ARC Review: Finding Bryan

GoodReads Blurb:

Forrest Wilcox misses his younger life and the America of an earlier time. Plagued by a fear of change, irrational outbursts, and unrelenting insecurities, he’s a man weary of living a joyless life.

When Forrest’s mother summons him to tell him her cancer has progressed, it throws his already stressful life into chaos. Not only is he losing his mother, he’s now tasked with finding his brother, Bryan, who left suddenly and cut ties with the family sixteen years ago.

Determined to get something right, Forrest defies his wife’s orders and takes their twelve-year-old daughter out west, where he hopes to locate Bryan. But before he can see this mission through, he’s forced to confront his inner demons, battle with his unpredictability, and trust himself and the journey or risk losing everything and everyone he loves.

Follow Forrest’s journey of self-discovery in this timely tale that evokes the American voice akin to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and puts a spotlight on an imperfect man in need of redemption in self and fatherhood, and faith in what the future holds.

My Thoughts:

Personally, I find it hard to be submerged into a book when it is written in First Person Past Tense, but the way Matthew has written it, took me by surprise. Starting from the first chapter, I was engulfed. All the characters seemed flawed with their own shortcomings, I liked that a lot. I am tired of reading books where most of them are perfect. This book was raw, starting with the MC. His ambition could’ve taken him to places, but instead, his anger (due to his personal limitations) helped burn those bridges down. It was a good story, very well written. Even with the First Person Past Tense, I shed a few tears towards the end.

Forrest was a complex character. He seemed broken and terrified because of his personal loss in the past which made him lash out quite a few times. I wanted to wring his neck a few times because of how ignorant he appeared, which I believe was the point the author was trying to make. He didn’t have any malice at heart instead felt trapped in roles that were expected of him or what he was supposed to be doing.

It is a beautifully written story, Matthew surely has a way with words that paints the perfect picture before your eyes. There’s a lot to experience through this journey. Love, loss, friendship, anger, hate, but more importantly self-discovery. I suppose it’s never too late to find yourself and what you love. Life is a journey we must always overcome all the obstacles we face.

This book is definitely recommended to those who enjoy family-oriented drama which eventually tips towards MC’s mental health awareness. There’s no murder. There’s no mystery. Just an angry man with his young daughter in the search for his brother.

Rating: 4.0/5

Content Notices: There’s some ethnic slur (more so ignorance on the part of the MC). Profanity. Alcoholism.

Audience: Young Adults

Thank you Novel Novels for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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