Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: There You'll Find Me by Jenny B Jones

18-year-old Finley Sinclair has been struggling since the death of her beloved brother Will, a CNN correspondent in Afghanistan. When Will had been her age, he'd spent a glorious year as an exchange student in Ireland. Now Finley is armed with her brother's journal and is determined to follow in his every footstep, certain that she'll find meaning for her life in Abbeyglen…or at least the ending for her musical composition which will certainly get her into the New York Conservatory, which will provide meaning enough.

But life in Ireland is more complicated than she expected. Teen heart-throb Beckett Rush is not only her seat-mate on the flight, but turns out to be staying at the bed-and-breakfast owned by Finley's host family while starring in his current vampire movie. No stranger to wealth or the tabloids, Finley is strongly unimpressed by Beckett, which only intrigues him the more.

Life in a Catholic high school where her worst enemy turns out to be both the principal's daughter and a minor (but jealous) actress on Beckett's set is not as fun as Finley had hoped. Add in an assignment requiring her to spend twenty hours playing granddaughter to a caustic old woman dying of cancer. And the fact that every time she shows someone the final photo in her brother's journal--that of a single Celtic cross--they tell her it could be one of thousands.

But it can't be. Finley is driven to find the one exact cross in the photo, and Beckett is willing to help her, so long as she'll keep rehearsing his lines with him. Against her better judgment (because the tabloids say he's involved with his co-star), Finley is falling for his Irish charm and discovering all is not well in his vampire empire.

One of the things I enjoyed about There You'll Find Me is the vivid Irish imagery in it. To me, it felt obvious that the author, Jenny B Jones, has visited the Emerald Isle, though Jenny says that when she went, she didn't have a story in mind to match the experience. Once the story arrived in her head, her vacation memories helped a lot, as did her editor, her editor's Irish fiance, and his family.

"That's an old cathedral. St. Ciaran's."

A ruin stood in the center, just walls, and we walked toward it. "Look at the way the sky looks so blue through what's left of the window openings."

It wasn't just the ruin, it was everything. The riot of headstones and crosses. Their stark white shapes against the vivid green grass beneath them and the cloudless sky above. I had to walk the grounds, touch the stones. My fingers ran over inscriptions, the shapes and designs, the rough grain, the textures so cool to the touch.

Jenny B Jones's vivid descriptions of the Irish countryside, the pub in Galway, the workings of a Catholic high school, and the beautiful Irish brogue in various characters' dialogue all pulled together to make this a memorable read for me.

Jenny writes Christian fiction with a few giggles, quite a bit of sass, and lots of crazy. Her novels include the Katie Parker Production series, A Charmed Life series, and her contemporary romances, Just Between You and Me and Save the Date.  She would also like to take credit for Twilight , but somewhere she thinks she's read you’re not supposed to lie.

When she's not typing her heart out (or checking email), she teaches at a super-sized high school in Arkansas.

Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughter.

She is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and has recently sold her first work, a novella, to Barbour Books. Visit her website and blog to glimpse inside her world.

There You'll Find Me is due to release from Thomas Nelson on October 4, and is now available for pre-order. I received an ebook version for review via NetGalley. As always, the opinions are mine alone.


  1. Great interview and a book I'll have to add to my stack. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like an interesting read! <3 Thanks for sharing with us. :)

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!