Finding Zach

Finding Zach - Rowan Speedwell

What hooked me on the sample for this book was that incredible first chapter detailing Zach's captivity and rescue. Zach is severely damaged both physically and psychologically from years of captivity and I was intrigued to see where the author was going to take the story from there. Unfortunately, instead of going into Zach's recovery, we skip ahead two years to get to the romance. Or at least that's how it felt at times. Zach is still plenty screwed up and still has a lot of issues to work through and all of that is dealt with pretty well. Zach is still trying to get his life back on track from where it went horribly wrong. We're given brief details of the previous two years to sort of fill in that time period. But the crux of this story is Zach and David reconnecting and falling in love.

 

As for why Zach's life went horribly wrong, that part I had issues with and wanted to smack his parents upside the head several times. 

Basically, they see a young Zach (I think he was 13 or 14?) kissing a young David (he's a few years older, 16 or 17?) and everyone (including David) freaks out that Zach is having gay feelings and send him to his grandparents (I think? I'm sorry, it's been a few years since I've read this book, so some details are fuzzy) who live in Central America. Because reasons? It's when he reaches the airport that he gets abducted for the ransom money, which is paid but Zach isn't returned anyway. Which is just bad business sense for kidnappers if they expect anyone to pay ransoms in the future.

(show spoiler)

It was very much a twisted dark soap opera. There's a reason I don't watch soap operas. Another thing this story suffers from is some of the dialogue did not feel natural at all. It felt very much like there was an author carefully considering the words that should be coming out of these characters' mouths, especially with the parents. They felt more like caricatures than actual people. Or maybe I just don't understand rich people.

 

But even though she skipped over those first two years, there's still plenty here about Zach's recovery, as I mentioned earlier and that was my favorite part of the book. It wasn't sentimental. David didn't miraculously cure him by loving him. In fact, there were a few points in the book where their relationship made things more difficult for Zach, which I appreciated. For someone suffering trauma and anxiety, being a relationship that places new expectations on him is going to cause it's own set of anxiety-related issues. Zach's still in therapy, as is his family, and Zach still has self-destructive tendencies he's working through. 

 

So there was a lot I really liked and a lot I felt could have been done better. 3 stars.