Saturday, June 6, 2015

ARC Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella -- *Spoiler-Free*

I was beyond excited a few weeks ago when I got this surprise in the mail--an ARC of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. I've read about 75% of Kinsella's other books, including those under her real name Madeline Wickham, but this was her step into Young Adult literature. And I have been dying to get my hands on it. So thanks so much to Penguin Random House, and the author for sending me this!!

This is a standard contemporary, no paranormal-ness here. It's follows a girl named Audrey who suffered a trauma, and has developed some depression and social anxiety issues. These issues are so severe that Audrey has stopped attending school, and won't even walk around her home without her trusty dark sunglasses.

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. 
Overall, I found this book to be pretty adorable. It handled serious issues in a very real, but humorous way.  My only complaints about the book were that is was a little younger than I anticipated. The oldest character in the book (other than the parents, etc) is about 15 years old. So it reads, to me, more like a middle grade than a YA. Also, the book is depressingly short, it ends at a little over 270 pages. I say "depressingly" because all 270ish pages are amazingly well-written, and kept me intrigued, interested, and engrossed in Audrey's life.

From the introduction of her character, and her need to wear her sunglasses, to the very end, I was in love with Audrey. I think that she was funny, mature, and handled things very well. I felt badly for her, and everything she was dealing with. And I felt that Kinsella wrote Audrey in a perfect way--she was true to her age, and insightful in an appropriate way. I loved the moments when she examined the rest of her family, and let us see how she saw them. I greatly enjoyed Audrey's assigned film project, and the narration she provided for that, because I felt it almost felt like she was speaking to the reader directly and greatly improved the story.

I thought Audrey's family was perfect for the chaos Audrey referenced. I particularly liked her older brother, and I thought the discussion of his love of video games (this isn't really a spoiler--it's page 1 lol), was a relevant and interesting one. Especially comparisons that come later. And I loved that this supposed addiction is what brings Linus into her life. Dr. Sarah was great as well, how real she felt, and how she dealt with Audrey and her family made me smile.

In the end, I gave this book 5/5 STARS, I sincerely hope Kinsella writes more YA, and just keeps writing in general.

This book comes out June 9! Check it out!!

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