Finding Audrey

Sophie Kinsella
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.


Reviewed: 2017-12-07
Initial Impressions 5/17/15: Hmmm. I'm not quite sure what my final feelings are on this! I really enjoyed Audrey's story. I think it was a great account of someone living with severe anxiety and the step it takes to work through it. I think Sophie Kinsella did a really great job with that part of the story and it's always great to put that knowledge into the hands of others. I really appreciated the range of relationships Audrey had with her family (and outsiders) as she's working on making progress with her anxiety.
The book as a whole? It was all right. There was a while in the book where I got frustrated at how much focus was on Frank's computer games because I felt like it really stole the spotlight of the book. I felt like it should have been a supplemental story line to Audrey's but she fell to the background for a while there. I also grew really annoyed by their mother and her ridiculous and controlling whims. It added a bit of comedy to the beginning because she was just so silly and nonsensical but it was very tiring towards the middle to still have to listen to that. Yelling and freaking out -- yeesh. It was obnoxious to read.
I'm also a bit disappointed that we never get the full scoop on what sent Audrey into this state of anxiety. Maybe that's my personal need for all of the details but when it's mentioned as a specific event and just danced around, it was a bit frustrating to not really find out the specifics.
Good book but overall lacking a bit. Maybe 3.75 stars but I'll go with 4.

Full review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 6/9/15: FINDING AUDREY was a really interesting read for me! It was meaningfully complex and yet still maintained the trademark Sophie Kinsella humor and wit. I really enjoyed meeting Audrey and finding out more about her story and it was just so nice to read Sophie Kinsella’s work again!

FINDING AUDREY primarily deals with a teenager named Audrey (of course) who is currently in the midst of trying to get a handle on her anxiety. After a recent and tumultuous incident at school, Audrey ended up in a tailspin of emotions which eventually resulted in her current state of anxiety. FINDING AUDREY picks up her story after she’s returned home from the hospital and is currently seeing a therapist to help her overcome and push past her fears. I personally thought that this aspect of the story was handled so, so well. The reader gets to know Audrey and her personality while she’s in the safe space of her home and amongst her family but also gets to see how crippling anxiety and panic can be for a person. The smallest thing can trigger the biggest fear and my heart went out to Audrey as she struggled to retrain her brain to not immediately react to these things as panic-inducing triggers. It was very interesting and informative to see how her brain had her reacting and how much effort it really does take to not only stay afloat but to fight back. I think it’s great to have this mental health awareness and allow readers to see how anxiety affects people on many different levels and also how hard someone can work to overcome it.

It was really interesting to witness Audrey with her family as well. She and her brother seem to have a good relationship and I liked how there were a few key moments in which he wasn’t afraid to speak up to her when everyone else was too afraid to. Their relationship felt very natural and I really liked how they got along! Their mother, on the other hand, was a bit much for me sometimes. (Most of the time.) Audrey’s anxiety disorder is the focus of the book but I think her mother has her own form of anxiety throughout the book. She’s so OVERLY concerned with her kids — especially Frank and his video games — that it became very hard for me to read. She was so worried that she outwardly obsessed and overreacted for nearly the entire book and where I felt it was supposed to lend comedy, it ended up turning me off from her character quite a bit.

FINDING AUDREY was a really interesting read overall and it went through its fair share of ups and downs. I loved how the characters, especially Audrey, had to figure out the nature order of things after their lives got shaken up by this traumatic event. I was so happy to watch these characters strengthen their relationships by supporting each other to help each other grow. The little romance that developed was also so cute and heartwarming! I absolutely loved how it formed and evolved throughout the course of the book.
I did struggle a bit with the mother character as I had mentioned before and I was a bit frustrated at times with how much her struggle with Audrey’s brother took center stage. Sometimes it felt like Audrey got shoved to the background and this plot point took over, but it really was an important focus of the book as well. Really, that was the only (minor) downside for me because I just really enjoyed the book overall!

If you love Sophie Kinsella — YA reader or not — I think FINDING AUDREY will be a really solid read for you! I was so happy with how well all of these elements blended together and I was left with a positive and happy feeling when I was finished instead of the heaviness I sometimes feel when I finish a book that deals with mental health and issues. I really hope readers enjoy this one and I hope Sophie Kinsella continues to write more YA because I’d love to read more books like this from her!
Reviewed: 2016-12-30
Reviewed: 2016-02-14
Before I stared reading I had heard many mixed things about this book. Many who had some sort of f mental illness absolutely disliked it, while others said it was a lighthearted read. When I started it I went in with an open mind. I didn't want to hate it before I even opened the book. My first thoughts were, wow the mom is really annoying. Well, I thought the same throught the whole book. Audrey parents were a big part of the plot. Something that you don't always have when you read a young adult book. Although I thought the mom was a very annoying character I liked that she was actually apart of the book. In the begining the story was fine, it wasn't until the middle where I started to dislike it. As soon as Linus and Audrey start going out everything changes, Audrey thinks she's better, she thinks that she's "cured" because Linus helped her talk to a couple of people and have more physical contact. It angered me that everyone treated Audrey like a fragile thing, but I hated it how she acted like she was. That was the thing that had her stuck in the beginning of the book. The things that wouldn't let her improve in her journey of getting better with her anxiety. She would spend many days in her room with complete darkness watching the TV, and her parents would let her. I know that they only want what's best for her but at that point they were basically telling that it was okay to hide, to let the whole world go on around you while you stay stuck on something forever. So although I wasn't the biggest fan of Linus throughout the story, I did like how he gave Audrey the push that she needed to get out of her room and start the progress of getting used to the anxiety that she felt when she is in public. The thing that I hated the most was the way the characters viewed mental illness. They talked about it like it was a cold. Something that you accidentally end up with when you go out and forget to put on a sweater. Something that will eventually pass when you take pills. But it's not. To me mental illness especially Anxiety is something that takes a long time to "cure". You can't really "cure" it really. When you have Anxiety you have first learn when you get it, what causes it. Then you have to learn you to minimize it to the point where you can control it. Finally you just have to learn how to live with it. Some days will be worse than others. It felt like the characters in the book were all waiting for the day Audrey would get up and come running saying that she's cured. Once I finished the book however it wasn't that bad, it just wasn't what I was hoping for, for a book that talks about mental illness.
Reviewed: 2015-07-27
Finding Audrey

The Characters

Audrey Turner
The Turner Family: Chris, Anne, Frank, Felix (mum, dad, big brother and little brother respectively)
Oh and Linus

The Story

This was a rather fascinating story. It’s a tale of rebuilding a life after a traumatic yet unmentioned event. As expected with rebuilding there are a lot of ups and downs. We traverse these with Audrey and her family and are left in the end with the sense that there will be more ups than downs in Audrey’s overall life. My only ending desire would have been to see her return to school. However this story does not leave anything lacking.

The Random Thoughts

4 Stars
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