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June 05, 2015

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey
Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher:
 Random House Canada
Publication date: June 9, 2015
 
Genre(s): Middle Grade (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
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.
This was such a fun book! I honestly didn't expect any less from Sophie Kinsella but I was a bit hesitant because of two reasons, one being that this is her first try at writing middle grade books, and another being that I never really enjoy middle grade books. The first reason is that I really hoped Kinsella's humor will translate through such a young protagonist (and oh boy, did it ever!) and the other is that I often find MG characters too immature for my taste, but Kinsella's magic did it again and totally made this book and character relatable, fun, and all with an important message delivered to the readers. 
Anxiety disorders are actually more common than what we think. Unfortunately many people aren't aware of the actual clinical term and brush it off as a personality defect. Mental and psychological illnesses are unfortunately treated as a second class citizen in relation to physical illnesses. I really applaud and admire Kinsella for picking such an important topic and simplifying it and relating it to young teens. Audrey went through a traumatic event in her school that caused her to develop severe anxiety. She wears sunglasses at all times and now never leaves the house (she is in the middle of transferring to another school). 
The story isn't just Audrey's story, but it is her whole family's story. One thing Kinsella did brilliantly is the family dynamic and relationship. Audrey's older and younger brothers will remind you of your own siblings. Her mother worries constantly and her dad backs her up in the parenting department just to keep the peace. We all have the bad cop good cop labels for our parents right? I just liked how relatable the whole family dynamic was. Also, A Kinsella book isn't one if it isn't laugh out loud funny, which Finding Audrey totally is. Her brother plays an online RPG game that he's preparing with his friends to enter a global tournament.. and that requires countless hours of playing, something that has turned red flags for their mom... and commence the crazy acts, from finding inventive ways to get around the ban from playing, to restoring to the most extreme actions, like his mom throwing a 1,100 laptop out the window to finally get her son's attention (This isn't the spoiler, the book opens up with this exact scene). If I could choose one word to describe Finding Audrey, it would be fun. I can't wait for Sophie Kinsella to venture more into the non adult world (YA book next? please?), as well as more adult books. Basically I will read anything Sophie Kinsella writes. I definitely recommend it to all Sophie Kinsella fans as well as readers who want to try her writing but aren't interested (yet) in her adult books. 

3 comments:

  1. Yay I'm glad you liked it!!! I was also curious if her humor would translate. All her other books I've read of hers have had me cracking up, and I am really looking forward to seeing if this one does too. I also like how you described the family as a central part in this book. That makes me happy!! Some of my favorite YA's feature tight families that are actually present and not off doing whatever. Can't wait to read this one :)

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  2. I'm interested in reading this after that review! Middle grade isn't my thing either, but why not. :)

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  3. I'm so glad you liked this one!!! I've got a copy myself that I'm reviewing for the blog tour next week and I can't wait to read it! I love books with great family relationships, so I'm definitely glad you pointed that out! Great review :)

    p.s. Did you know the font of this review is smaller than normal? It's kinda hard to read, so I just wanted to let you know :)

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