MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE GOING TO GET SERIOUSLY MAD AT ME BECAUSE YOU HAVE THUS BEEN WARNED.
Finding It is the third book in Cora Carmack’s “Losing It” series. Each of the three books, Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It follow a different protagonist, but all of them tie together via a character named Bliss, and this is, so far, the only connection I’ve found between them. (I haven’t read the first one, but I do believe that it’s Bliss’s story.)
Finding It follows Kelsey, who is backpacking around Europe to acquire a story, or a collection of them, which would make the rest of her boring, uncomfortable life–to which she has resigned herself–worthwhile for the sake of having said story(ies). The problem is that, regardless of where she goes, she does the exact same things: Gets appallingly drunk and has meaningless sex with men she deems attractive enough to get her lady parts excited.
And then along comes Hunt, and he rocks her world so hard that she can’t get it back on straight, as if it were to begin with. Suddenly, the two of them are off on an adventure so real–and so sexually frustrating–that Kelsey is finally forced to face the demons of her past. The problem is that she doesn’t want to because, gee imagine: it’s painful. She’s spent her entire life running from her pain and telling herself she was being overly dramatic and it didn’t matter–because they were the lies her parents fed her when she was vulnerable–and now that she’s faced with something real, something that matters, she is haunted by all of that which she has allowed to happen which didn’t [matter]. And it’s causing her panic attacks, some milder than others. But she keeps trying to be an alcoholic.
What you learn is that Hunt has his own ghosts, his own muddled past which he’s trying to keep hidden as well. But when these two get together, there’s nothing which can keep them apart, not even Hunt’s willpower. He wants Kelsey so badly he can’t handle it, but he waits, and waits, and waits, because he wants it to actually mean something.
The climax of the novel is the heart-wrenching discovery that Hunt was hired by Kelsey’s father to keep an eye on her in Europe and has been following her for the past couple of months. But when he saw her falling into his old patterns, he couldn’t help but step in and try to save her from a downfall infinitely worse than that which she was already burying.
Kelsey runs away, heartbroken and angry, and instead of going home, she sets up a new life in Spain and becomes a teacher (in English, of course) with a second job in order to pay her bills and survive efficiently. But soon, Hunt is leaving her letters, and when she ignores them, they start appearing everywhere until she finally gives in and reads them. All of them.
The novel is a very fast read; I started it before bed one night and finished it the following afternoon in approximately 5 hours or so total. Maybe. If that. It’s a light read, although much of the material is heavily laden with enough emotion to have sent me into a book hangover for several hours. Finding It is well-written and beautifully executed; the tension is real, as is the dialogue, and the places are described well enough that you feel as though you’re there. The characters in this book are disastrously paralleled to my own relationship, and perhaps that’s why it affected me so thoroughly, but I found it highly pragmatic and very moving.
I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads because I enjoyed the shit out of it. I thoroughly enjoyed Faking It as well; I just read it long enough ago that I’m not convinced I could give a sufficient review on it. (Apologies.)
Until next time,