Published by Delacorte Press on June 9, 2015
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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.
Finding Audrey, Sophie Kinsella’s young adult debut, proves that not only can she write amazing novels for adults, her talent transfers wonderfully to young adult. Bullying, mental illness, romance, and humor all take center stage in Finding Audrey and Sophie Kinsella balances it all perfectly.
Audrey suffered from Social Anxiety Disorder because of a bullying incident at her previous school. She was terrified of everyone other than her family and therapist. She refused to leave the house and even the thought of leaving the house would send her on a downward spiral. Her family was so supportive but they also knew that she needed to make some progress. With the help of her family and one of her brother’s friends, Audrey finally started to see that maybe all people weren’t so bad.
First off, the way that Sophie Kinsella addresses bullying and mental illness may be off-putting for some people. She does not make light of it in any way but she does intersperse humor throughout the novel to balance Audrey’s depression and social anxiety. In no way does she try to distract from Audrey’s problems but at times it can come across that way. For such a serious topic, Sophie Kinsella addresses it in a very unique way.
Audrey’s family is just plain bonkers and it totally worked for them. Her mom is obsessed with the effects of video games on her brother’s mind. Her brother, Frank, is just plain obsessed with video games. And her dad just does what he can to get by. The family relationship is very unconventional but it was perfect and it cracked me up. It was nice to see a young adult novel where family, especially parents, played such a huge role. As for Audrey and Frank’s relationship, I liked it a lot. They were close in age but it wasn’t just that. He was always there for her as a friend, a brother, and a protector.
Audrey’s relationship (if you can call it that) with Linus was so adorable. They had quite an interesting beginning to their friendship and it only continued to get weirder with time. Linus accepted Audrey even with her quirks caused by her Social Anxiety Disorder. He was not only accepting of her, he truly wanted to help her.
Overall, Finding Audrey was a fantastic introduction into the YA world from Sophie Kinsella. Her quirky sense of humor, fast-paced style of writing, and wonderful storytelling make for a book that I couldn’t put down!
What others are saying about Finding Audrey:
The Bibliomaniac’s review: “Highly recommended, if you’re looking for a heart-warming tale; a perfect blend of humour and hope.”
Escapades of a Bookworm’s review: “Finding Audrey is about finding yourself, accepting yourself for who you are, and progressing forward.”
Read. Breathe. Relax’s review: “Finding Audrey is deep and so very funny and ultimately relatable and lovable – highly recommended.”
A Q&A With Sophie Kinsella
Describe Finding Audrey in 140 characters or less!
This is the story of Audrey, her family, and a journey to recovery. It’s sad in places, funny, too, and romantic as only a teen story can be.
What made you decide to finally write a YA novel?
I didn’t set out to write a YA novel in fact. I just had the inspiration for the character of Audrey, her gaming-obsessed brother, and her crazy family. It was only when I started to plot the story that I realized it would be told through Audrey’s eyes, and become a YA book.
How was it different writing for a younger audience? Do you relate to Audrey in any way?
I definitely relate to Audrey, but like all my heroines, she is made up not just of bits of me but of people I know. Audrey’s observations of family life, particularly in the film scripts, remind me of my teenage years, but I’m a parent of teenagers myself now and that helped me a lot.
What about Finding Audrey do you think will appeal to your adult fans?
Audrey’s journey is touching, but it’s not just a story about her—it’s about her family and the chaotic, loving world she lives in, so I think it appeals to all generations. I hope that it provides reassurance to any young reader—or indeed parent—going through similar problems, and that they can take heart from Audrey and her story.
One US winner will receive a copy of Finding Audrey and a super cute coffee sleeve! (You’ll get it when you read the book)