Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Posted August 13, 2015 by Inge in Join the Dance // Events, Tags & Challenges, Reviews / 14 Comments

Finding Audrey by Sophie KinsellaFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
on May 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304

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.

One StarOne StarOne Star

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

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14 responses to “Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

  1. Okay, okay so here’s my theory (you already know that I agree with your review generally): I feel like Audrey’s mom might have been overcompensating with her brother, because she felt like she messed up with Audrey? (Not that she actually did, obviously.) I couldn’t stand her mom in the beginning. I found her annoying and I felt like she was the most ridiculous, flat character. But I liked that towards the end, Audrey is well enough to notice things about her mom that she didn’t before, so her mom actually becomes a much more interesting character. Plus, she did handle everything with Audrey pretty well. So yeah, I would have liked for her to have been a better character from the start, but she kind of grew on me!

    • That’s actually a pretty good theory, that she feels like she failed with Audrey, so she tries extra hard with her brother, but it kind of goes way over the top. I don’t know, she still really bugged me at the end of it, but I do get it!

  2. I love the new look of the blog!
    I so agree that the speed was too quick. I felt like girls who could be in the same situation would feel like they were failing instead of coming through the anxiety.
    I loved the cover and thought the story definitely had great merits.
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    • Thank you, Missie! I loved that it was light-hearted and really funny at times, but yes, I definitely had an issue with the speed of her recovery. She was way worse off than I am, and I definitely wouldn’t be skipping to Starbucks in five weeks’ time.

  3. Yesss I was wondering what your thoughts would be on this one, especially with the GAD and stuff. Sounds like it was captured pretty well, but a shame it wasn’t really realistic (I mean it’s fiction too, so there’s that). I’m also not a fan of the love heals everything trope either. But I did enjoy the book! Lovely review hun.

    • Thank you, Jeann! I think it was portrayed pretty realistically in terms of what she thought and what she felt and what she was going through, but then Linus happened and that’s where it went iffy for me. I just can’t picture recovering that quickly from something that’s been controlling your life for as long as you can remember, no matter how charming the guy is. But overall, I did enjoy the book!

  4. It’s definitely interesting to hear your take on this book, because from what I’ve heard–I think it was Cait’s review that I read?–it’s not the best portrayal of anxiety, so I was curious to see what you thought. I think Cait’s main complaint was the “love heals all” trope, and I do understand disliking that, because honestly I think in a lot of cases having a crush would exacerbate anxiety, not heal it! And, as you said, you could meet the nicest guy ever and still not feel capable of leaving the house for him. But it’s good to know that you thought the anxiety itself was portrayed accurately. I do still want to give this book a try, even if it did feel kind of like a fairy tale, but I’m glad to have read your review so I’ll have an idea of what to expect. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    (PS Thanks so much for your comment on my blog! How have you been lately, are you doing well?)

    • Yes, I definitely remember Cait having issues with this book. While she couldn’t stand the fact that it was funny at times, I actually quite liked that aspect. Yes, it’s a serious topic, but I liked that I was able to laugh with it. But it doesn’t work for everyone, of course, and it’s something you need to decide for yourself.

      There was definitely that aspect of “love heals all” and that’s where things went downhill for me. She’d meet this guy and five weeks later she was going to Starbucks by herself, when she hadn’t left the house in ages!

      I’ve been pretty good, a lot better compared to the last time we talked! 🙂 I’ve been following up with therapy and antidepressants and I’m doing exposure therapy now, which has been really good for me. I’m still house bound, but I’ve definitely expanded my world a bunch!

  5. Great review. I saw similar thoughts to yours over on Paperfury and I’m a little nervous to read the book. I don’t like the idea of her suddenly making progress just because of a guy, it doesn’t feel very realistic to me. I might try it, as I won a copy, but I am not in a rush to read it.

    • It’s a light-hearted take on the anxiety subject and I suppose you’d need to take it a bit more lightly for the love aspect to work. I loved that I was able to laugh throughout the book, but I couldn’t take the quick recovery seriously, especially not because of a guy.

  6. I have this book actually, so it really is a matter of time before I read it. It’s good to know the anxiety itself seemed to be portrayed really well, and it looks like the story itself is nice enough. It’s a shame that the whole book seemed to be moving a bit too fast, but hopefully it still makes for an insightful story to those who don’t know too much about anxiety.

    • I think it would give a little bit of insight to those who don’t know a lot about anxiety, but this is of course only one side of anxiety — there are many different types and it affects everyone differently. I hope they don’t think we’re all freaks when they meet Audrey, hahaha. I hope you enjoy it!

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