Finding Mia by Rachel K. Burke
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Coming of Age
Release Date: January 8, 2012
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.
“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.” - Mia Marchette, Finding Mia.
This book was ridiculously amazing! No, this is not an exaggeration or a joke. I can honestly say that I’ve only ever been this effected by a book once or twice, but Finding Mia was heart wrenching, beautiful, and filled with the kind of hopeful tomorrow you want to see after the sadness of the beginning.
I felt for Mia through this entire story. It’s not easy to have to always be the adult and think for two people. But Mia’s strength was a prevailant theme throughout the whole story. We can clearly see how strong willed and determined she is and even after she goes to stay with her Dad when she finds her Mom passed out and they take her away to a facility.
Finding Mia is rugged and honest. I loved how it delves into issues that most author’s won’t touch. Having a Mother who is Bipolar can’t be easy for 16-year-old Mia and not being able to do the other things kids her age are doing, is hard for her, but once she’s with her Father, a stranger who happens to be remarried with another kid, her entire life is turned upside down.
Things aren’t as bad as Mia initially thinks, but it’s clear to see that despite everything she misses her Mom. There are so many parts of this book that I enjoyed, but I want to highlight one part that stood out the most to me and that was the essay near the end of the book. Oh my god I totally cried like a baby, I’m absolutely going to blame hormones, but the truth is it was just really beautifully written. I could feel the pain, frustration, and finally acceptance all in that one part.
I don’t want to give a lot away about the story because it really is worth the read, but Finding Mia is excellent. The character development was spot on and I liked how we got to see different perspectives and where the other characters were coming from. I am seriously impressed with this story. Another thing I loved about it was the journal entries and how we got to see Mia’s thoughts and feelings.
The end was sad and hopeful all in one. I can’t tell you how many times this book made me tear up. Finding Mia is most definitely going on my list of favorite books. This story was truly worth the read and I really hope if it sounds interesting to you, that you take the time to read it, you won’t be disappointed.
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.