For What It's Worth

For What It's Worth

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: Finding It (losing It #3) by Cora Carmack



16172638-1Sometimes 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. ~ Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: Purchased

Review:

I have a blogging notebook for posting ideas and I had just jotted down “NA rant” right before I picked up Finding It.

I keep reading about this wonderful new genre called New Adult that explores that age where you are not quite independent – yet not quite an adult. The age where you lose your safety net and have to put on your big girl panties. College, jobs, transitioning friendships and relationships – everything is in flux during this age. Yet….other than the story taking place on a college campus, none of this is really explored in the most NA I’ve read. Instead it takes a back seat to hot sex.

So there’s the beginning of my rant. But it’s been sidelined because I DID find a book that explored all those themes! Sure there’s romance and the aforementioned hot sex but Finding It is about something.

Kelsey Summers is a rich college grad backpacking through Europe on her father’s dime. She parties hard, drinks even harder and has an impressive number of one night stands until one night she meets Hunt, a man who challenges Kelsey to really live life, not just numb herself and call it an adventure.
I suppose most people’s knee jerk reaction will be to judge Kelsey harshly for her poor choices. But please remember if you open up a book with a guy doing the same exact thing you would think he was hot. (well, I wouldn’t lol because my protective radar goes off and I don’t want any of them putting themselves in these situations – but I digress) I loved how Carmack flipped the trope on it’s head and gave us a beautifully flawed and real character like Kelsey. And to counter her, a deeply flawed but kind hero in Jackson Hunt.

Each book in this series has gotten a little darker but Finding It gets to the heart of that transition into adulthood. Kelsey has had a bad childhood with parents that haven’t protected or supported her in the way they should have. She’s wild and rebellious, trying to piss off her father for attention, still searching for that magic moment where it all comes together and you know what you want to do with your life. Real life rarely happens that way no matter what your past is.  

“Being an adult is hard work. I know people tell you this growing up, but it doesn’t really sink in until you’re living it, waist deep in the swamps of no-free-time and not enough money.”

The relationship between Kelsey and Hunt is very slow brewing and sexy but real in a way that Kelsey has never experienced before. I love how Hunt opens her mind to a new way of seeing and respecting herself – yet at the same time it opens old wounds. By letting him into her heart, she’s also sees a life damaged and wasted, both mind and body.

The other thing I liked abut Finding It is that I wasn’t exactly sure how it would end. Kelsey and Hunt go on a true adventure – exploring Europe with no map, no schedule. It’s romantic and fun but it’s not real. You just know that they are avoiding reality even while they are stripping each other emotionally bare.

The book wasn’t perfect. Hunt’s character is a little underdeveloped since Finding It is told solely through Kelsey's POV. I guess I’m spoiled by so many alternating POV’s as of late, but I kept wanting to know what he was thinking and feeling, since his actions don’t always make sense. It would have made the ending less rushed. We’re so focused on Kelsey for most of the book, yet know that something’s up with Hunt, and it all happens too fast.

Despite a few quibbles I adore this series and Carmack’s writing. I’m pretty jaded about the NA genre in general but I feel like it has SO much potential if authors would really explore that time in life instead of making everyone so damaged and dark. Carmack proves with Finding It that you can do both.

“You hear so much about being an adult that you start to feel like you have to become a different person overnight, that growing up means being not you. And you concentrate so much on living up to the term “adult” that you forget growing up happens by living, not by sheer force of will.”

Final thoughts: I love the Losing It series and the way it explores becoming an adult in all it’s messy glory. Each book stands on it’s own (but work well together as companion novels) and doesn’t just repeat the previous story or characters. Sexy and smart New Adult FTW!

26 comments:

  1. LOL. You just listed all the reasons I rarely read NA. Of course, I do love the tattooed bad boys who generally populate this mythical NA world of sex and no homework (I remember studying ALL THE TIME...well, between parties on the weekends, that is).

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    1. Mythical! lol *snort*

      Maybe they should start calling the NA category - New Adult/mythical contemporary.

      I have a friend in college who does nothing but study and i told her she's supposed to be having hot sex in the community laundry room. She's wasting time! lol

      Sometimes it's fun to read and other times I just can't anymore...

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  2. New Age? Really? Well, that's new to me. Definitely a genre I'd check even if I can't say I'm super excited about what I'll find.

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    1. I really don't think it's a genre you would enjoy. Unless it starts getting more realistic it's really just about romance/sex for the most part.

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  3. Amen to your NA rant. I haven't been reading a lot of it because they all started to blend together for me and the situations got a bit over the top. It's like "let's find the worst things that can happen to a person and make it happen to ALL the characters!" Happy that you were able to enjoy this series!

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    1. I had to back off because it is ALL the same. And that bums me out because so much happens at that age. There are so many different experiences that people have. I'm not sure why it has narrowed down to this one small damaged group.

      Instead of my NA rant I have a anti-angst rant coming tomorrow lol BEcause yeah - ALL the characters are damaged.

      They are in this book too but I just think it was handled well.

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  4. This sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it

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  5. Words cannot express how much I love this review, Karen. I'm not saying anything else b/c you've said it all.

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  6. NA is still something I have not tried

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  7. Your sentiments about NA are mine as well. However, I've heard such good things about this series I am willing to give it a try. Plus, you found it was more than just sex. Love the sound of growth in this one and so I am adding them all to my wishlist.

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    1. One thing I really like about this series is that each book has a different tone. The first was funny, the second one more rebellious and this one dark. I like that authors have a certain reliable writing style but I hate when it feels like I'm reading the same book.

      The second one - Faking It is my favorite of the series.

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  8. My comment is offside your review because I read the first book in this series and didn't like it.

    So I agree with your intro paragraph. Don't get me wrong, some books do explore that and the second wave of coming of age for these characters can be gripping. I sometimes get turned off not just because of the sex but I feel like the storylines are overly dramatic. Like the author just wants to torture their readers and have them bawling their eyes out! Ugh! I mean if it feels right I'm all for it but there are just plot lines where the parents are dying, the heroine can't handle it, runs to the arms of a controlling but irresistible douchebag! Like hell yeah, you deserve to be in misery, lady!

    Lol sorry for the rant but for what it's worth, that's one of the many reasons why I read NA sparingly.

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    1. The first book was my least favorite of the series so I'm glad I gave it a second chance. I loved the beginning of Losing It but then I thought it got too wacky.

      Rant away - I have a rant posting here tomorrow about that because it's driving me crazy and I thought I was the only one.

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    2. Oooh I'll wait for that rant! My response might be as long as your post hahaha!

      Yeah the first book was so corny it left me disinterested with the rest of the books.

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  9. I love your review and totally agree with it and I think this book answers all those questions we had in Just one day & one year . I adore this author and i think that he was also under developed too. I would have liked to have some of Hunt's POV. Great review and agree with all points.

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    1. Thanks Julie. There were a few things I didn't like but overall I think it addressed NA issues better than most books out there right now.

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  10. I have this and actually bought it on release day, but so many peeps are saying it was their least favorite that I have been holding off. I am glad that besides a few issues that you enjoyed this one. I try to mix up YA, NA and Adult I get burnt out if I read too much of the same. Which is why I bounce from mystery, to historical to romance to horror each and every month..LOL

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    1. Oh really? I didn't like Losing it that much but I know everyone else did. I LOVED Faking It but I thought this one dealt with becoming an adult in the most honest way of the three.

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  11. Great review. I'm glad you liked it! I have a little bit of a hard time reading a lot of NA as well, for all the reasons you mentioned above! I'm really glad that this one talks more about that time in our lives, instead of just the hot steamy bits.

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    1. It was nice to see a character struggling with what to do with her life now that college is over and you still don't know what you want. I think that happens to a lot of people.

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  12. God, I loved this book so, so much. I understood why Jackson was a bit of a mystery--the spoiler thing that I cannot talk about directly would not have worked very well otherwise--but it did bum me out a bit. Still, this series really blew me away (although I didn't like Losing It very much).

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    1. There really wasn't another good way to tell his side - maybe his pov but I think then we would have known too much but I wish we got to learn more about him.

      I didn't like Losing either. It got way too wacky.

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  13. OH GOOD!! Phew!! I'm glad this is another good one! I need to get your approval before I read NA :)

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