Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 9th by Doubleday Canada (An imprint of Penguin Random House)
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for my honest review. All opinions expressed here are completely honest and completely my own.
As a huge Sophie Kinsella fan, I was out of my mind excited that she was coming out with her first young adult novel. I knew I just had to have it. Had to. I received a copy from the publisher for review and just couldn’t wait to dive into it!
Finding Audrey is the story of Audrey Turner. She is a fourteen year-old girl living with anxiety. This disorder was exacerbated by a traumatic social incident at school, and for the past few months Audrey as been at home trying to heal. She has been working with her therapist Dr. Sarah and taking small steps each day.
Audrey has a loving, supportive, and hilarious family that is not without its flaws. Her brother always has his face pressed up against his computer screen, her mother has some sort of neurosis (mental illness is hereditary after all), and her father is just always trying to keep the peace.
Enter Linus, her brother’s gamer friend. He is a sweet and patient boy that genuinely wants to get to know Audrey better, and he’s willing to do so on her own terms.
This all makes for a fun, hilarious, heartfelt story and I really enjoyed it!
This story often hit pretty close to home for me, because I have first hand experience with the anxiety disorders that Audrey experiences (although not quite to the same extent). I loved how Kinsella explored them with a lighter tone, while not making light of the illnesses themselves. I really appreciated that. Most books about mental illness are somber affairs, and while that certainly has its place, life with anxiety doesn’t have to be all dark all the time. It was refreshing to read a humorous YA novel on this topic!
I also really loved how parts of the story were told through a transcription of Audrey’s films! Filming friends and family was an exercise given to her by Dr. Sarah and it was fun, funny, and interesting reading from this perspective!
I was glad to see that Audrey’s relationship with Linus didn’t “fix” everything for her. His friendship and support certainly helped, but Kinsella always made sure to show that life and anxiety will continue to have its ups and downs for Audrey—no matter what, there is no “cure.” There is dealing with what you’re dealt, day in and day out. That’s life! Sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back—and that’s okay.
I loved that this book was so therapy and medication positive. I can understand why Audrey may not have been thrilled all the time to have to take medication—it can pretty scary taking medication that effects your mind and not just some apparent physical ailment. But on the whole, this book was just so fun and so positive.
Despite all the awesome that is this book, I have heard some mixed reviews from others. While I loved the way Kinsella told Audrey’s story, not everyone is on the same page. As I said (and as should be expected from a Kinsella novel), this story is on the light and funny side! It’s meant to be a feel-good and funny affair on the whole. (Keep in mind this is from the author of Shopaholic, not some literary prize winner. It’s supposed to be fun.) Some people may have a problem with this considering the topic is mental illness. If you think humour and mental illness don’t go together, skip this one. But if you like to laugh while also reading something touching, I recommend this one! Though funny and on the lighter side, it’s not without it’s insights!
While I must say that I prefer Sophie Kinsella’s adult fiction, I did really enjoy her foray into the world of Young Adult and will pick up anything and everything she writes! I’m a huge fan, and Finding Audrey did not disappoint.