I am a rabid Outlander fan. I make no apologies for it. Outlander, book 1, has been my #1 most favorite book since I was about 13-14 years old. I’ve read the entire series multiple times. More importantly, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser is the literary love of my life. I would gladly hop backwards 200 years if he were there to catch me and keep me safe. (I would add in something cute here about not telling my husband, but that would mean he didn’t already know. He totally does.)
In addition to my obsession with JAMMF, I did hop a train in my youth and go backpacking in a strange place, all in search of a love. (In this case it was Boston, 1998, and I was searching for Jordan Knight, but potato potahto.)
Add those two together and you have the premise of Finding Fraser – The story of a girl who hops a flight to Scotland in search of her own Jamie. Come on! Finding Fraser was written for a fan like me!
Right off the bat I was captivated by the story. Emma as the MC was charming and funny. She reminded me a bit of Bridget Jones, in terms of being cute but in a self-deprecating type of way. I seriously loved her blog, and the comments that came with it. I could picture her so clearly, and I related to her as a nervous girl who was off on this big giant adventure, one that she was just slightly embarrassed about. -It wasn’t easy to tell people I was in Boston searching for Jordan Knight… so, I get it Emma. You and I, Kindred Souls.
In addition to how much I liked Emma, I also loved the amount of Jamie chatter there was. The fans Emma encountered along the way were hilarious, and I can imagine something very similar happening if we were on this real life journey, like Stripper Jamie. The arguments over who was a better hero, Jamie or William Wallace were entertaining. All of these little quirky situations led to crazy things happening to Emma, that for the most part kept me entertained. (I was especially thrilled any time Jack was in the picture. Love Jack.)
There are some criticisms, though. There are reasons why I rated Finding Fraser only 3.5 stars. First, at times the book was almost too historical. Perhaps I’m wrong; it’s hard for me to believe that someone who doesn’t know who Jamie is would pick this book up. I read and reviwed with the understanding that the main core of Finding Fraser’s readers are Outlander fans. We pretty much all already know this history. The repetition caused large sections’s of the story to drag, especially when paired with the long pages of landscape description. The thing is, if a non-fan picks up this book I think that they’d be even more bored with the history and landscape lessons than I was. They won’t even have that rabid love of all things Outlander to fall back on. Trust me, I understand why the story was descriptive, it’s Scotland! But it should have been toned down in order to give us more time with the actual plot of the story: Would Emma find her Jamie.
Which leads me to my second issue. I feel like it’s kind of obvious to anyone reading who Emma’s going to fall in love with. Yet, there are only about 4 scenes that contain him until the big bang at the end. (pun intended.) Other area’s of the story really needed pairing down so that we got more one on one time with these two characters. Either that, or it should have left the story more open-ended. What we got was too little throughout the whole story, than too much at the end.
Still, I’m glad I read this, and I’m glad I feel so much like Emma. I would have gladly followed her blog, and chatted with her in the comment section about how envious I was and how much I hoped she found her true love.
Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for providing a copy of his book, in exchange for an honest review.
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