"Finding Audrey" by Sophie Kinsella
Fourteen-year-old Audrey has been struggling with an anxiety disorder since a terrible incident at school. Though she has been making progress with the help of her psychologist, she still keeps herself hidden away, preferring the dark provided to her by the sunglasses she constantly wears.
But when a friend of her brother named Linus initiates contact with her, she finds herself having feelings she had long forgotten. At first, Linus is someone she can talk to, but very quickly he becomes so much more. As Audrey’s recovery gains momentum, she finds herself making a romantic connection she never expected. But is Audrey moving faster than her family and doctor think she should be and will it ultimately help or harm her recovery?
Finding Audrey is the first Young Adult novel from celebrated author Sophie Kinsella and is a heart-warming, sweet novel that readers of all ages will love.
I read this book, not just because I’m a huge fan of everything Kinsella writes, but because of the subject matter - anxiety. As someone who deals with this, I know how misunderstood both the illness and the people dealing with it are. It’s nice to see characters who deal with this in a book, but even better to see a teenager character who is going through it.
This book tackles so much that teenagers have to deal with - bullying, friendship, love, technology, online addiction, overbearing parents. I personally could relate to this book on a few different levels. It reminded me of my high school days but now as a parent I was able to recognize so much of this book in my daily life. That is what I mean when I say that readers of all ages will not just love this book but connect with it.
Anxiety is so difficult to deal with it, not just because of the way it controls a persons life but the way that other people to respond to it. This is a difficult subject to tackle but Kinsella does it with understanding, warmth, honesty, and humour (yes, humour is allowed when dealing with it.) So much of Audrey’s journey and recovery was very real to me and my own journey.
Mental health is a tough subject to address in books. Each persons journey through it is different, Audrey’s story is not everyone’s story. But what I really appreciate that Kinsella did here, was she wrote a book about a girl struggling with anxiety, without making it only about the anxiety. There are good days and bad. Life still has to be lived, every facet of it. We laugh, we cry, we fall in love, we hide, we celebrate, we mourn. We enjoy life while hiding from it at the same time. This is what anxiety looks like and I think Kinsella did a fantastic job of capturing it all.
This is a book that you don’t want to put down. I would try to but I kept coming back to it and soon realized that I had finished it in one day. I would have loved to see the relationship between Audrey and Linus develop a bit slower but other than that I can’t find any faults with this book. I think this is such an important book given the subject matter and I’m so pleased to see it being addressed this way.
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Random House of Canada. The opinions expressed above are my own.