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Monday, November 14, 2011

Therapeutic Review and Giveaway of Jenny B Jones' There You'll Find Me

I recently finished Jenny B Jones' latest young adult release, There You'll Find Me. I was super-impressed with several things, but we'll get there in a second.

Here's a blurb from Jenny's website:

Finley Sinclair is not your typical eighteen year old. She’s witty, tough, and driven. With an upcoming audition at the Manhattan music conservatory, Finley needs to compose her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother.

She decides to travel to Ireland following his travel journal. It’s the place he felt most alive – and she desperately needs to feel alive again. So she agrees to an exchange program and boards the plane. Beckett Rush, teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy, is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he meets Finley. She’s the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces her to be his assistant in exchange for his help as a tour guide.

Once in Ireland, Finley starts to break down – the loss of her brother and the pressure of school, her audition, and whatever it is that is happening between her and Beckett, leads her to new – and dangerous – vices.

Then she comes across something that changes her perspective irrevocably. Is it enough to convince her that everything she’s been looking for has been with her all along?

Jenny's writing is always such a joy to read. I feel like she has one of the most recognizable voices in Christian fiction. If you've ever heard her speak in person, you'd see why. Her personality sparkles across each page, regardless of genre or POV. That's such a unique thing that's all hers. With that said, you'll laugh at loud at some of the quips that Jenny peppers in her dialogue and internal thoughts. So much fun to read!

Therapist cap on here, Jenny realistically depicts two major themes running through young adult life:

1) What it's like for young girls struggling with body image when they are plagued by media images of pencil-thin model-types as the ideal woman. Finley's journey to Ireland is costly for her emotionally, and while she has trouble handling the feelings associated with her brother's death, her stress over her impending audition, and a new romance on the horizon with a world-renown heartthrob, she realizes that that there are other things she can control.

Eating disorders usually start with an honest intention of losing weight, just a few sizes, and then the feeling of control that brings gets out of hand. If ever a book clearly portrayed how these types of mental disorders look like at the beginning, it's Jenny's book. As the book neared the end, I grew wary of how "healed" Finley would be by the last page. I wasn't disappointed. Jenny handled it very satisfactorily, and completely realistically.

2) What it's like for young people seeking to find their own way, outside of parental and peer influences. Beckett and many of the other young people in the book are at a crucial juncture of their lives where they have to decide whether to live for what they know to be right for them or whether they live for other people, to make others happy. I appreciated the struggle these teens went through and the end result. Teens (and adults) everywhere will relate.

To be entered to win this great book, please leave a comment below. Offer good only for residents of the continental US and followers of this blog, as I like for my giveaways to be a reward for my readership. Giveaway will end Sunday!

Let's analyze: What are some signs that you might know of of eating disorders, early or late stages?