Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie KinsellaFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Published by Delacorte BFYR on June 9, 2015
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

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.

When I was a teenager, Sophie Kinsella was one of my favorite authors. I loved her humorous romance novels. Now, in an ironic turn of events, I’m an adult who reads YA, and I was so excited to hear about Finding Audrey. The fear remained, though, that Finding Audrey might not live up to my nostalgic memories of Kinsella’s works from my teenage years. Well, Finding Audrey wasn’t what I expected; it was so much better than that.

Finding Audrey really was different than anticipated, both in tone and subject matter. I expected a light-hearted, fluffy, bantery, funny romance. Now, that’s not entirely off, because there’s a lot of banter between the family members, and there’s a lot of humor in the book’s pages. However, it’s not nearly as light and fluffy as I remembered Kinsella’s novels being, nor as focused on romance. There is a romance, and it’s not a dark book, but it’s much more serious and sort of quiet than what I’d predicted. Also, I was worried that Audrey might read too young because she’s 14, but the voice is really great.

gif hannah montanna singing

Audrey needs to be found not physically but psychologically. She has to find herself again. You don’t find out what happened to her until late in the book and, even then, you don’t get many details. Finding Audrey is not about the traumatic events but about the recovery. What happened left her with severe social anxiety and depression. Audrey doesn’t leave the house (except for counseling), can’t look even her family members in the eye, runs from the room if someone outside her family comes in, and will be going back a year in school because she spent so much time in the hospital.

A novel about mental health isn’t what I thought I was going to get, but I didn’t mind at all because Kinsella does such a good job with it. I think it’s so important to have a lot of YA novels that deal with mental health issues, because they’re going to affect people differently. It’s good for teens and adults with those issues to know that they’re not weird or alone, and it’s good for those without to gain compassion and understanding.

gif we're not perfect hannah montana

Audrey goes to sessions with Dr. Sarah throughout the novel. Even though a lot of them happen off-screen, it’s clear how important they are to Audrey’s recuperation because she references them. I loved how, in sessions with Dr. Sarah, Audrey would say something true about her feelings that she hadn’t even realized herself. Dr. Sarah really was an outlet where Audrey could release feelings she didn’t feel comfortable sharing anywhere else. The messages are so positive in Finding Audrey. This is not one of those books where the girl is cured by finding a boyfriend. Linus helps to push Audrey, but he very much doesn’t cure her.

Audrey and Linus are actually super cute. He’s a theater kid and video game nerd, and he’s into Audrey and feels terrible about scaring her the first time he came over (by entering the room she was in). Linus doesn’t cure her, but he does try very hard to help her. He moves slowly and makes sure she’s okay. Since she can’t talk to him at first, he sends her notes until she gets more used to him. It’s so very sweet. Also, they have such adorable, awkward feelings confessions. I just want to hug them. The cuties.

gif i'm lucky to have you hannah montana

My favorite thing about Finding Audrey, though, is the family dynamic. The Turners are one of the most realistic families I’ve ever read. They’re flawed and they bicker constantly, but they also love one another. There’s a real focus on the parents in Finding Audrey that you don’t find in too much YA fiction, largely because Audrey’s filming a documentary and she records a lot of them being themselves.

Audrey’s Mum wears the pants in the family. She shouts the loudest and her husband pretty much goes along with whatever she decrees. She’s the bad cop, and he’s the good cop. Her mum’s a bit ridiculous, obsessed with whatever the latest from the Daily Mail is. In Finding Audrey, she’s on the warpath against video games, because they are ruining the nation’s youth. She and son Frank yell at each other about this constantly. I thought it was really nice to see a family fight about small things so consistently but in a normal family way. Usually in novels when families fight, it’s about big, traumatic stuff, but these are the mundane disagreements that kids and parents have all day every day.

gif okay mom

Finding Audrey is fabulous. Sophie Kinsella brings her humor and characterization to YA, takes on a tough subject, and knocks it out of the park. Go find Finding Audrey and read it, because it’s great.

Favorite Quote:

Parents have this way of asking really dumb, obvious questions.

Are you going out in that skirt?

No, I’m planning to take it off as soon as I get out of the front door.

Do you think that’s a good idea?

No, I think it’s a terrible idea, that’s why I’m doing it.

Are you listening to me?

Your voice is a hundred decibels, I can hardly avoid it.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif hannah montana smile

4 responses to “Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella”

  1. Kayla Beck says:

    I’m starting this in the morning, and I’m super glad that I read your review. I thought I was getting a fluffy contemporary! Now, I am intrigued… *scratches chin*
    Kayla Beck recently posted…Blog Tour (Guest Post): The Beautiful One by Emily Greenwood #romance #giveaway @SourcebooksCasaMy Profile

  2. I have been seeing some great reviews for this book. I haven’t read Kinsella in awhile and I have to see for myself what she does with YA. Thank you for the great review and reminder to see if this ever officially made it to the TBR.
    Suzi Q, The Book Dame recently posted…Kindle Kandy No. 5My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      You very much should. It’s not the Kinsella I remembered, but it’s so amazing. Very family-oriented. The dynamics were so realistic, and it made me smile a lot.

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