I haven’t read Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, but after Finding Audrey, I think I need to! I loved Kinsella’s humor, inclusion of pop culture, and honest portrayal of mental disorders.
Audrey suffers from a host of anxiety disorders after a (presumably) horrendous bullying experience. Although I understand the right of a person to not have to share why they struggle, it’s a book! I want to know why! This was the one thing I didn’t like about the story. I can only assume Kinsella thought that no matter her description of bullying, some reader would scoff that it wasn’t that bad. As it is, our imaginations are free to run wild.
While Kinsella doesn’t tell us exactly what caused Audrey’s panic attacks and anxiety, she does a phenomenal job showing how these disorders play out in her life. Kinsella doesn’t glamorize her anxiety, nor does she make Audrey into a caricature of a human being. Instead, she honestly describes the fear, growth, and healing that comes in a person working through their issues with the help of a loving family and a knowledgeable counselor. And a cute boy. Because it is a YA novel, and cute boys never hurt.
Audrey loves her family, even if they are a bit off-the-wall. When Audrey develops an anxiety disorder as a result of an unpleasant incident, her family is there to help. Audrey now wears dark glasses whenever she feels the need to protect herself, but she’s also making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah.
Then Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, and she is energized. She 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.
With her genuine gift for comic writing, Sophie Kinsella blends comedy, romance, and psychological insight in this contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and delight.
Release Date: June 2015