Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Review: Finding Audrey

Finding AudreyAuthor: Sophie Kinsella
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

“To put you out of your misery, here’s the full diagnosis. Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder and Depressive Episodes. Episodes. Like depression is a sitcom with a fun punchline.”

“But I think it’s time, Audrey. I think you can do it. Call it project Starbucks.” Starbucks? Is she kidding? Tears have started to my eyes. My blood is pulsing in panic. I can’t go to Starbucks. I can’t.

“Had to give you this before I go.” For a few moments I don’t dare read it. But at last I open it up and stare at the words inside. My head is prickling all over with disbelief. My breath is jumpy as it read it. He wrote that. He wrote that. To me. “It’s a kiss.” 

Audrey Turner was a character that had to grow on me. Yes, she suffers from an anxiety disorder, which readers find out early on, but I do not feel that she is explored as well as she could have been. However, towards the end of this story I found myself more on Audrey’s side than I had been before. Her condition was not something that readers were allowed to understand at first; I also found myself getting irritated with this. However, I felt sorry for Audrey and the more than I listened and tried to understand her story, the more I was rooting for her to conquer her awful disorder. It is through her brother’s friend, Linus that she finally feels the desire to confront her anxiety and venture out into the world again.

Linus was my favorite character because of his involvement in Audrey’s life. He tried his best from the beginning to understand Audrey’s condition and looked for different ways to challenge her and allow her to embrace the life that she is allowing to pass so quickly before her eyes. Now, Audrey’s mother on the other hand is a trip and I wasn’t sure how to take her at all. She is constantly worried about her children, and while some worry is of course natural, she goes a little overboard. No wonder Audrey had such a hard time branching out and connecting back to the “real” world. Her mother smothered the living crap out of her children. I had trouble with many of the characters in this story, but still appreciated the connection to reality that the plot served and developed.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Delacorte Books for Young Readers***

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