Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Genres & Themes: Young-adult, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance.
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.
There was a phase in my life when I read Sophie Kinsella’s books on repeat. I couldn’t get enough of them. They were funny and hilarious but never included a teenage protagonist or talked about mental health.
So, I kind of took a risk when I picked this one up because I thought maybe I wouldn’t like it as much or whatever. But, I’m so happy to say I was wrong because, yup, I loved this book!
As already mentioned, this book deals with mental illness and it’s about this girl, Audrey, and she has Social Anxiety Disorder which means that she can not go out of the house or even talk to anyone one besides her family and therapist. It’s so bad that she even wears dark glasses to avoid eye contact with people. But, then she meets Linus who is her brother’s friend and she connects with him. Her relationship with him improves not only her condition but also her relationship with her family.
I know, I know. It may sounds like Linus is playing the role of “manic pixie dream girl” but he’s not! What I love about their relationship is that he’s, in fact, trying to help her to improve. He nudges her to step forward and to progress. Which obviously doesn’t happen in the blink of an eye nor does she change into a normal teenager a second after meeting him but it takes time and effort from both of them. Their relationship is actually really sweet and cute! I love how he challenges her to talk to people and their little notes conversations.
The book mainly focuses on Audrey’s recovery and her family. Her family, especially her mom, is like every other mom except that she’s a little bit of an extremist but honestly, I get that all of our mothers would panic too if we spent literally 10+ hours a day on a video game (my mom would’ve thrown that video game out of the window.. which exactly what Audrey’s mum did lol). I love how relatable her family is. And while I was reading about her four years old brother, I wish I had a younger sibling too. Her family is like our typical family which I love the most. I mean, we don’t read about families a lot – especially the relatable ones – in our YA books that often, do we? It’s mostly the girl saving the world while her parents make their appearance only once or twice only when it’s fitting.
Like all of her books, this one is hilarious and funny too! But, it has dealt with the serious topic of Anxiety in a delicate manner. Sophie Kinsella has written exactly what happens in a mind of a teenager and I think that this book stands out a lot (in a good way) among all of her books.
I definitely recommend this book to everyone! I read it because I am on a mission to read more about mental illnesses and this book helped me understand a lot.
About the Author:
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming (“The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”) to the latest book on being married and having a child (“Shopaholic & Baby”). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.