Published by Delacorte Press on June 9, 2015
Source: the publisher
Narrator: Gemma Whelan
Length: 6 hours, 36 minutes
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Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.
Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start. And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is probably one of the most-read books at my house! My family absolutely loves it. Each of my young adults has read it multiple times and they’ve shouted its praises to me over and over until I finally got the chance to pick it up and read it myself. (Before, whenever I would pull this book off of my shelf, one of my kids would pick it up and read it before I could, but I never stopped them because they all enjoyed it so much; it made me genuinely happy that they all found a book that they loved so much and loved discussing together.)
Finding Audrey has a 14-year-old main character with severe anxiety disorder and also depressive episodes due to some event that happened before the book began. Her anxiety is a huge part of her life and it manifests itself in a very real way. In terms of this story, it isn’t contrived or to narrow or too broad. It’s also not too much the focus of the book. Throughout this book she is trying to figure out how to deal with her anxiety and move through it so that she can have a productive life. She has a therapist that is helping her, but it isn’t until her brother’s friend Linus begins to come around that she begins to make her biggest strides. Linus doesn’t push her hard to make positive changes – he really just stays beside of her while she tries new things and improves, encouraging her, being there, and also while she stumbles here and there a little bit. His behavior is very mature and fresh for a story dealing with “mental health issues” and I loved it so much. (Also I cannot decide if Linus is my favorite character or it is main character, Audrey. I kind of loved them both.)
Audrey’s brother, Frank, is pretty funny too. His mother is convinced that he is addicted to online gaming and maybe he is/maybe he isn’t – but he does spend a lot of time gaming…although there is a reason for it. His dialogue and actions are hilarious to me and I think that he added plenty of spunk to a story that could have otherwise been a little heavy. (Non-spoiler spoiler: this story is not heavy at all. It’s the perfect amount of serious and humorous.) Their mother seemed obsessive to me. I actually felt a little bit sorry for Audrey and Frank because of her constant obsessive nagging (not sure nagging is the correct word here) because she clearly had issues of her own that she needed to work though and instead chose to focus on her children. Even so, her relationship with her husband was a pretty good one, also with humorous dialogue, and it was nice to see a relatively healthy marriage in a young adult book. This book is about dysfunction, but at the heart of it is a family that really does love one another and that is apparent even with all of the craziness and the bickering that happens here and there.
This is my first Sophie Kinsella book – apparently her first YA book. I have not ventured into her adult books, but I liked this book enough that I would give them a try (although I wish she would write more YA, particularly since my family is such a huge fan of this one). I appreciate what she has done here with what I feel is a fair and accurate-for-some depiction of anxiety, and I would recommend this book to all ages readers.
The audiobook format of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is published by Listening Library and is 6 hours and 36 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Gemma Whelan, who has a lovely British accent which is fitting for this book, since it is set in that part of the world. I did keep forgetting that Audrey is a 14-year-old character because the narrator does not sound quite that young. Listening was a treat because of the humor in the book and I found myself laughing out loud at several points, particularly with Frank’s scenes and dialogue. I very much enjoyed alternating this digital audiobook read that I checked out from library with my print copy from the publisher and would recommend the audiobook format with first time readers or those looking to reread.
Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series and the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. Confessions of a Shopaholic was turned into a Hollywood movie. She lives in England.