Title: Come and Find Me
Author: Hallie Ephron
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Diana Banks is a hacker-turned-computer security expert living in Boston, Massachusetts. Agoraphobic since the death of her lover two years earlier, Diana conducts all her business with her partner via the virtual reality site Otherworld. But when Diana’s sister Ashley goes missing, Diana is forced to once again face the real world as she races to find her.
When I first heard about Come and Find Me, I thought the premise sounded fascinating. The idea of an agoraphobic woman living her life through an online environment presented very interesting psychological issues. I was curious as to how Diana would work through them in order to find her sister.
The first third of the novel was really engaging. The author set up Diana’s life, giving the reader a glimpse into how far gone she really is. Even Diana’s meetings are conducted in Otherworld, though the author never elaborates on why CEO’s of large companies are willing to set up avatars in a virtual reality online game in order to conduct business. Once Ashley comes into the picture, the reader can see how devoted Ashley is to Diana. While she encourages Diana to leave the house, she doesn’t press the issue and understands it will all happen when Diana is ready. It was a great depiction of a sisterly relationship.
Once Ashley goes missing, the suspense really ratchets up. It moves along smoothly for awhile as Diana frantically tries to find her sister. She forces herself out of her house and into the real world. While I admired Diana’s strength, I couldn’t help but feel her journey into the outside world was a little too easy. Once she got out the front door, her agoraphobia became somewhat of an afterthought, resurrected at convenient moments in the plotline.
The novel took a drastic turn in the last third, and unfortunately, I can’t discuss it without giving away key plot points and ruining the entire story of the book. I will just say that this is where the book completely lost me. There were so many plot holes and so little explanation for what happens, and it required a leap of faith that I wasn’t willing to take. I couldn’t buy the direction this book took, and as a result, I ended up disliking it.
I haven’t seen many reviews around the blogosphere for this book, but I think I’m in the minority with my opinion according to reviews on sites such as LibraryThing and Amazon.com. This book just didn’t work for me, but if the premise intrigues you, you should give it a try and see what you think. Maybe you’ll appreciate it more than I did.