Published: January 8, 2012
Source: Copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Add it to your TBR at: Goodreads
___Intelligent and fiercely independent, sixteen-year-old Mia Marchette has never had a childhood. After her father’s disappearance when she was six, she has alone borne the burden of her mother’s bipolar disorder.
When her mother is institutionalized after a failed suicide attempt, Mia is abruptly forced to live with the estranged father she has not known for ten years. She is shocked to discover that he has created a new, picture-perfect life for himself, and is now living with a stepmother and a half-sister Mia never knew she had. Together, Mia and her new family must face the bitterness, mistakes, and long-hidden secrets that threaten to destroy their precarious happiness.
Finding Mia follows Mia's journey as she searches to find the unanswered questions from her past, leading to her own self-discovery. Ultimately, this is a story of confronting pain and finding freedom, of letting go and learning to search for love in unexpected places.
Everyone has a role in today's world, and part of what makes us who we are is having the ability to overcome obstables and learn from them as we go. What I've learned is that any obstacle we are given is a gift, to allow us the chance to grow stronger and to shape the people we are today, as we are nothing without our experiences, and our experiences are nothing if we don't learn from them.
I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading Finding Mia; it'd been awhile since I read the synopsis so I didn't go into this YA contemporary with any expectations, yet really enjoyed this heart-wrenching story of family and self-discovery. Mia was an incredibly strong heroine, who I clicked with - her individuality was really inspiring, and her fears when it comes to her new family are completely relevant and understandable. I found her very genuine and sympathetic, and warmed to this story right away. I actually didn't want it to end!
My favorite part of Rachel K Burke's story was the characters. They all contributed to the story, from Mia, to her outspoken friend Gretchen, who was a layered character, to Evan, Mia's boyfriend. While I definitely didn't agree with all of Mia's actions, she was a lost teenager, and I could absolutely identify. Her struggles made her seem more real, although there were times when I wanted to jump into the book and give her a shake or a talking to. I was really moved by seeing her try to find a way to not just get along with her father and step-mother, but find a way to let them into her lives. That was one of my favorite aspects of the plot of Finding Mia, although I also really enjoyed Mia's growth.
Finding Mia is a powerful story of a girl finding who she is, when she's finally able to step out from the shadow of her mother's illness. It's a character study, and a story of bravery, and second chances. The pacing was really nicely done, and Burke's writing style is strong and clear. I would definitely recommend this story to teen readers, because I think it will resonate with others as it did with me!
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Rachel was born and raised in Boston, MA. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She graduated from Bridgewater University in 2011 with a B.A. in Communications and Media Studies.
Rachel's work has appeared in Prevention Magazine, Worcester Magazine and Starpulse News Entertainment.
Visit her online at: her website | her twitter | her facebook
Shop for Finding Mia at: Amazon