Thank you to Kristina for sending me an ARC via twitter! All opinions expressed are my own.
Title: Now That I’ve Found You
Author: Kristina Forest
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Age Range: YA
Synopsis: Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .
Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.
With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.
I first heard about Kristina through my cousin, who absolutely loved Kristina’s first novel, I Wanna Be Where You Are. Needless to say, when I saw that Kristina was doing a giveaway of Now That I’ve Found You through Twitter, I was super excited to receive this ARC and definitely wasn’t disappointed!
At first glance, Evie is exactly what she seems to be: a successful young actress who books beauty campaigns and movie roles for the biggest names in the business. Her life seems perfect and scripted. At that point, I felt a little meh just because I couldn’t find anything to relate to at all (which is fair considering I am, in fact, not a famous teen actress), but I was determined to stick it out because I just had that feeling that things were gonna get better. And once everything went down hill, I found what I was looking for: Evie’s journey in finding something bigger than herself.
While Now That I’ve Found You is definitely a cutesy contemporary novel, it’s also about how Evie finds things that keep her grounded, something that she lost when she found fame. I don’t know if it’s my earth rising or my general disposition in life, but I love all the small things that remind MC’s who they are/were before some huge thing. There’s something so freakin’ beautifully ironic about finding things that keep you grounded and that being growth. *Ahem* sorry for that rant, but as you can see, we’re very passionate about character development here at Love Yo Shelf. While the larger events of the novel surround Evie and Milo, which automatically primed me for contemporary teenage romance, it was so much more than that!!! The reason she initially doesn’t trust him isn’t because of some past experience with a romantic interest, but because of her personal knowledge on how friendship with famous people doesn’t always go the way you want it to. Evie finds a friend in him after a heartbreaking betrayal with another friend, and in doing so, finds herself learning what friendship looks like by watching Milo with his own close friends, who are nothing but welcoming to her in every way she isn’t used to.
On top of Evie finding a family in Milo and his world, she reconnects with her own. Evie’s relationship with her also-famous grandmother holds its own despite the fact that GiGi is absent for a good chunk of the novel. Evie faces this inner conflict of wanting to live up to GiGi’s name, as well as making her proud off-screen, but as of right now, it seems like one comes at the cost of the other. Watching Evie search for her changing relationship with her grandmother, albeit through some unprecedented sources like Milo, resulted in not only Evie finding what it’s like to be a teenager, but also reclaiming who she wants to become both on and off-screen. I mean, come on! Navigating changing relationships with the adults in our lives is never easy, much less navigating a new relationship with ourselves, and Now That I’ve Found You highlights the messy, fulfilling beauty of both.
Overall, I think the time that I read this was very relevant to how much I liked it; being a recent college grad during quarantine in my multi-generational home definitely gave me a lot to consider while I was reading. While it wasn’t originally on my reading radar, I’m grateful to have found Now That I’ve Found You.
If you’d like a cute contemporary story that makes you wanna go hug your grandma, you can find Now That I’ve Found You at the links below!
Add it on Goodreads!
If I suddenly go MIA, check the lost and found. As always,