Thursday, August 20, 2020

Book Review: Now That I've Found You

We all love a fall from grace story mixed with a little romance. And that is exactly what Now That I've Found You is all about. Set mainly in New York City, we follow young starlet Evie Jones as she goes to stay with her fabulous grandmother Gigi, classic movie star of the '60s, when she is fired from a big role after her best friend leaks a video of her mocking the director. But when Evie's grandmother decides to take a little break from life and disappears one day, Evie enlists the help of young musician, Milo, and embarks on an adventure to find her. 

The biggest theme that stuck out to me while reading this book was the idea of seeking approval and validation from all the wrong people. Evie is only 18 and she is in the midst of what we might call her "15 minutes of fame." We're in the age of social media and the constant need to stay relevant. Even I've fallen victim to feeling inadequate or feeling like my work is not good enough on bookstagram. But then you have to reel it back in and realize why you started doing any of this in the first place. Evie is constantly seeking that approval whether it be through social media, from her grandmother, from Hollywood, from her followers and fans, even from her parents. And ultimately she lets that dictate her self worth. At first I thought that Evie was just self-centered, if I'm being completely honest, but then I realized that this approval seeking could possibly stem from feelings of abandonment, which is one of the other themes that really started to stick out to me as I was reading. 

Trust and letting people in play a big role in this story. Evie's parents are famous documentary film makers so they are always away shooting something. Evie has one close friend who ultimately betrays her and then there is her famous grandmother who moved across the country to escape and deal with her own issues. Evie is very reluctant to let Milo in and I can see why. She can't really trust anyone in her life and almost has no one to really guide her. She feels like a disappointment to her parents so no wonder she seeks approval from her social media following and would do anything she can to fix up her image, even if that means working with someone her grandmother hates.

Lately, I've been reading books that really make me think about the idea of how much we really know our parents or grandparents. And in working to get to know them, we oftentimes get to know a little bit more about ourselves. Evie is physically searching for her grandmother, but doing so she must stop centering herself in order to understand why her grandmother leaves. And in doing that Evie discovers things about her own internal struggles with abandonment and self worth. 

I had the pleasure of interviewing author Kristina Forest for my tour stop. Check out the interview below:

Sheri: Both I Wanna Be Where You Are and Now That I’ve Found You are YA and have a bit of romance in them. What draws you to write for the YA romance audience?

Krisina: I've always really liked reading romance. In terms of YA, I think it's really special to write about people who are falling in love for the first time and all of the emotions and experiences that come along with it.


S: What inspired you to write Now That I’ve Found You?

K: I've always loved fish out of water stories and old Hollywood. And I always wanted to write about someone who was famous.


S: Both of your books have the theme of adventure. Tell me a little about that. This idea of the road trip and adventure and how that ties in to the personal/internal journey your characters go on.

K: Both books having an adventure theme is coincidental. I want to make sure that whatever I'm writing excites me because I'm the one who has to write the book and sit with it for months and months. Often, my most exciting ideas are ones with adventure, because as a writer, it keeps me on my toes, and I hope it does the same for the reader. I always like to tie the internal plot (character growth) to the external plot (road trip, search for missing grandmother etc.), because I think it gives the story a clearer progression.


S: What books are on your nightstand right now?

K: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert


S: Do you have any advice for the writer who is just starting out?

K: Read often and read widely. Find at least one person with whom you can share your writing for feedback. Community is important.

Thank you for Hear our Voices Book Tours and Roaring Brook Press for this opporunity.

Happy Reading!

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