Pros and Cons / Finding Audrey

Hello!Pros and ConsHappy Monday! I hope you had a delightful weekend and aren’t dreading the return to your school or work week too much. I used my free Saturday and Sunday afternoons to finish and begin a few new reads {Maggie Thrash’s graphic memoir Honor Girl and Andrew Smith’s amazing Stand-Off, respectively}, as well as to work on a handful of book reviews I’ve had lingering in my drafts. Though I read Finding Audrey back in early August, I couldn’t let a good review of it go by. My full thoughts are below! What have you read this month?

Finding Audrey

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. {Goodreads}

P R O S
+ Humorous and developed family dynamics Like everyone else, I was initially drawn to Finding Audrey because Sophie Kinsella {you know, of Confessions of a Shopaholic fame} wrote it, but even then, I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did; in other words, it was a pleasant surprise! My enjoyment was largely in part due to the eccentric cast of characters. Audrey alone is an engaging narrator, but the members of her family, from her laid-back, gaming-obsessed brother to her overprotective and exuberant mother, bring life and humor to the plot. The extremes to which their personalities are drawn may take some readers aback, but I merely found them characteristic of Kinsella’s writing style. An added plus is the ending, where it’s not only Audrey that displays growth, but her parents and siblings as well.

A charming and realistic romance Romance can be a concern in a book dealing with mental illness; the last thing an author or reader wants is to sugarcoat the difficult reality of the disorder with insta-love or worse, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. Fortunately, the romance between Audrey and Linus isn’t an issue, as Kinsella shows care and respect in developing their relationship. She is transparent in describing the difficult reality of dating, and Audrey is allowed to make progress on her own without Linus acting as her “savior.” While I agree with other reviewers that there are places that need and deserve more development, as a whole, the romance earns a thumbs up from me.

+ A refreshing take on mental illness As a supporter of diverse books, I’m also an advocate for novels about mental illness, so long as they’re done well! Finding Audrey, exploring the daily hardships of anxiety, is certainly one to add to the list. I admire the author for tackling Audrey’s anxiety disorder in a positive manner, infusing the long journey to recovery with humor, charm, and hope, but never losing respect for the topic at hand. It’s not easy to apply a light and fluffy style to such a serious subject, but I think Kinsella nails it here. Furthermore, I appreciate the wide range of treatment exposed to Audrey throughout the novel, as it emphasizes the idea that mental illness is not the same for any one person.

+ It’s a powerful book for younger YA! Ageism in YA is a lengthy discussion for another day, but I couldn’t be happier to see a popular book – and a well-written one at that! – published for the younger teenage audience. The gap between middle grade series and the typical young adult novel is larger than one may think, so I like to seek out and promote the novels for the “in-between” readers when I can. Finding Audrey, with a fourteen-year old narrator, serves as a prime example of what is needed: books that challenge, expose, and entertain all at once – and couldn’t we all use more reads like that?

C O N S
Plot points weren’t always fleshed out to their entirety. Finally, my only issue lies in the pacing of the plot. At just under three hundred pages, the book moves incredibly quick {evident in the fact that I read it in just one night}, but this leaves some storylines under-developed or rushed. Regardless, the pros clearly outweigh the cons, so don’t let this prevent you from picking it up yourself. Finding Audrey is a winner, praise wholly deserved.

Have you read Finding Audrey or any other book by Sophie Kinsella? Have a terrific week! :)
Bella

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10 thoughts on “Pros and Cons / Finding Audrey

  1. Great review! I used to love Sophie Kinsella when I was younger but have lately been unable to stomach her contemporary romances, mostly because I feel like her characters sound immature and irresponsible… I was ambivalent about reading this book but reading your review, it sounds like she does good YA. Have you read her other books?

    The gap between middle grade series and the typical young adult novel is larger than one may think, so I like to seek out and promote the novels for the “in-between” readers when I can.

    This is so true, by the way! I’d also love to see more in-between books.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I have heard similar complaints about her other novels, but I really enjoyed her first try at YA. I haven’t read anything else by Kinsella, but I’m bound to at some point! :) And, yes to more in-between books. It’s such an overlooked section of literature. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please do! Some of her books are fine and really funny–it’s just the Shopaholic series that really grates on my nerves, generally, haha. Do let me know your thoughts if/when you pick another Kinsella novel, I’d love to know what you think! And no worries. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Bella! Fantastic review as always! I had never heard of Sophie Kinsella until this year when I started blogging, can you believe it?! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock or something. 😄
    I always appreciate books that respectively deal with mental illness without doing things such as romanticising it! Finding Audrey sounds simply charming and it deals with anxiety which is a mental illness I am curious to read and know more about!

    xoxo,
    Josephine @ https://twitter.com/itsjosieknight/status/648642975652679681

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never read any books by Sophie Kinsella, but I’ll definitely be adding this one to the list! I’m glad to hear that it’s a good book for a younger audience (I’m 14 myself, so that’s perfect!) and I’m excited to see how the balance between tackling Audrey’s anxiety with a fluffiness and romance to the book goes. I always love reading books like that. Can’t wait to read this!! :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emily, I hope you like it! :) I was skeptical at first – a light plot and a heavy topic are a tough combination – but the author does a terrific job balancing the two. Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

      Like

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