Novel: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Release date: June 4th, 2015
Genre: Realistic fiction, YA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher -THANK YOU- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
Synopsis: 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.
“Which is true. He didn’t say anything. He stopped mid-sentence. Except that stopping mid-sentence is the worst thing people can do. It’s, like, totally passive aggressive, because you can’t take issue with anything they’ve sad. You have to take issue with what you think they were going to say.”
“She’s totally channeling a Bond villain, I realize. I bet she wishes she had a white cat to stroke.”
“Thoughts are racing through my head; crazy thoughts like I’ve made it! I’m in Starbucks! Go me! But there are other weird, random thoughts popping up, like Everyone’s looking at me and I hate myself. And then, suddenly, I wish I was at home right now, which is just weird. I do not wish I was at home.
So, first of all, I read this book together with Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic. We both read it and then talked about our thoughts on it. I really enjoyed doing this buddy-read! It was also a great way to gather my thoughts before writing this review.
What I enjoyed
So for some reason, I want to try out this review-structure today. I’ve never made a review by dividing it up into what I liked and what I didn’t like, but Finding Audrey seems like a good book to try it out.
Of course, I love Sophie Kinsella’s writing. I’m a huge fan of Kinsella books -aside from Wedding Night, we’ll just forget about that one. I was really curious to see how she would fare with a YA book. And I definitely think she did well. I did enjoy the read -although I had some remarks about it, but we’ll get into those later.
I liked the way the book was narrated. I have to admit that this definitely won’t be for everyone either. Audrey’s point-of-view was really, uhm, refreshing. She has a way of making “fun” of everything, which not everyone will appreciate. To me, I didn’t seem like she made everything out to be significant. I feel like every person has his own way of dealing with bad situations, and for some people weird humor is the way they process things. So I could definitely appreciate that!
I absolutely sped through this book. I read it in a few hours, which is saying something as I should be studying instead of reading (or writing this review actually). The story definitely kept me interested -and also, it’s quite a short novel.
I also quite liked (most) of the characters! Audrey was really interesting, and I have to say I haven’t read many books about people suffering from an anxiety disorder -more on that later. And I really enjoyed how present the family was in this novel, as for some reason they often disappear in YA novels. Don’t these people have parents too? Anyway, before I start ranting… I really liked Audrey’s brother, Frank. He is smart, funny (and kind of sneaky).
So yes, there were definitely a lot of aspects I highly enjoyed in this book. But there were also some aspects I didn’t quite agree with.
What I didn’t enjoy as much
As I was talking about Audrey’s family, I’ll start with her mom here. What is up with that woman? HONESTLY. She is obsessed with the idea that her son is addicted to video games. I’m not kidding. Probably 15% of the book is about video games and her mom yelling to Frank about them. And then she went to a whole new level of insane, which I can’t tell you about because spoilers. I’ll just say that if my mom would ever do what she did, I would not talk to her for weeks.
Secondly, Linus. Linus is the love interest in this book. I really did NOT like the way this was handled. Because the book is quite short, everything felt a bit rushed to me. For example, Audrey has a massive anxiety attack when she first sees him. And then suddenly, they are holding hands and so on. Where did the anxiety go? I kind of felt like the book not only gave the impression that you will magically recover when you find a boyfriend but also that anxiety disorders are easy to recover from. BOTH ARE SO WRONG.
If I would not have a fairly good idea of what anxiety disorder is like, this book would have given me some wrong impressions – I think. Audrey recovers so quickly, and her therapists is making her take giant leaps. I feel like that is so unrealistic. In no way is this easy to recover from!
Lastly, we never get to know what happened to Audrey. I know that that shouldn’t be the main focus of the book, but come on! During the story, references are constantly made to what happened to Audrey at school right before her anxiety started acting up. But you never actually get to find out. Why??
I did like the book overall! I read it in one sitting, and was fascinated by what was going on. I just believe that it communicates some wrong messages about anxiety disorder. If you know that beforehand, I’d definitely recommend it! If you want a realistic read about anxiety though, I don’t think this will be the book for you. It’s quite a light and quirky read, and I did enjoy reading it. So if you feel like giving it a try, I’d say go for it!