Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1230
An elegant, unique story about family and friendship.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The gist: This a story about the stages of grief, coping, and dealing with hardship. Set in a very small town, in an indeterminable probably-present time period, the story of River Rose Byrne is like unraveling a ball of yarn and following its windy path towards the secret tied at the center. The setting is interesting, and we find out quite a lot about the town, its history, and its connected little community. The people there have a particular outlook on life, one that doesn't negate the possibility of miracles. And miracles are behind most of the secrets in the story.

What I loved: The haunting and melancholy imagery. The writing is really good, it evokes the right emotions and pulls you into the plot. I also liked that the plot revealed secrets about River's family and her family's past - this kind of drama isn't typical to middle grade fiction.

The characters: While there are some interesting traits and quirks, most of the characters aren't easy to connect with or relate to. Unfortunately this leaves the reader feeling distant and uncaring about what happens to River's classmates and even her family, at time. River and her new friend, Meadow Lark, are such strange little girls, and I can see that young readers would find their adventures appealing. However, they're still a little too distant for my liking.

What I wanted more of: Emotion. The entire plot is a little mature for a middle grade story, what with the intense family grieving and loads of secrets, and I felt that there should have been more intensity, more emotional ups and down, and just more feeling evoked in the reader so that we can connect to the characters.

The verdict: FOUND THINGS is an elegant, unique story about family and friendship. Mature young readers may find it appealing, and older fans of youth fiction will definitely enjoy it if they are looking for a hopeful story.
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