysterious garage boy. The one I'd forgotten about.
"I'm fine." Or at least that's what I try to say. But with my alcohol-affected brain and tongue, it comes out as a tangled mess of consonants.
"Fine, huh? So dropping your keys and falling are things you meant to do?"
Once his hand is free from his jacket pocket, he picks up the keys. He puts the key in the door and turns the handle. "There," he says as the hinges creak open.
"I told you to leave," I say. Still more consonants than anything. Vowels are hard.
He must be fluent in Drunk because he says, "You told me to leave your garage, which I did."
For no reason, the world spins again. Closing my eyes, I reach for anything solid, which happens to be Garage Boy's leg.
"Whoa," he says. "Easy. If I help you inside, are you going to call the cops on me?" My response is less verbal, more clutching his leg even tighter, but he seems to get the idea. He stands behind me with his hands under my armpits. "One. Two." On three, he hoists me up off the ground.
Attempting to get my feet under me is a useless effort. He pulls me over to the space between the Trans Am and the wall, and I watch as my feet drag against the ground. On some level, I know my boots are getting scratched, but on a much more prominent level, I can't bring myself to care. He deposits me on something semisoft, and I collapse into a horizontal position that makes my dizziness quadruple. I close my eyes against the garage lights and enjoy the rush.
"Hanley," he says with two light pats to my cheek. "Hey. Open your eyes, Hanley."
When I do, Garage Boy is leaning over me, face inches from mine.
"Your eyes," I mumble, captivated by the gorgeous color.
"How much did you have to drink?"
Drink. Mmm. The party. Body shots. Beer pong. My eyes slide shut. But before I can fall asleep, I'm pulled into a sitting position and something solid is pushed into my hand. This time when I open my eyes, I'm holding a gray Nalgene water bottle.
"It's water," Garage Boy says. "Drink."
The room is spinning, and I'm tired, and I can't do anything more than stare at the bottle and blink.
Garage Boy sighs and takes the bottle from my hand. He opens it and holds it up to my lips. "Drink," he says, and this time I obey.
The water is cold, and I'm parched. I push his hands away and grab the bottle myself, drinking greedily. The water tastes like plastic and the kind of ChapStick that comes in the black tube.
"Easy," he says as he pulls the half-empty bottle away from my mouth. "I really don't want you to puke all over me."
I stare at him as he twists the cap back onto the bottle. The water has sharpened my grasp on reality. "How do you know my name?" The sentence almost sounds like six individual words. Almost.
Excerpted from Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher, Heather Howland, Sue Winegardner. Copyright © 2014 Erin Fletcher. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this debut novel from Erin Fletcher. I first read the synopsis and immediately found myself intrigued. Discovering a boy living in your garage? And then falling in love with said boy? The idea here is really different and fresh and while it might not have been 100% believable, that didn't matter to me. I saw people commenting about how ridiculous the main character acted when she first discovered the boy in her garage and I just want to say: People. This is a work of fiction. I get that some readers prefer realistic situations, but I felt Fletcher did a great job with her story. I liked both Hanley and Nate's characters, loved their interactions together, and really liked the underlying emotion that this novel is based upon. Hanley and Nate are essentially BOTH runaways in this novel and are instead of facing their demons, they hide from them. I liked Hanley and I felt for her. She isn't in the best place and she makes a lot of poor decisions (sneaking out, getting drunk, etc). She thinks drinking will help her forget the pain of her past, but alcohol is only a temporary fix. She likes hanging out with her friends Rosalinda and Misty because they don't prod and ask questions- they just enjoy spending time with one another. It seems like a superficial friendship, but that is what Hanley needed from them to get through. I do wish we would have gotten to know Rosalinda a bit more (her past, why she parties like she does, etc.) as she ends up dealing with some pretty heavy stuff by the end of the book. Hanley discovers Nate living in her garage and while she is surprised and a bit scared, she doesn't freak out. He doesn't appear to be homeless- his clothing and clean cut demeanor prove that, but he is vague when it comes to answering questions and she tells him he can't stay. However, after helping her drunken self inside, she feels guilty as its cold outside and she doesn't want to turn him out with no where to go. I have to admit, Nate showing up first in her garage and then in her house is really creepy. Good-looking or not, Hanley should have exercised a bit more caution in the beginning with him. Hanley carries a lot of guilt over what happened in the past and I think subconsciously she doesn't really want Nate to go- she knows he needs a place to stay and she can help him. If she turns him out and he has no where else to go, he would be spending the freezing nights on the streets. She can't risk something happening to him when she knows she could have helped. I really liked Nate's character all initial creepiness aside. He's a sweet guy who also carries a lot of guilt like Hanley does. His character is elusive and mysterious and we don't find out much about him until later. He ends up being exactly what Hanley needed. He accepts her without judgment and when he finds out about the pain that eats her alive on a daily basis, he is there to comfort her. After she reveals her guilt to him, she is hurt that he won't talk about why he is hiding out in her garage. She opened up to him and trusted him and is upset he doesn't reciprocate. After finding out his secret, she is naturally shocked and it is her older sister, Heather who helps put things into perspective for her. Heather and Hanley haven't really gotten along, but we really see their dynamic change in this book and I felt that was a really big shift in the right direction for the sisters. Hanley's relationship with her parents isn't the best one. She feels they weren't there for her afterwards, but the truth of it is they probably didn't know how to handle what happened and how it impacted her. Hanley believes they want the perfect family and acknowledging that she was far from okay would shatter that illusion of perfection. Hanley is young and while her parents may have been at a loss as to how to help their daughter, that doesn't mean they're not good parents. On the contrary, I felt Hanley had good parents who were doing the best they could and they proved themselves to be on Hanley's side multiple times in this book, especially after Nate's secret came out. Overall, Where You'll Find Me is an emotional story, but still manages to keep a lightness about it too. You are left feeling hopeful for Hanley and Nate- that they will be able to let go of their grief and guilt and move forward with their lives.
When I bought this book I had o idea what to expect...just looking for something to read. Although it was a little short, the book turned out to be amazing. I finished it in a day and couldnt seem toput it down. What happens to both characters i sad and completly unexpected, which may be a reson to why it is so good
Putting aside the oddity of letting some stranger continue to live in your parent’s garage rather than telling someone about it I quite enjoyed this story. Nate and Hanley have both lost people close to them and this story is both about their intriguing attraction for each other and their need to talk to someone about what happened to the people that died. Nate’s guilt is dealt with through running away from his family and Hanley through late night parties and alcohol. Despite the difficulties they have to overcome we are left with a promising end to that chapter in their lives. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Adored this story! The characters deal with some pretty heavy issues/situations, and yet the author is careful not to really give any only one right answer type of out, rather allowing the reader to try to see all sides of the equation without any ulterior motive. I love that. This is about the characters, their pasts, and how they grow and move through it. It's full of heart, written well, and very, very addictive.
A Perfect Example of What Romance Should Be! I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.There are good YA Romance books and there are GREAT YA Romance books and this falls into the great category for me. I was immediately drawn in and I was happy to read it. I started reading it last night and finished it today. I told my daughter I would be getting her a copy too. She's sixteen and I think it would be good for her to read. That being said let's move on to plot. The plot is good and at first it's daunting that this girl would just be okay with this stranger but we take into account she is seventeen but she is in no way naïve. Hanley is smart and broken and I think that she sees how young Nate is off the bat and that he is somehow broken just like her. The progression of the book was pretty quick so there was never an :oh, hurry up" moment for me it was just all good. Alot of issues are dealt with that kids in our society deal with and it was refreshing. I love the characters too each and every one and if Erin Fletcher were to revisit Hanley and Nate in the future it would get no complaint from me. I like alot about this book. There was really nothing to not like about it. A well written and knowledgeable coming of age story with a thick twisty plot that keeps you on your toes. I say bravo Ms. Fletcher!
Hanley Helton likes to party, a lot, sneaking out at night often to do just that. She uses alcohol to escape, trying to forget the past as if it never happened. Everything changes one night when she stumbles upon this guy in her garage when she is sneaking away for one of her escapades, hiding in her garage. Garage guy turns out to be Nate. He seems nice enough, but it's still weird that he's in her garage. The two forge a friendship that turns into a lot more. Nate has his own issues he is hiding from, and harbors his own dark secret. Nate is a really great guy and I grew to really like him. I felt so bad for him and his story is really heartbreaking. Hanley's character is a wreck and she has chosen to camouflage her pain with her snark, alcohol, and other extracurricular activities. I felt that she did a lot of growing in the book. Grief is one of the main themes in Where You'll Find Me. The author addressed more than I expected in regard social issues that are prevalent today. Though the whole garage concept may not seem realistic to ,some, but I enjoyed the plot and the direction the author took the story, and found it to be very interesting, though sad at times. Though Where You'll Find Me deals with some difficult and unpleasant issues, it also has its cute moments to. The novel is 211 pages, so it's not that long. Erin Fletcher has done a great job with her debut novel.
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What would you do if you found a guy living in your garage? First thought is to call the cops and kick him out. Hanley does kick him out but decides to leave it at that. Then a cold front comes through with barely above 0* temperature and she finds herself inviting him back into the garage to stay warm. She doesn’t want another death on her conscious. From there the two talk and find a companionship that they can’t find with others. They may now know each others secrets but they know what it’s like to have them. The author did a great job with keeping this story believable. It wasn’t so absurd that Hanley would feel the need to help another person by offering the same living quarters that they were using for who know how long before she found out. When I was younger I would sneak stray cats into the house in the middle of the night when my parents were asleep. Well first I’d sneak them into the front hallway to the apartments to get them out of the snow and when the coast was clear, I’d sneak them into the house. Granted, stray cats and stray humans are two different things, I could see the whole saving a stray human thing. HaHa The romance built up slowly so there was no “love at first sight”. Hanley is weary of Nate (as she should be) but decides to help him out. Over time they find common ground and start to build a relationship. I liked that the two didn’t instantly fall in love. Yeah, there was interest between the two but that was it. However, the ending I found to be a bit to over the top. I was on board up until that point. I won’t go into detail but the ending is the biggest HEA I’ve ever seen. I just felt like some of the parent’s responses were over the top. In the end this was a great debut novel for Erin Fletcher. I will be keeping my eye out for more of her work.
My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 Unicorns - I loved it!!! Grab a box of tissues!! Like a Hallmark Channel Movie in book form!! ***Received the ebook from Entangled Publishing for an honest review The cover is touching and will appeal to all my high school girls :) For me, it doesn’t do much, but who cares ;) Okay if you know me, I usually stay far away from realistic fiction, but I’m trying to expand my repertoire for my students with the Young Adult books I read. And contemporary romances are usually not my thing, and I usually think of them as boring; however, again I’m proven wrong and need to stop judging books by genre (and sheepishly admitting by covers too). Everyone finds it hard to step out of their comfort zones, me included. This book covers some heart wrenching topics, and I cried bawling my eyes out on several times. This book is like a show on the Hallmark channel…it rakes you across the coals emotionally which is why I loved it. In fact, this book should probably be a Hallmark movie ;) Hanley and Nate’s story together is amazing, but then you add in their individual tragedies, and this becomes so much more. This book is great for teenagers especially because it covers topics an assortment of topics that are hard to talk about but should be. I’d give you a list, but I don’t want to give the story away. You will have to read it. I highly recommend this book to book lovers who love those sappy emotional Hallmark movies & all of those who already love the contemporary genre. I loved this book and read it straight through to 3am to finish it because I had to know what happened before I went to bed. If this comes out in paperback, I’m going to have to pick it up for my high school classroom to share with my girls.
Amazingly good read with a unique plot! **I received this as an eARC throught Netgalley from the publisher. In no way does that effect the thoughts and opinions expressed here. I did not receive compensation in any way for this review.** REVIEW I feel like most of the good books I have read recently have been full of deep feels and have been mostly contemporary stories. This book was no different, it gave me sooo many feels! There were moments of sadness but the happiness outshines them! I loved Hanley. I loved how sarcastic she was, a lot of her witty retorts had me snickering, even if it was a self defense mechanism for her. I felt for her and wished she could come to terms with her grief and that her parents would realize what they were doing to her. Then she finds Nate, or is it he that finds her, either way I love him. I loved them together! Nate became Hanley's leaning post, the person she could trust with her sadness. While I kept hoping for her to find the strength in herself to overcome things I was really glad she had him. But Nate has his own secret and unfortunately Nate wasn't ready to share his secrets. I felt for Hanley because of it, I mean she opened up and made herself vulnerable but Nate won't do the same in return. Of course when he does it's a bombshell! There were also some rock solid supporting characters, I kind of wish we had more time to see their interactions, they were just the type of friends Hanley needed and I'm left wishing we could have seen them grow and develop more, it read like they each have their own story to tell. The pacing was excellent and when I wasn't swooning I was dying of suspense over what Nate's secret was and how it would effect his and Hanley's fragile relationship. Coming off my happy buzz I have to say that the ending left me with a few questions and you could say I'm now secretly hoping for a follow up book so those questions are answered. In short: Where You'll Find Me is a quick, cute but at times serious read that I loved and know I will read again. I highly recommend!
When I received the ARC for “Where You’ll Find Me” by Erin Fletcher I was curious about the book. To be completely honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I mean, how many people willingly let someone they don’t know live in their garage? Even a teenager would most likely have an issue with this. So I was curious about how the author told the story rather than excited by the prospect of reading a good manuscript. I have to admit, I was more than surprised by, not only how much I liked the story, but how much depth there was to it. Ms. Fletcher didn’t write a fluffy, teenager insta-love story about a homeless boy living in a garage of a girl who immediately falls in love with him. Nope. She wrote a story with depth of emotion. One that explores the ugly side of guilt, blame, shame and all-encompassing love. Yes, Nate lives in Hanley’s garage. And, yes, she lets him. But she has her reasons, and they don’t center around an insta-love connection. Although, they do build a relationship throughout the book, but it’s real and relatable. Sounds odd, I know, but it worked. Nate’s character was wonderfully written. He had just enough mystery surrounding him that kept me interested in him, but he wasn’t a dark and brooding lead. He was caring, understanding, and funny. I liked him a great deal. In fact, I probably would have let him live in my garage! But while he was open and caring with Hanely, he was guarded when it came to information about himself. He kept his secret hidden away, although it was somewhat easy to guess what the secret revolved around, even if the reader didn’t know exactly what it was. And it’s pretty obvious that this huge secret hanging over Nate’s head is the reason he’s running. Hanley has her own secret. And while she doesn’t physically run like Nate, she runs from life by drowning herself in booze and partying. I liked her just as much as I did Nate. She was just as caring as Nate (hence letting him live in her family’s garage). They were both great characters. Broken, flawed, seemingly unrepairable, this is what made them relatable and loveable. Secondary characters were developed fairly well. I would have liked more development, however, especially between Hanley and her sister. But I loved how their relationship morphed toward the end of the booked. The plot was excellent and well thought out. The pace of the book was excellent. It kept my attention throughout. I didn’t feel my mind wandering. The writing style was one I liked and it was easy to let myself get drawn into Nate and Hanley’s world. BOTTOM LINE: Erin Fletcher has written an incredible book that is not only a sweet romance between two teens, but also explores the dynamics of familial flaws. How easily it is for parents and children to blame each other for situations, how hurtful it can be and what the consequences of that blame can be. It touches on forgiveness, building stronger relationships, and learning to forgive yourself and let go of misplaced blame…because you can’t grab onto life if you’re holding on to the past. Five stars all the way. So many layers to this book. It’s definitely worth the time to delve into them head first.
For a book that is so short, it sure does pack an emotional punch! After reading the synopsis, I was so intrigued. I wanted to know so badly why Nate would be living in Hanley's garage. I also wanted to know what Hanley experienced that would cause her to act the way she does. I was pleasantly surprised with both outcomes, as I was not expecting either. Hanley has no idea who the boy living in her garage is. Nate's obviously homeless, but that is really all you know about him. Nate is also not your typical homeless kid. He's clean, wears designer clothes and doesn't seem angry. He is actually very sweet and he is just trying to deal with life day by day. I was so interested to see what would drive someone to leave their home to live outside in the freezing cold. Despite everything I thought it could be, I was way off, and I love that the author surprised me like that. Where I instantly loved Nate, it took me a little bit to warm up to Hanley. I found her very annoying at first, but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her. I enjoyed watching Hanley and Nate become friends. They were so sweet and cute together. I really had no idea how this book was going to end. I was so stressed! I really had no clue how the author was going to fix the situation, and again she surprised me. Where You'll Find Me was just full of surprises! It was original and quite different from other YA stories out there.
Is this story realistic? No. Not really. Did I care? Not at all. Half of the books I read aren't realistic. The only difference here is this is a contemporary and not a science fiction or fantasy book. What it did have was two damaged characters I found likable and a plot that kept me guessing until the end. It hooked me from the start with the dialogue, the relationships and the element of mystery. Hanley feels an immediate connection to the young man she finds hiding in her garage. Here's where Hanley and I differ. I would have went screaming for help. I'm not that trusting. She, on the other hand, befriends him nearly immediately, begins to sneak out of the house (and into her garage) to spend time with him and ultimately falls in love. Sure, Nate didn't seem like a threat. He seemed like a normal boy… who just happened to be living in someone else's garage. He was obviously keeping a secret, and while I was chomping at the bit to find out what it was, I didn't sense he was up to anything nefarious. He was sweet and charming and needed someone to rely on. Both Hanley and Nate had lost someone close to them in a tragic way. While Nate knew her story, she didn't find his out until much later on. Regardless, they were both there for each other and bonded in a very real (albeit a little insta-love-like) way. As Where You'll Find Me is a young adult book, there were some sweet, clean scenes and just good old fashioned teenage romance. They shared chemistry and understanding. They worked well together. I was surprised by the reveal of Nate's big secret. I thought the book would be a little lighter, fluffier, than what it was. But, it touched on a couple darker, more serious issues and it did it in a respectful, honest, thought-provoking way. I was pleased by the depth of the book in those moments. Where You'll Find Me was fast-paced and engaging. It was a great debut novel and I'm excited to read more from Erin Fletcher in the future. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
I received a free copy of this book from Entangled Teen Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I have read a lot of books in the Contemporary Romance genre over the past two years, but lately I have had a taste for more action and less romance. Because I am out of practise when it comes to romance novels, I was not sure if I would be able to give this book a proper review. But I am happy to announce that reading a particular genre after taking a long break from it is like riding a bike again after a few years. It takes a little while to get used to it, but once you settle in and go along for the ride, it is a lot of fun. At least that’s how it feels when you luck out and read a good book! Where You’ll Find Me dealt with some heavy issues, but the overall tone of the book never became depressing.The only complaint I have about the story telling is that it was a bit rushed. Everything progressed too quickly. It’s a short book, and I like the fact that it moved at a steady pace, but it could have benefited from an additional 50 pages. The characters were very interesting, and it would have been nice to spend more time with them. When the story begins, Hanley (Love that name by the way.) has closed herself off from everyone around her. She hides behind sarcasm and drinks until she can’t feel anything anymore. All her relationships are either superficial or antagonistic. Her best friend has been placed into a category of someone who is only good enough to drink and have mindless fun with, her sister is just a nuisance, and, of course, she fells like her parents don’t understand or care about her. As the story progresses, Hanley learns that maybe she doesn’t know everyone as well as she thinks she does and the people around her are capable of more than what she gives them credit. Often times when I read these types of stories, I find myself wishing that the main character would step outside of their own pain and look at things from another perspective. Hanley is one of the few characters that I’ve encountered who actually does this. She thinks about more than just herself, and I was impressed with all of the different emotions the author was able to explore in such a small amount of pages. The relationship between Hanley and Nate was very sweet, but again I wanted more! I am not a fan of insta love, but even though the connection formed between these two overnight, it made sense in this setting. Hanley was suffering from grief over loosing someone very close to her, and was doing everything that she shouldn’t to ease the pain. She internalized, pushed every one away, and drank way too much. It was very believable to me that she would form such a tight bond with some kid who sneaks in her garage at night because she was not making very smart decisions in other areas of her life. She was just lucky that it was Nate who showed up in her garage and not some deranged serial killer. When reading a romance novel, the most important thing to me is that the bond between the two people feel real. I need to understand why they feel so strongly about each other. I don’t care if it takes them 24 hours or 24 years, if I don’t get why they have such intense feelings for each other, I chalk it up as a romantic failure. Even thought they fell for one another quickly, I know why Nate loves Hanley, and I am very sure of why Hanley loves Nate. They understand each other, don’t judge each other, have some very important things in common, and meet each other in the right place at the right time. Everything aligned perfectly, and two kids that needed a friend met and found a safe place together. There are a few twist and turns in the story that involve Nate and why an intelligent, charming, and seemingly normal young man has no place better to sleep at night than Hanley’s garage. Even though I wasn’t brought to tears, I felt for him and what he went through. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future because I think she can challenge her readers a bit more with a longer novel. Where You’ll Find Me is adorable and well written, and that is high praise coming from someone who has read hundreds of books in this genre. If you’re in the mood for a very sweet book that will have your heart aching towards the end, then you should give this a read. It also had an ending that put a big smile on my face. ;) Because of language and minor sexual content, I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.
Honestly, when I read the premise for Where You'll Find Me I thought it sounded.. ok. And that's being nice.. but then I started reading and I couldn't stop. This book had me hooked. The only thing that irked me and made me give it 4 instead of 5 stars is you'd think that a female teenager that realizes there's a boy on the run staying in her garage would have done something and oh i don't know.. Kicked him out? But for some reason she couldn't. She had this apathy for him for some reason. I was sorta annoyed that she would allow that type of thing happen. The dangers that could come along with that... But I looked past that because what unfolded was this story of heart-break, loss, grief, cancer, death, suicide, and then finally we see them fall in love. They were both dealing with this huge amount of grief and by meeting were able to build themselves back up together and learn to let go. They helped each other grow and become really amazing individuals. It had a lot of very real and heart breaking issues that I don't always see in young adult books these days. It was refreshing. I definitely recommend people to pick this book up! There was so much juice to this story.. loved it! And I really love the cover as well. I like when I get to put a face to a person in the book. It helps me visualize them. :) I was given an e-copy of this book for a fair and honest review. I received no compensation.