Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Release Date: June 9th 2015
Page Count: 272
“Episodes. Like depression is a sitcom with a fun punch line each time. Or a TV box set loaded with cliffhangers. The only cliffhanger in my life is ‘Will I ever get rid of this shit?’ and believe me, it gets pretty monotonous.”
Finding Audrey was my first ever experience reading a novel by Sophie Kinsella. I know a lot of people love her Shopaholic series, and I have seen the film that was based on these novels, but I have just never felt the drive to read it. I honestly didn’t think I would end up picking up Finding Audrey either until I saw the countless reviews going up on Goodreads and the constant chatter about it in the Booktube community. I decided to give it a try when I spotted it for 40% off at my local book store and I’m really glad I made the decision to read it.
Goodreads Synopsis: 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’m really enjoying contemporary style novels lately and especially those that deal with real life illnesses, mental or physical. There is just something so real and relatable about these types of stories and I hope there are plenty to come in the future. Finding Audrey deals with Audrey, a fourteen year old girl who is suffering from an anxiety disorder after a traumatic event changes her life.
“You keep saying ‘I’m fine’ to people when you’re not fine. You think you should be fine. You keep saying to yourself: ‘Why aren’t I fine?'”
Sophie Kinsella writes about Audrey and her disorder in both a serious tone as well as comical. This novel has a lot of hilarious moments, especially between Audrey’s Mom and her brother Frank. I think it was a fantastic idea to to have these moments included in the novel as they acted as a kind of comic relief in between the more serious and tense situations.
“The parents are in charge of all the stuff like technology in the house and time on screens and hours on social media, but then their computer goes wrong and they’re like a baby going, ‘What happened to my document?’ ‘I can’t get Facebook.’ ‘How do I load a picture? Double click what? What does that mean?'”
I know that Finding Audrey is marketed towards a younger audience, but I personally believe I would have related to the character of Audrey a lot better if she were older than fourteen years old. Other than that, I think that Audrey was a very well written character. I loved the relationship between Audrey and Linus, I also love the name Linus! Their relationship was adorable and I think that Linus was written in a way that perfectly complimented Audrey. He was exactly what she needed during this period in her life. Audrey’s family was also perfect. As stated above, her Mom and brother Frank, along with her father and younger brother, perfectly serve as a balance between the dark and damaged life of Audrey and the happy comical life of her family.
One thing that did bug me about this story is the fact that we never really find out what happened between Audrey and the girls in her class. There are hints and the reader kind of has to come up with their own conclusion. This may not bother too many other people, but I personally would have liked a more concrete explanation.
I think that Finding Audrey is prefect for anyone looking for a comical, but not offensive, interpretation on mental health. Finding Audrey was a great story revolving around a young girl, her mental health and her recovery. It was adorable and funny and sad all at the same time. I definitely recommend it to those looking for a new contemporary read!
And Mum just looked at me as if she wanted to laugh or maybe cry, and she said, ‘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.'”