Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published date: 9th June 2015
Available edition(s): Hardcover, paperback
ISBN: 0553536516
Source: Own copy
Date read: 8th May 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you…


My thought about Finding Audrey:

My feeling for this book can be described in three words: I love it! At first, I was a bit wary about the book. From the summary, we know that Audrey has some sort of anxiety disorder, most probably a social anxiety disorder. And we also know that Audrey started going out of the house because of Linus. I was afraid that this would be a love-fix-all kind of story. But I was wrong. Audrey worked hard to get to where she’s at. She made an effort before she could be comfortable having contact with Linus without her brain telling her to run away. She made effort to go out to Starbucks, to the park and talk to people. And yes, she has her sort-of happy ending, but it took a while and she worked hard for it. She pushed and challenged herself. She still has her therapy session. She still takes her meds. But she could go out now, and most importantly, without the dark glasses she always hides behind.

My thought about the characters:

Audrey:

Audrey’s character is the one I could relate the most to. We both have social anxiety disorder, although mine is not as severe as hers, and I don’t have the few other mental illness that she has. I like her character development, from the girl who easily gets panic attacks when a stranger comes into her safe place, to a strong girl who managed to do her challenges even when her brain told her to run. I like that she didn’t run away even when that one customer in Starbucks were being rude to her. I think if it was the Audrey from the beginning of the book, she would have fled Starbucks immediately. So kudos to her, she came a long way. Although, I do think it’s stupid of her to stop taking her medicine without telling her doctor. Seriously, anyone who is taking medicine like Audrey, don’t follow Audrey’s action. Unless you think your doctor is evil, like in the some movies, then what you should do is get a second doctor’s opinion.

Linus:

I love him, like seriously. After finding out about Audrey, he didn’t freak out. Instead, he apologized for causing her to have a panic attack. And the notes, that was really cute. After the catastrophe during his first meeting with Audrey at Starbucks, instead of giving up, he still tried to be friends with Audrey. Slipping her notes from outside the door, seriously, I can’t get enough of that cuteness. I think what I love the most about Linus is that he understood, and he continued to help Audrey to get better.

Audrey’s mum:

Audrey’s mum has to chill. Really, she has to chill. She is so intense, especially about Frank and his obsession with LOC. It’s like she’s trying to find faults at what he likes to do. I guess there’s this thing when it comes to parents, they just see what they want to see, and they don’t see anything else. I do get it, she’s probably stressed. Cooped up at home, taking care of the household, stressed because Audrey’s sick but still. About Frank, yes, he is obsessed with LOC, but it’s not like he’s failing school. He got a freaking 95 on Chemistry. The highest I’ve ever received for Chemistry is 50%. I laughed when Frank showed her that he’s fit, even though he do spend most of his time online, playing games. Although, in the end, my thoughts about Audrey’s mum softened when she started supporting Frank with LOC.

Audrey’s dad:

I actually don’t have much thought on Audrey’s dad. I think his whole purpose in the book is to offer comic relief. Haha. I mean, for example, when Audrey’s mum went on one of her rants, and she wanted support, but Audrey’s dad wasn’t really listening, so he said something completely different than what he was supposed to say. I guess, Audrey’s dad is kind of cute, in a fatherly kind of way. For example, when he gets excited about Audrey’s filming, and told Audrey that she could use one of his old band’s songs for her soundtrack. I think he’s sweet and supportive too. Okay, okay, scratch my earlier statement, I do have some thoughts on him.

Frank:

I love the fact that it was because of Frank that Audrey gets to meet Linus. Haha. Anyways, aside from that, I feel a little sorry for him. His mother is always on his case about playing too much games. I could totally relate to that. Not about gaming, but about being in front of the computer too much. While I do agree with his mum that he do needs to find another hobby aside from LOC, but throwing his laptop out of the window is just cruel. I would have cry and lock myself up in my room if that happens because my laptop is my life, despite how it’s on life support now (since the battery doesn’t work anymore), beause all my files, my stories and my book reviews are on it. I like how Frank is sarcastic, but at the same time, he is dependable when his family needs him. He argues with Audrey sometimes, which siblings doesn’t, but when Audrey needs his help or support, he’s there.

What I learned from Finding Audrey:

I could definitely relate to Audrey. You see, I have social anxiety disorder too, although mine is not bad enough that I couldn’t go out or I need medicines to keep the anxieties at bay. There are moments I feel bold enough to speak out or talk to strangers, although I’d always feel stupid or anxious about it afterwards.

But anyways, social anxiety disorder. In my country, or at least the town I’m from, or maybe it’s just my parents, they don’t really acknowledge this as a proper disorder that could interfere with your life. They just say that I am overly shy. But while I did my exchange program in Melbourne, I went to a few sessions of group counseling for people with anxieties. And most of what I learned there is what Dr. Sarah kept telling Audrey. One of them is that we are not mind readers, so we do not know what others think. We have to stop ourselves from overthinking things, and think that everyone’s judging us. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is what my counselor used to say during every sessions. While that’s true, what I need to break out of this and get control over my life again is to push myself. No one else but you can make that first step.

I also learned that Linus was right.I know some people said that it is better to forgive and forget. But sometimes, it’s better to just ignore them. You don’t owe them anything. You don’t have to listen to them insincerely apologize so that they’ll feel better about themselves.

In conclusion, this book wasn’t what I expected, and it surpassed my expectations. Okay, I guess I didn’t really have a high expectation in the first place, but still, this book is just wow. I like how we get to see Audrey’s struggles, how she challenged herself and pushed through, her efforts…all of it. And between all that, there are also other dramas going on with her family, such as how her mother freaks out about her brother’s obsession with LOC. I thought we’d find out more about why Audrey stopped going to school. I mean, we know that she was bullied by this group of girls at her school, but I thought we’d get more details than that. But I guess, like Dr. Sarah said, we don’t need to talk about those vile girls. Don’t think about the past, just the present.

I recommend this book to everyone, but more so to people who likes reading about YA books with mental illness theme, and people with social anxiety disorder. If you’re looking for a fast paced book with lots of actions, plot twist and romance— well this is not your book. This book is about Audrey’s road to recovery, with a little side drama.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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