on May 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
A laugh-out-loud romance from the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series.Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems.Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother's hot new best friend a bit of a challenge.But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.
Sophie Kinsella, one of my favourite chicklit authors, writing YA? And about a teenager with anxiety, at that? I have to admit I felt a bit nervous about the idea, but things worked out alright in the end. As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I have to say that Finding Audrey was one of the only books to truly grip me this year.
After a traumatic experience in high school, Audrey now suffers from social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, depression… all the fun cards in the box basically. She wears sunglasses so she doesn’t have to make eye contact with anyone. She tenses up as soon as someone declared “unsafe” enters her room. She never leaves the house. Until Linus, one of her brother’s gaming friends. Linus makes her feel things she normally wouldn’t feel, makes her want to try things she normally wouldn’t try. As they become friends and then something more, it’s only a matter of time before she begins to feel better.
I read this book in one take. Not because it was amazing, but because the anxiety aspect made me keep reading. The way her feelings were described in the book were pretty accurate, and even made my own anxiety spike during some moments. I felt for Audrey, felt her awkwardness, felt how threatened she felt about things the rational mind would be cool about. When Linus enters the picture and they begin passing notes back and forth as a way of communication, I thought that was pretty cute. I also really liked Frank and Felix, Audrey’s brothers, who provided some comic relief for an otherwise heavy topic.
However, I couldn’t help but feel bothered at the speed of things. Audrey is even worse off than I am, yet she suddenly made a lot of progress very quickly. Linus takes her to Starbucks, they become boyfriend and girlfriend, and all of a sudden she leaves the house five times a week, when before she’d stay in bed for three days at the mere thought of having to leave the house. As much as I like the idea of “love shall heal you”, it’s just that – a nice idea. Because nope. I could meet the nicest guy out there right now and I wouldn’t skip after him all the way to Starbucks. That’s just not how it works.
Furthermore, Audrey’s mother was a complete nutcase. She goes on this crazy witch hunt to make Frank stop playing videogames. She doesn’t even know anything about it, just that videogames are evil and should be destroyed. She even goes so far as to actually destroy his computer. Hell, with a mother like that, it’s a surprise it’s just Audrey who’s got anxiety. I’d be on tiptoes 24/7 around that woman.
So while there were parts I really enjoyed and parts I truly connected with, there were also some things I had major issues with and they took away from my enjoyment of the book. I told my mom about the book and she said it kind of sounded like a fairytale, and, well, that’s actually pretty accurate. It sounds like a nice fairytale, but not entirely realistic. Although it was still a nice read.
“I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for.”
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a copy