Find Me

Find Me

Book - 2015
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"After two acclaimed story collections, Laura van den Berg brings us Find Me, her highly anticipated debut novel--a gripping, imaginative, darkly funny tale of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world. Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy's immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients--including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel. As winter descends, the hospital's fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself"--
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780374154714
Characteristics: 280 pages ;,22 cm.


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Apr 16, 2018

This story is definitely all about Joy: her life, her past, her future. It's weird and surreal, but worth the read, and re-read.

athompson10 Apr 09, 2016

The dust jacket claim that this book is "darkly funny" is misleading. I found it grim, depressing and tense, about a damaged young woman in a damaged and possibly dying world. The first part of the book had pace and interest, but the second part felt very surreal a lot of the time and was much less focused.

Jan 05, 2016

Enjoyably strange story about a young woman who survives an epidemic as well as an unfortunate childhood. The reader explores Joy's memories with her as she herself unconvers them. I'd recommend this if you liked The Road.

Apr 03, 2015

The first half of the book (Book 1 as labeled in the book) was very, very good. I really enjoyed learning about the virus and how it effected the country. Even though the entire half takes place in one building the characters surrounding her are so well explained and interesting it pulls you in. I also loved when Joy flashed backed in her memories and we learn bit by bit what her life has been like. There are a couple plot twists that totally kept me reading fast to find out what happens.

Then the second half hits (Book 2 as labeled in the book). It was like the author went to the local bar, took a handful of shots, smoked some weed, did a hit of acid and then asked every other drunk bar patron to help her write the end of the book. Anybody could add whatever they wanted, even if it was crazy, out of this world, didn't really make sense, or add any value to the story. I honestly am not sure what I read in the second half of the book. I won't give away any spoilers.
get that Joy was on some "what is life about" journey, but it really was a radical read. I found myself confused and it was very hard to tell whether she was dreaming all of it or if it really was happening in her life. It was hard to know what Joy was truly feeling. Hard to understand her motivation for why she was doing what she was doing. I spent way to much time thinking "why is this happening" and "did I miss something". It just didn't fit with the first half of the story.

The ending isn't one of those "satisfied" endings either. Very open ended. Not how I like books to end that aren't part of a series. Especially after half the book is dedicated on figuring out "who" Joy is. Give me some closure!

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