I have a habit of marking up books when I read them. It’s one of the joys of e-readers. I highlight. Sometimes I write myself notes. About halfway through FINDING IT I highlighted a passage and found this note to myself.
Readers will remember Kelsey as Bliss’ worldly best friend in LOSING IT. She’s wealthy and opinionated and knows her way around the finer points of a hook up. Her father’s example is one she struggles with, despite taking his money to fund her life.
…I charged most of our fun on Daddy’s credit card. Not like he would notice or care. And if he did, he’d always said that if money didn’t buy happiness, then people were spending it wrong.
Thanks for the life lessons, Daddy.
After graduation, Kelsey embarks on a European backpacking adventure in an effort to figure out a few things about herself. After months of time spent drunk and hanging out with other poor little rich kids traipsing around Europe, she has moment of truth that would derail most people.
It didn’t matter where I was or how many planes or trains I’d taken to get there, the darkness always caught up to me. Not because of bad luck or karma or anything like that. Disaster followed me because I was the disaster. I was a walking, talking hurricane, and my idea of living was taking everyone down with me.
Kelsey’s made of stronger stuff than most because she’s been forced to grow up too quickly and without the shelter of unconditional love that many kids are blessed with. So, she doesn’t break…she just keeps moving.
Cora Carmack guides us on a trip through Europe in FINDING IT. We’re not stopping at the usual places, though. Hostels and dive bars and ancient baths and German castles and Italian coastlines and grottoes and many, many trains are the backdrop to this simple tale of two people learning about themselves and each other.
What’s complex is the why…and it’s all tied up in Jackson Hunt’s few words and many withering stares.
Hunt is an elusive man. Often watching. Always protecting. He’s former military and finds Kelsey when she’s particularly vulnerable. They both have enough intimacy issues to fill a library, but their slow dance of attraction is compulsively readable.
His truth is simple.
The best parts of life are the things we can’t plan. And it’s a lot harder to find happiness if you’re only searching in one place. Sometimes, you just have to throw away the map. Admit that you don’t know where you’re going and stop pressuring yourself to figure it out. Besides…a map is a life someone else already lived. It’s more fun to make your own.
Cormack’s usual express train to awkward moments has been halted a bit here. Kelsey and Hunt are deeper and darker characters than those in LOSING IT and FAKING IT. Not better or worse…just a very different flavor than those who came before them in this series. FINDING IT seems dedicated to proving that two people who are admittedly broken can, perhaps, find something of meaning if they stop running and acknowledge some of their harder truths.
I rooted for them both the whole time. Good, bad, happy, sad. There are LOTS of all of those moments. You just hope they’ll stay together and make it to the end in one piece. That they, will indeed, find it.
Find FINDING IT and Cora Carmack on the interwebz
Thanks to InkSlinger PR for inviting me to the party.