Book Review: Finding Audrey

Truth: I’ve never met a Sophie Kinsella book I didn’t like. In fact, her books are pretty much the only “adult” books I read. When she announced she was writing a young adult novel, I was ecstatic. Sophie’s writing is LOL hilarious, and I mean that literally, not the “lol” text way where you’re not actually laughing. Seriously, don’t read her books in public unless you’re okay with snorting in the middle of a Starbucks. (Also noteworthy: don’t start Finding Audrey while in the grocery store, or else you’ll push your cart into a random man and he won’t be happy.)

“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.”

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I really liked this book, but I think the description misrepresents what it’s about. I was so nervous this was going to turn into a book where a boy shows up and BAM! things are better. I get it: love makes life warmer, happier, but it doesn’t cure mental illness. However, Linus’s “romantic” role in the book was so minute, I think he could’ve been left out of the book description entirely. He was kind and patient and encouraged Audrey’s recovery, but he didn’t “cure” her. Their relationship was sweet and innocent (Audrey is only 14) with a firm foundation of friendship.

“It won’t be forever. You’ll be in the dark for as long as it takes and then you’ll come out.” – Sophie Kinsella

Audrey had a big, sort of chaotic family that I totally adored. For me, Audrey’s family was the star of the story. Her parents and two brothers were quirky and dramatic, but so full of love for each other. They also approached Audrey’s anxiety and depression in a realistic manner, which is to say, they occasionally said and did the wrong thing. Audrey’s older brother, Frank, could be insensitive, while her parents became overprotective of their “fragile” daughter. But they also did a lot of things right: they got Audrey help, they never shamed her for needing medication or therapy, nor were they embarrassed by her ever-present dark sunglasses. They were just there for her. Always and unconditionally. Her parents weren’t villains nor were they angels; they were just parents, and they were always trying to do and be better. I loved that.

Despite the heavier subject matter, the book still was funny, courtesy of Kinsella’s witty writing. I think this book is what they call a “departure.” It was completely different than anything Kinsella has done in the past, but it didn’t disappoint; instead, it left me excited for what’s next.

Rosie & Bean rating: 3.5/5 donuts
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