Review Only Tour + Haikus: Finding It - Cora Carmack

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finding It - Cora Carmack
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.

Life’s a party, yeah?!
Everyday drinks and muscles,
Let’s succumb to them!

Drinks, boys, be merry!
Who believes in insta-love?
Not me, that’s for sure.

Yeah, but I do wonder, if…
I’ll have my own man.

*You can click -> Losing It  <- if you wish to view the Losing It haikus.

That was my haiku for Kelsey back in Losing It. She was this character of wild, young and free. But when you learn her story, it was just the surface of what we think we knew about Kelsey Summers.

I was sated those 3 haiku had been answered. Tick list: Partying and boys, check! No insta-love, well, it wasn’t that instant so, check! And own man, oh super check please!

But then, I saw my Faking It haikus (which were tweeted to Cora as an entry) and this one also speaks about Kelsey and Jack:

Shattered and broken,
Lost and full of pretension,
Now loved and complete.

*You can click -> Faking It  <- if you wish to view the Faking It haikus.

My Thoughts:

                Kelsey Summers, first and foremost, is the best friend of our beloved awkward Bliss Edwards. She was the happy-go-lucky, party girl and all those that described wild, young and free. And for her to have her own book and to be able to delve in her story was such a magnificent read!

                She, Kelsey, set forth to have her own adventure and what an adventure it had been! This was one of those fun, jam-packed and exhilarating read yet sates you.  It dawned to me that her journey was also a realization and the reader would know who really know who Kelsey was. Yes, she was all that gorgeous blonde back in Losing It having the time of her life but in Finding It showed how we only knew Kelsey on the surface. She was having the time of her life yet (we would know that as she wouldn’t admit it at first) she was also on the run from her past that her character had portrayed someone who carries a heavy baggage (both literally and metaphorically).

I might come out a tad bias but I felt Kelsey, I felt her more when she said how her friends were chasing their dreams and just like her I want to have that kind of desperation to want something. I, myself, graduated from college recently so I totally felt her, she struck me as a character and I just naturally understood every move she took. You want to grow up that you missed what life should be, all those stuffs, especially the dilemma of what to do next. Yet aside from this, she had a bigger burden on her shoulder, which was unexpected, though you might guess it already since the hints were there, just try to piece it. And that was what she profusely tried to escape.

She was funny and fun when she wanted to be but when she would be gloomy and depressed, there was this fine line between I had wanted to shook her from her reverie or feel what she was feeling. There was this cloud of darkness beneath her delight. She had these auto-twisted thoughts in her.  It felt like everything had its own contradiction. Kelsey’s mind was like that, she can see the good and the bad things. An eye-opener of some sort, her emotions were real, raw and just like any fickle-minded female, confused. And I meant everything in a good way. She was depicted as that stubborn I-get-what-I-want girl, strong, fun, and wild, just all those crazy stuffs but deep down she was just as lost, swallowed with a past and just vulnerable. Fragile, even. She had these confounding thoughts, some may not like how she was portrayed but on my side, I just felt her.  Also, she was just so brave, after everything, she still stood firm; wavering but nonetheless still has that grip. I may not have had experience what she had been through but every emotion was just that genuine that I just felt it, every bit of it. And if we were to play the blame game, I point to her parents. Her parents were wrong in all the twisted ways.
Advice (which I realized while reading): Those people who best understand you are those who experienced what you had been through; it might be in a different scenario but with the same result. Because whatever the pain and burden the bottom line was that you were in pain and burdened, it just ranged more or less than the others.

And of course, I didn’t forget: Jackson Hunt. He was just like this wise man who knew what to say. I found myself biting every word that was about him. Even though, I was jittery because I wanted to know more about him, since his story wasn’t really told until the last chapters; I enjoyed who he was. I partly-welcome and somehow disliked the delay but at least I knew him as him.
Physically described: Military man. I was not into army guys but that buzz cut, stubble, piercing steel gray eyes, tanned skin. And don’t get me started with his body. I would use what Kelsey said about him:
“You  remind me of God.” (I was so tempted to use this in a haiku!)
He was the knight-and-shining armor, even without that metal armor plate, he was an armor indeed *coughs coughs*
I do not want to boast but dang did I guessed about Jackson! I was so right! I don’t want to spoil but if anyone knew about No Attachments, you would agree with me. Gods, I knew it! *dances*
But then I didn’t have the adrenaline to get mad at him. When he said his piece, which was exemplary, my heart ached of betrayal but not to the point of hatred. As much as I wanted to because he hurt Kelsey, he had his point. He tried everything, almost, he pushed and rejected Kelsey but we can’t really get loose with the tangle of attraction, right?
And one of the details I was drawn to him: he draws. Oh my heart, he sketches masterpiece. I am floored. That was a weakness there.

This must be said: As much as I love Garrick and liked Cade, I do apologize but Jackson Hunt just put them to shame with his kisses. Yes, kisses, plural. Those kisses that did turn knees into Jell-O; I did not mind Jackson ravaging Kelsey’s mouth as if he worshipped her being!
*okay, I can breathe now*

Also I will share my favorite scenes:
Playground, Bath, Castle, Locks, Swing. I would like to divulge the places but I’d rather not.
Just the whole concept of “the deal for one week”.
                Those were the times when they were just them. Nothing to worry about. No past to haunt, and if ever there was, they had this connection that no words were needed to be said a simple touch or feel was enough. The fun they had and the things they discovered about them. That was all just pleasant to read and feel. Every emotion felt was worth it – like how everything was temporary until one or both feel they want that something or someone to be permanent.

On a happier note: I found myself laughing unexpectedly from the craziness of Kelsey’s thoughts and some of her banter with Jackson.
But more than anything, I was happy that Kelsey achieved what she had. With the help of herself and Jackson, they made each other realize and they just grew from those realizations.

So throughout the story, I was this envious little girl, I wanted to have that kind of adventure, to be “not really” lost. To meet new people – tourist and locals; and to tour with leaving other things behind. Even if it was just a temporary escape.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, especially the characters, the plot, the sequence and mostly the places. All were very vivid and very real that I had nothing against it. I felt the sun, smelled the ocean and saw the horizon. Every emotion ran deep. And I fell in love, both with the characters and the places they led me to. I would say Finding It made me nostalgic on the feelings I had felt at The Edge of Never, sans the crying, but I wasn’t just a reader but I just felt like I was part of Kelsey’s journey. I would not deny that I love these kind of stories that made me feel like I was country-hopping with them, not knowing where to go. In the end, it was just heartfelt and amazing. I enjoy every bit from the darkness to the bliss she found. And she deserved it, no more finding it because she found it.

For me, I don’t know about you but it wasn’t just an adventure; it was a journey to find herself and home.

Lastly, I am in awe with Cora Carmack, from the humor and awkward to a dramatic turn for Cade to the story of the twisted and overlooked Kelsey? Can you sing Applause by Lady Gaga with me? I clap my hands with the progress of Cora in her writing even though it made me feel torn to what book to love most. One thing is for sure, Finding It had a deeper impact because feelings, the past, the plot, the exhausting emotions were tested to depths. And as for me, I wanted more, yes, I am that greedy.

Rating: 4.5 - 5 out of 5.

Finding It haikus: It's either you're the one searching or you're the one found
I know I should have lengthen my review but I couldn’t hold back myself, Finding It had so much quotable quotes in it that I found myself, scribbling the words, the phrases, the sentences and mixing it to make a haiku. I’ll post several of what I fell in love with, so SPOILER ALERT, though I wouldn’t speak of the places where it occurred. And another thing, I wanted that special edition where the deleted haikus were, and since I doubt I can read them since I don’t live in the US, let’s pretend that some of what I’ll post are part of the haikus Cora Carmack made (since I used her words and stuff). Okay I’ll stop ranting, warning though, there are 20 haikus below (I was shocked that I made twice what I usually do):

Beauty is poison,
Beneath it all: lies, fa├žade,
All in ugliness.

I am disaster,
Takes everyone down like fire,
Burning, destroying.

He smiled and uttered,
You’re vital, purifying,
Just like how fire burns.

Oh! Soldier Smolder,
That’s some man candy biceps,
Let me worship you!
(or the last line can be: Yummy washboard abs!)

I’m mad! He said: I
Don’t care what you think you need,
Yet it sounded hot!

Uncertain, naked,
That is what he makes me feel,
Help! What must I do?

Penetrating eyes,
You make it hard to think straight,
Just devour me now.

I am enamored,
That illuminating smile,
Puts the sun to shame.

Throw that map away,
Someone already lived that,
Let us just be lost.

Guilt, shame; consumes me,
Tried to run and hide away,
Always, it finds me.

There are times empty
Carries on with so much weight,
I want to give up.

I’m tired of being,
Of not knowing what this is,
Waiting? Hunt, I’m done.

What is wrong, Princess?
No matter what, this is real,
I’ll always be here.

Feel that push and pull?
The connection, attraction,
Pulled by gravity.

Our hands intertwined,
And gaze that was like a touch,
Deliciously real.

That ‘Click’ like the lock,
I think I just found my place,
Safe, secured and loved.

He wasn’t a hook,
But my anchor, everything’s
Falling into place.

I’m falling to him,
Uttering with sweet caress,
I smiled, Our future.

I searched at places,
But home is where the heart is,
Here with Jackson Hunt.

Don't want it to end,
One day was never enough,
You’re my adventure.

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     Barnes and Noble

And to those near or can swing by at Target, rush and buy your FIRST EDITION SIGNED COPY of Finding It! *this starts during the release day until copies run out*

Author Bio:
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life – boring jobs (like working retail), fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching) and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too.

Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

Author Links:
Website     |     Goodreads        Twitter     |     Facebook

-     Jassie

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