“Adventures don’t happen when you’re worried about the future or tied down by the past. They only exist in the now. And they always, always come at the most unexpected time, in the least likely of packages. An adventure is an open window; and an adventurer is the person willing to crawl out on the ledge and leap.”
Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong…
Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She’s having the time of her life . . . or that’s what she keeps telling herself.
It’s a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you’re afraid you won’t like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey’s loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey’s mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.
Kesley was first introduced by Cora Carmack in Losing It as Bliss Edwards’ best friend. Now in this book, Finding It, we got Kesley to tell her own life story as she travel across Europe with her Dad’s money. Backpacking across Europe sounds like a great adventure to anyone else but for Kesley it is more on an escape to her life full of act and pretensions. She dreaded the growth required by being a adult, but at the same time she is desperate to find who she is and what she is meant to do in her life.
“EVERYONE DESERVES ONE grand adventure, that one time in life that we always get to point back to and say, “Then … then I was really living.”
Then she met Jackson Hunt, a man who sees her for what she is and not for her outside appearance and beyond her acting demeanor. It scares Kesley a lot to feel visible in his eyes but at the same time she can’t ignore the fact that it entice her more. But problem is Jackson doesn’t fall on her attempts to seduce him which always work for her before. He rejects her on more than one occasion and she never rejected before. The more she try to get Jackson on her side, the more she fall on her own trap, making her more vulnerable than ever. Slowly without noticing it, she open herself and her life to the guy who were supposed to be her target and not the other way around.
“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.”
Compare to the first two books of this series, I think Finding It is the best from Cora Carmack. I trade Garrick accent for the Europe scenery any time. I also love the sense of adventure that this book has. There’s something about finding someone’s true self and identity that is liberating and fun.
The story line isn’t something that is really new. I’ve seen few movies with the same plot line – rich girl travelling across country meeting someone she’ll like and then the twist reveal. The closest I think is Mandy Moore’s film, Chasing Liberty. Right at the first night of Hunt and Kelsey first meeting I know right away what Jackson Hunt’s real role in Kesley life. I’m not sure if it is obvious for everyone but it is too obvious for me. And the more I read the more my guess about his identity becomes solid. Somehow knowing the big secret lessen the impact of the story for me, but with Cora Carmack writing and the travel adventures I still find myself enjoying the book overall.
“Life was easier when you stopped caring, when you stopped expecting things to get better.”
Kesley as main character is difficult to like and connect to, being introduced as spoil brat girl who went to Europe to spend her Dad’s money. She also got a self-destructive kind of behavior and she made a lot of questionable choices through out the story. It took a while to finally see where she is coming from, because deep inside her party and careless demeanor is a girl who just want to feel love and care.
Her parents cares more about money and appearance than their own child opinion and happiness, that makes Kelsey begging to be noticed and to be loved. Her travel to Europe is her way for taking a break in her pretentious life. She wants not only to find adventure but mostly to find her real self – a self hidden by pretensions and acts. Her acting skills is not a product of her studies but more of the life she is living – pretending something she isn’t, smiling in front of anyone even she doesn’t feel because it is what her parents what her to do.
As for Jackson Hunt, well he isn’t really mysterious to me unlike to Kelsey who seems to take Jackson as an enigma. Yes he is charismatic, caring and protective but his character is just one of the regular YA hero portrayed with supposed to be intrigue and mystery by not giving much details about his character. Which surprising still works on me, because in-spite of that I find myself enamored with Jackson. I just wish Cora actually revealed more details about him and explore more of his past so it provide more depth to the guy.
The setting is simply awesome. You all know I’m a sucker of good travel adventure story, give me anything with travel in the stories I will definitely drink it all in. I love every places that this book mentioned from Budapest Hungary to Prague, Rome, Italy and Spain. If I just can be visit them all myself I’ll be more than delightful.
As for the ending, though it can be consider as happy ever after I still find it rush and lacking of more resolutions, especially about Kelsey and Jackson’s personal issues. It feels like Cora forgot to resolve Kelsey’s family issue and Jackson own issue about his past and nightmares. We don’t even get Kelsey’s parents side or anything from them actually. As for Jackson personal issues, it is just laid out there but forgot to dwelve into which resulted to lack of details and depth.
Finding It tells a girl journey as she find life adventure, love, self and home. It is about acceptance and moving forward. It reminds us that no matter what happened in our past, it is still us who handle our present and our future. That we can navigate our lives in the direction we really want if we just try.