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.
Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 289
Publishing Date: June 9th, 2015
I’ve been waiting for a book like this. And this book could quite possibly be one of my absolute favorites of 2015. Honestly. I just. I’m so. Where do I even begin with this amazing novel? Sophie Kinsella does such an amazing job with this story and the many different aspects of it. Writing from Audrey’s point of view, the readers get to see so many different parts of Audrey’s life; her mental illness, her extremely quirky family, her love life, her insecurities, her witty sarcasm, and so much more. I dove into this book thinking that I would get the typical “girl-has-depression-and-meets-boy-and-falls-in-love-and-is-cured-from-all-mental-illness” story. But this book is definitely anything but that. This is not a typical book where the main protagonist is magically cured with a kiss. Audrey has to continually deal with her illness and she has to confront her insecurities and, instead of amazingly conquering all of her fears instantly, she struggles. She struggles a lot. And that’s what I loved so much about this book. It was so freaking relatable and so real. And it wasn’t one of those seriously deep and sad stories that you read and then go and sit in a corner and cry for a while. In fact, if you cry while reading Finding Audrey, it will most likely be because you’re laughing so hard that you’re crying. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few dark moments. There are some deep, intense moments. But the author has this way of including humor in all of the right places, to the point where nothing in the book is ever too sad, but it’s also not inappropriately too funny either. It’s just the right amount of everything.
The rest of this review contains spoilers!
One of the huge things that I loved about this book was that you never found out what horrible event happened to cause Audrey to develop her severe anxiety and depression. With some reading in-between the lines, I gathered that she was severely bullied in school. That’s just my opinion about what I think happened. I’ve read many reviews from others that say that they just weren’t satisfied with no actual re-telling of what caused Audrey’s mental illness. But I think that, in a way, it’s better for us readers that we don’t know what happened. Why? Because we can relate even more to the story. I think that everybody has experienced bouts of anxiety and depression at a certain time in their lives (especially in those scary teenage years) and, because the author doesn’t give an exact description of why Audrey has these constant anxieties, the reader is able to fit their own story into Audrey’s. And that right there, ladies and gents, is some amazing writing in my humble opinion. If an author is able to create a story that is so openly relatable to so many different people and situations, then isn’t that just amazing?
Overall, I never found a boring part in this story. My favorite scenes include Audrey’s mom throwing the computer out of the window (I kept picturing this in my head and it got more hilarious every time I did), Linus and Audrey giving each other dares at Starbucks, and Audrey’s mom legitimately climbing up into a two-story window just so she could see what Frank was doing on the computer (I couldn’t stop laughing at this point).
I really loved and adored and related to Audrey so much. Oh my God. So freaking much. I deal with a lot of anxiety. A lot of anxiety. It’s not something that can just go away and I always feel like nobody will ever understand it. And then, Sophie Kinsella comes along and writes a book with a character who goes through and has almost the same exact feelings I have sometimes. Audrey goes through anxiety, depression, self-confidence issues, shyness, and many more things that I and plenty of others have gone through. Major props to the author for writing a story that is so true and real and raw and YES JUST YES.
And then we have Audrey’s family, oh my gosh. THEY WERE ALL SO HILARIOUS. From Audrey’s mom’s obsession with The Daily Mail to Frank’s computer playing ninja skills to adorable little Felix. I loved how Audrey’s family was majorly involved in the story. In most YA contemporary books, the main character’s family is sometimes forgotten about or just not important to the story. It was such a nice change to see a main character’s family actually appear in pretty much the entire story.
“But, Audrey, that’s what life is. We’re all on a jagged graph. I know I am. Up a bit, down a bit. That’s life.”
Oh, Linus. How adorable you are. When Linus sent his first note to Audrey, I pretty much fell in love with him, I’m not going to lie. Throughout the book, you can tell that Linus is truly trying to understand Audrey and her illness. She continually tells him how people often think she’s “weird” or “crazy.” People will call her a “celebrity” because of her sunglasses. People won’t try to comprehend her or her illness. Linus, on the other hand, is so supportive and understanding of Audrey. I will admit that there was a bit of “insta-love” when it came to Audrey and Linus, but I’m not as picky with insta-love as others so it didn’t bother me that much.
I adored Sophie Kinsella’s writing style so much! It was funny and witty during the obviously humorous portions of the book, but it was also deeply personal and respectful during those moments that dealt with very deep issues.
I always save my 5-stars for books that have an effect on me. If I can’t stop thinking about the book or if I want to tell anybody and everybody to read the book, then I know that it’s 5-star worthy. And Finding Audrey is most definitely 5-star worthy.
“I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.”
So, did you like Finding Audrey? Comment below and tell me your thoughts on this novel!