Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Read on June 9th, 2015.

(Source:  Purchased.)

From Goodreads:  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.

I read this entire book on release day, and even though I kept telling myself to stop reading so I would have some left for the next day, I couldn't put it down.  I really love Sophie Kinsella's books, even though a couple of the later Shopaholic books are a bit tedious.  This is one I featured as a Waiting on Wednesday post, so I had really high expectations.  Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.

Finding Audrey is about Audrey, of course, and her life dealing with social anxiety disorder and depression.  She can't leave the house, she doesn't speak to anyone other than her parents and siblings, and she wears sunglasses all the time, as she can't handle making eye contact.

Her family is supportive, and they do their best to help her recover from a traumatic experience that happened at her school the previous year.  We never find out exactly what happened, but I think it's better that way.  We aren't dwelling on what happened to her, and instead we're able to focus on Audrey and her recovery.  Everything isn't perfect at home, though, as her mother thinks her brother, Frank, is obsessed with video games, and there seems to be a constant tension between them. 

I've read a few reviews saying Audrey's mother was "crazy" and that she had as many issues as Audrey with the way she obsessed over Frank's computer usage.  I don't think that's true.  I really liked her mother, and I think she was just doing her best to be a good parent.  One of the funniest scenes in the book, in my opinion, is when she is threatening to throw Frank's computer out of the window.  I laughed out loud for a solid minute. 

That's another issue that a couple of reviewers seemed to have with the book - they claimed the author was making light of social anxiety disorder, and the novel was "too funny" for such a serious subject.  I have to disagree with that though.  I believe Ms. Kinsella did a wonderful job of telling Audrey's story of life with social anxiety disorder, while still including a bit of levity . The book would have gotten really dark, really fast if not for the humorous moments.  I also thought she was pretty spot-on with her descriptions of social anxiety disorder and depression.

Finding Audrey was an amusing and quick read about a serious subject, and I think Ms. Kinsella's first foray into YA was a definite success.  I would highly recommend this.

Rating (out of five stars): 

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