Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review.]
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.
Long before I became a girl who blogged about books, I devoured Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series, as well as her other standalone contemporaries. She (along with Cecelia Ahern) was the name I sought out when I wanted a delightful, fun read, and I have never once been disappointed. When I heard that she was releasing her first YA novel Finding Audrey this year, I just knew it was a book I needed to read. So when I was offered the chance to read it early, I accepted that offer so fast I left skid marks in my virtual trail. And y'all, I'm so pleased to report that I really enjoyed Kinsella's first (of many, I hope) young adult novel!
Finding Audrey is told from the point of view of Audrey, a young girl dealing with severe anxiety. Because of her disorder, Audrey's world is basically her home and her therapist's office - and it's not easy reading about her panic attacks and hyperactive reactions to fear. But readers will catch Audrey on the up and up, slowly making progress with handling her disorder. Her thoughts are funny and smart when she's not in panic mode, and I loved getting to know her. Plus, seeing her family - her father, her mother, her brothers Felix and Frank - through her eyes was pretty amusing. And, of course, there's Linus, who is sweet and thoughtful and challenges Audrey to keep trying things. Kinsella's characters are quirky and jump off the page, and I managed to fall in love with them!
Kinsella's take on how one manages such a disorder, including challenging yourself, accepting setbacks in your recovery and finding people who can accept you, is something I really appreciated reading about, and I felt like it was handled with just the right amount of gravity. That said, I appreciate her inclusion of humor as well! The balance between humor and depth was well-done, as far as I'm concerned, and it made Finding Audrey an even more enjoyable read.
I do think it could have been just a touch longer, if only so we see the full extent of what caused Audrey's anxiety and addressed that, and other issues, in depth. But Finding Audrey is enjoyable as it is: a short novel that tackles a portion of one girl's life as she deals with anxiety, a story both serious and fun in equal measures. I had fun while I read it, particularly as I got to know these characters! I'd recommend this one, for sure, if you're looking for a summer read on the lighter side.