Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

finding audreyAudrey 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.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

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Would you believe this is another book read n preparation for YALC? I feel like every single review I have written has started with that! Sophie Kinsella will be appearing on a panel called “Secrets and Lies” alongside Annabel Pitcher, Sarah Crossan and Keren David.

Spoiler free

 

Once again, I went into this book with literally no idea what it was about and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. I don’t know what I was expecting to find in this book, I think the sunglasses and Starbucks on the cover mislead me into thinking I was about to be sucked into a High School Drama novel, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

not expecting

I was amazed by the way in which this book was able to make me really laugh, despite the hard hitting story and subject matter, it was a really fun read but also one which kept me thinking about it all day once I had finished reading. This is the first time I have sat down and read a book in one sitting in a very long time and it was a wonderful experience as that is my favourite way to read.

reading

Sometimes you read books where family life is depicted with ridiculous inaccuracy: the teenagers are always right, the parents talk like they are 16 years old and all dialogue comes in the form of quippy banter. The complete opposite was true in this book, it was one of the most true to life representations of a family I have read about in a long time which was refreshing and painfully relatable. Audrey’s brother is obsessed with the computer game “Land of Conquerors”  (or as we know it League of Legends) and her mother’s exasperation with it and whole hearted trust in the things she reads online is something that can be found in many homes.

“Anne, do you know what teenager parties are like? What if they knife eachother and have sex on a trampoline?”

laugh

Finding Audrey features a protagonist with social anxiety and the author really manages to make this subject accessible to her readers. Audrey’s feelings are described with creative analogies which really helps the reader to understand what she is going through and how her life is being affected by this. Furthermore, while the topic of mental illness is being explored more and more in YA fiction of late, this is the first exposure to social anxiety I have encountered and, as one of Audrey’s friends really helps to illustrate in the novel, exposure and representation of issues like this in media are so important to avoid ignorance or stupidity from running rampant.

idiotss

On a lighter note, this book is also jaw-achingly HILARIOUS. Audrey’s relationship with her brothers is a joy to read and they are probably my favourite characters in the novel, Frank the 16 year old is so unimpressed by everything whereas her younger brother, Felix who is four is the total opposite because everything is absolutely amazing!

“Mum, it’s called Land of Conquerors, not Land of Community Service Volunteers!”

eye roll

“STRONG Yoga” Felix looks at me seriously, “I am the strongest yoga”

Throughout the novel Audrey is asked to make a documentary of her family and the transcripts of it are interspersed throughout the book with Audrey overhearing things she shouldn’t and walking in on moments that ought not be filmed.

“DAD (V.O)
I don’t want to imagine. I want yo to describe them to me, very slowly, in a French accent.

MUM (V.O)
(half giggling, half cross)
Chris stop it!”

lol 3

Overall this was such a delightful read and I would strongly recommend it. At only 263 pages it’s not going to take you long to read, I managed to blast through between 1am and 3am on the Monday morning of Book-Tube – A -Thon. 4 stars

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