Member Reviews

3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.

Parts of this book were hard to read. The emotions of the characters were raw and tangible in a way that made it hurt as a reader at times. The struggles they faced with mental health, addiction, and the loss of control in their lives hit hard in a very real way, I enjoyed the way the perspectives moved back and forth between the characters, giving you deeper glimpses into their lives, thoughts, and feelings.

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I like the main characters. I feel for them. But it's just a lot. And why a small mystery twist? Some of the inpatient care didn't seem plausible.

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Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I had trouble staying invested in this book, despite it containing so many elements that normally work for me. Multiple perspectives, representation of important issues, flawed protagonists...

And yet, I wasn't sold on the writing style.

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We Weren't Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn is a thoughtful exploration of mental health and treatment centering on two teens of color. Dani and Camila find letters and they work together to solve a mystery. They do this while navigating a complicated life. The girls work together to improve their mental health and figure out their lives.

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Let me first start off by mentioning the cover art for this. Absolutely stunning and ultimately what really drew me to this book. I am a massive advocate for mental health having dealt with it since a young age, and to see that this was a pretty large book in regards to two teenagers struggling with their own, I was captivated.

Unfortunately this book was not it. While I LOVE multiple POVs, I felt like this book could have done without that. But it could have definitely benefited from dual timelines. I felt as if there was so much information missing from the past that really needed some explanation. The book fell flat with that you had to really stretch some things in order to make it feel like it was making sense.

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We Weren’t Looking to Be Found follows the lives of two young black girls:

Dani should be living the dream. She comes from a rich family in Texas, but money cannot buy happiness. Although Dani should have everything a girl could want; she can’t seem to stop her self-destructive behavior.

Camila is Colombian-American, and all she wants in life is to dance. It’s her escape, and she’s worked extremely hard to get to where she is. Her problem, dance seems to not be enough, and she keeps causing self-harm.

When things finally hit the fan, Dani and Camila find themselves as roommates at Peach Tree Hill, a treatment facility in Georgia, and hopefully on their own healing journey.

The title and cover of this book caught my eye right off the back! I think it’s vibrant and really tugs on your heartstrings. I was really excited to read this book, as the primary focus is on mental health struggles. It’s important to normalize these topics, especially with teens. Mental health should not be a stigma. The author really explores this deep topic in a graceful, touching way.

Unfortunately, this text was a letdown for me. I wanted more from this story. There wasn’t enough depth and the characters could have been explored more. They were surface level, and I think there was a missed opportunity to really explore dive into their thoughts and feelings. Also, the mystery element fell a little flat. I would have loved to see flashbacks or parallel timelines that could have made this element stronger. This book could have even had Camila as the only POV. I was really was rooting for her. The ending, although it works; it left me with some unanswered questions. This book was not what I expected, but it still covers important topics. Please be mindful of trigger warnings since it covers sensitive topics such as: substance abuse, mental health, addiction, self-harm, suicide attempts, etc.

Thank you to Net Galley and Disney Publishing Worldwide for the ARC!

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My Thoughts:
This book, told by two first person narrators, is a sliding glass door to mental health care, depression, addiction. When two teens end up in the same treatment facility in rural Georgia, they seem very different, but through their somewhat forced friendship, they come to realize that their self-destruction, one hidden, one not, cannot be ignored, blamed on others or bandaged over.

The voices of the narrators, their destructive self talk and convoluted perspective (in other words, the rawness), may be triggering for YA readers who are facing the same types of situations. However, I hope that if this is a mirror, for a reader, there will be hope. There is no real Hollywod ending to this book. That would be a waste of time. However, there is hope, if you want it.

Teachers need to be careful about "diagnosing" a student by giving them this book, however, have it available for students who need to find it on their own. If it calls to them, it was meant to be.

From the Publisher:
Dani comes from the richest, most famous Black family in Texas and has everything a girl could want. So why does she keep using drugs and engaging in other self-destructive behavior?

Camila’s Colombian American family doesn’t have much, but she knows exactly what she wants out of life and works her ass off to get it. So why does she keep failing, and why does she self-harm every time she does?

When Dani and Camila find themselves rooming together at Peach Tree Hills, a treatment facility in beautiful rural Georgia, they initially think they’ll never get along―and they’ll never get better. But then they find a mysterious music box filled with letters from a former resident of PTH, and together they set out to solve the mystery of who this girl was . . . and who she’s become. The investigation will bring them closer, and what they find at the end might just bring them hope.

Author: Stephanie Kuehn

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publication date: June 21, 2022

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Based on the description, it sounded like the letters the girls find were going to be a bigger part of the story than they were. They do play a part in the story, though. The growing friendship between the girls was nice. I think I was expecting something different from this book, though.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a dual POV of two young black women who are struggling with their mental health who become roommates at an in-patient facility. Dani and Camila come from two completely different backgrounds. The two girls struggle to get along at first and an incident happens, so they are forced to clean out a storage unit and they find a box full of letters from a past resident. They set out to solve a mystery together. A raw story that took me some time to get through but would definitely recommend.

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Trigger warnings: addiction, substance abuse, self-inflicted wounds, self-harm, suicidal ideation, suicide attempts.

Will have to pick this back up before giving my true review, but this seems to be an absolute beauty of a tale.

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Based on the wonderful reviews for the book, as well as the synopsis, this book sounded amazing. Unfortunately, I was approved to read it the day before it was published, and after downloading it, the book was all out of order and the formatting made it very hard to read so I didn’t make it past the first few pages.

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Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. We Weren't Looking to Be Found tells a very stark story of teenage mental illness. This is not a bad thing, this is a very good thing. There is no stigma attached to the stories or their time in therapy. This story is very important. It shows the importance of therapy, how things can be better, that this time is temporary and it dispels the stigma of mental illness and therapy. This is a very important book.

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This book deals with some really heavy subject matters, albeit important. But if you’re someone struggling, it’s good to know that upfront (and thankfully the end does include information for resources).

I like that this book shows the healing and that these programs can be good, and the friendships that can come from them. There’s a lot of stigma around mental health and addictions and it’s my hope this book can help those in similar situations to get the help they need.

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Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC in exchange for review.

A beautiful story of friendship found in an unlikely place. Dani and Camila are roommates at Peach Tree Hills for rehab. One for drugs and alcohol. One for cutting. Both feel their parents have priorities other than their children. Both don't wan't to be there.

Through time, therapy, and mistakes, the pair find healing in different ways. But healing is different for everyone. Kuehn writes the story of 2 characters finding what they need.

Recommend for grades 8 and up.

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I've been a fan of Stephanie Kuehn's since 2013's "Charm & Strange", so I was very much looking forward to this new release, which did not disappoint. Kuehn is so skilled at writing characters who are messy and flawed and "too much", but who are also deeply intelligent and expressive. Here, Kuehn tackles mental health, institutions, race and adolescence with her typical insight and empathy. Highly recommend.

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This book sounds good. Unfortunately, I was approved to read it right before it got archived and I didn’t get to download it.

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We Weren't Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn was a wonderful novel!
I feel like many YA readers will truly enjoy this wonderful story.
And not only will they enjoy it I bet they will connect with the two main characters here on so many levels.

The writing was wonderful and and kept me hooked and not wanting it to end.
Our characters are complex, flawed, well crafted and have been brought to life beautifully.
Overall, I clearly liked this one. And I'm looking forward to reading her backlog!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Disney Publishing Worldwide,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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First, please be sure to look into the trigger warnings of this book! There is some heavy topics in this book and you want to go in prepared for what's going. Just to note a few; self-harm, mental illness, and suicide.
Overall, this story was just mediocre. My main issue was that I didn't really care about the characters and the mystery was boring for me. The mystery had potential but it just fell flat and didn't truly seem to impact the characters. Speaking of the characters, Dani and Camila are characters I wanted to care more about, but couldn't. I will say that the mental health rep they offered was phenomenal to see. As someone who works in the mental health field, this was wonderful to see. However, their stories weren't as compelling as they could've been and that made me not care about them as much as I wanted to. Female friendships are some of my favorite things in a story, which made me very excited for this one, but again, I couldn't care about the characters as much as I wanted to, which meant their friendship wasn't as powerful as it could've been.
Overall, I had high hopes for this book, but it unfortunately fell flat.

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We Weren't Looking to Be Found is told from multiple perspectives. Camilla engages in self-harm and Danielle partakes in self-sabotage. The two of them meet in a Mental Health Facility right outside of Atlanta. Not only are they as different as day and night, neither one of them believes their stay at Peach Tree Hills will prove to be productive. This is an important title to include in any collection as a means of removing the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

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Thanks to NetGalley for an arc of this title! I loved the concept behind the book and felt it was an honest, intelligent view of youth treatment centers, substance abuse, and self harm recovery. It dealt with increasingly important issues for teens today, and did so in a comprehensive way. I wished it was longer! I loved the layering of storylines, but I wish a few plot event had been more developed. This author for sure left me wanting more though, and I’d definitely consider that a win!

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