“Most people underestimate eyes. They’re infinite. You look someone straight in the eye and your whole soul can be sucked out in a nanosecond. Other people’s eyes are limitless and that’s what scares me.”
Book: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
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.
I know Sophie Kinsella for her Confessions of a Shopoholic series. For the most part, I find those books shallow and dragged out. I was so glad Finding Audrey was different.
Finding Audrey feels like a very realistic depiction of an anxiety disorder. Audrey is terrified of going out. Even the thought of taking off her glasses or going to buy a coffee is traumatizing. She can’t even think about going to school and having to talk to people.
“They talk about “body language,” as if we all speak it the same. But everyone has their own dialect. For me right now, for example, swiveling my body right away and staring rigidly at the corner means, “I like you.” Because I didn’t run away and shut myself in the bathroom.
But, throughout the book we realize that though the disease is a major aspect of her life, it is not the whole sum of it. Despite her anxiety disorder, she’s able to form close bonds with her family. She thinks her family is crazy, but the depth of her affection and love for them really comes through.
About her parents:
The parents are in charge of all the stuff like technology in the house and time on screens and hours on social media, but then their computer goes wrong and they’re like a baby, going, “What happened to my document?” “I can’t get Facebook.” “How do I load a picture? Double-click what? What does that mean?” And we have to sort it out for them.”
About her younger brother:
I’ve come to think of my lizard brain as basically a version of Felix. It’s totally random and makes no sense and you can’t let it run your life. If we let Felix run our lives, we’d all wear superhero costumes all day long and eat nothing but ice-cream. But if you try to fight Felix, all you get is wails and screams and tantrums, and it all gets more and more stressy.
Audrey is a 14 year old girl so this book comes with its fair share of romance. However, it remains light and sweet and I think it’s perfect. Linus, the love interest, is cute, funny and a little bit geeky. He’s not a perfect character- he can sometimes be impatient Initially, I was worried that he would ‘fix’ Audrey of her anxiety disorder. (I hate books and movies where they don’t take mental disorders seriously and it’s considered a weakness on the character’s part if they have issues.) He does try because he doesn’t completely understand it, but as Audrey starts moving out of her comfort zone- it is the combined effort of her psychiatrist, her family (Mum, Dad and two brothers), Linus. Really, she deserves the most credit for her recovery.
“What’s the point of you? Try this, for starters.”And underneath there’s a long list. He’s written a long, long list, that fills the page. I’m so flustered, I can’t even read it properly, but as I scan down I catch beautiful smile and great taste in music (I sneaked a look at your iPod) and awesome Starbucks name. I give a sudden snort of laughter that almost turns to a sob and then turns to a smile, and then suddenly I’m wiping my eyes. I’m all over the place.”
This book deals with mental illness sensitively. At the same time, it’s meant to be a light/cute piece. Audrey is relatable and funny. The book is about family and first loves. It’s about pushing yourself towards your goals. Finding Audrey is adorable; I am so glad I picked it up.
My rating: 4/5
If you like this: Made You Up
“Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.”
“We don’t have to reveal everything to each other. It’s OK to be private. It’s OK to say no. It’s OK to say, ‘I’m not going to share that.”
“Life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.”