Saturday, April 16

Sophie Kinsella - Finding Audrey


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 love Sophie Kinsella. I love her Shopaholic series and pretty much every other book of her's I've read, but I when I first came across this book I was a bit apprehensive. Why? Because it was her first attempt at Young Adult, so naturally I was a bit worried about how she'd manage this when all this time she's been catering to an older audience. I need not have worried at all because Finding Audrey had everything I could have wished for in Kinsella's YA debut. It was her typical smooth writing, coupled with lovely characters and boy, am I glad I picked it up! 

To make this review more coherent, let me list out what worked and what did not, for me in this cute little story.

What worked for me:

  This is the story of Audrey- as the book title suggests- and how she deals with anxiety, having been diagnosed with- let Audrey tell you that:

“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.”

As is obvious, Audrey had a lovely voice and attitude, I loved reading about her and was constantly amused by her shrewd musings about life while I did feel sorry for her at more than one point.

  While what Audrey was going through was decidedly traumatic, the way the author tackled it was refreshing and didn't make the story feel dark- so you should probably be warned of this. This is NOT a serious story, BUT nor is the author treating the matter at hand with any less seriousness than such a subject warrants. I read some reviews that criticized the way the author treated this story, but what particularly appealed to me was the light-hearted way this was tackled, while driving home what was vital about Audrey's condition.

“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.

  Not only Audrey, the side characters were fun and well-developed too. Her mom had a somewhat very unhealthy obsession over The Daily Mail and her brother's possible addiction to videogames and this provided some much-needed comic relief throughout the book.

“I’ll do anything. I’ll stack the dishwasher. I’ll phone Grandma every night. I’ll…” He casts about wildly. “I’ll read to deaf people.”

  The romance was very sweetly done and I really liked Linus. He helped Audrey through some really difficult times without everything seeming like a miracle that came about just because of love.

“They talk about “body language,” as if we all speak it the same. But everyone has their own dialect. For me right now, for example, swiveling my body right away and staring rigidly at the corner means, “I like you.” Because I didn’t run away and shut myself in the bathroom. I just hope he realizes that.”

What did not work for me:

  While Linus offered support and companionship to Audrey, in no way did the author make us feel like her progress was all due to love. nevertheless, I couldn't help feeling a bit skeptical about her speedy progress. I suppose people are unique and their recovery from illnesses is subjective, but if I were to point out anything negative about this book, this is the only thing that would even come close. 

All in all, Finding Audrey was a lovely book that did just what it was supposed to- it shed light on Audrey's mental illness, it made me think, smile, and laugh. A must read!

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 4/5
The characters: 4/5  
The cover: 4/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5
      

8 comments:

  1. I've had my eye on this book after a recommendation on some other blog, and this review makes me wanna read it now!! It sure looks for a sweet read!

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    1. Ooh yes, this book sure is sweet! :)) Hope you pick it up some day soon, Zena! You won't be disappointed.

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  2. It's a tough topic to be able to pull off with humour, which sometimes I think is a better way of dealing with tough topics. Nice review!

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    1. Yay, you got EXACTLY what I was trying to convey through this review, Verushka! :))

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  3. AW RUZI GREAT REVIEW <3 I read this book and really enjoyed it! I have to agree that the story was so light despite the very dark topic that it brought upon itself, which were depression and anxiety. I mean, these two things are really serious that they require medical attention, but the way that the book discussed it didn't make it feel so serious and dark as I had expected.

    I wrote a review of this book last November or so, and I also said the same thing as you! THE RECOVERY PROCESS THOUGH. It's incredibly unrealistic! Falling in love will certainly not guarantee a quick recovery because you can't just move on from depression on a whim when you meet someone you love :( The way it depicted recovery really disappointed me because it takes months (even years) for that to even happen!

    But on the other note, lovely review! I enjoyed reading it Ruzi :D

    Jillian @ Jillian's Books

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    1. Thank you, Jill! It's good to someone sharing the same opinions as me- the love thing did make me feel a bit skeptical, but in no way did it make me appreciate the book any less. It really is refreshing to see books as this ones once in a while when most authors cover the darker side of issues such as this :)

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  4. First of all, this cover is so beautiful..I've been meaning to read this book for almost 6 months now! *gasp* why haven't I gotten to it? EEK! Your review makes me even more eager to finally go and check it out.

    Great post!
    Kate @Read and Dream

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    1. Haha, I feel you! I've been wanting to read this book since it's release and only found time much, much later to finally pick it up :) Thanks, Kate!

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