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. ~ Goodreads | Author | AmazonSource: Purchased
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!