Sophie Kinsella, best known for her Shopaholic series for adults, takes a stab at teen fiction with Finding Audrey, the story of a 14 year old who suffers from a severe social anxiety disorder. Throughout the book the reader is aware that Audrey wasn’t always the socially avoidant person she has become, something happened at school the previous year that has made her unable to even look another person in the eyes. She wears dark glasses, doesn’t leave the house, and the very thought of many social situations leaves her in bed for days.
The reader joins Audrey at an important moment in her life; she is stuck with what is left of her after ‘”an incident” involving several other classmates. Audrey is slowly progressing towards feeling better with the help of her chaotic and hilarious family and Dr. Sarah. Then Linus enters Audrey’s life. A friend of her brother’s, Linus is able to help Audrey talk through her feels and offers support in a way she felt safe and comfortable. As her personal health improves a sweet romance blooms between Linus and Audrey that makes you feel all warm inside.
This is a great summer read, newly published, and sure to make you feel great. It’s warm and gooey with hilarious family moments. Laptops of chucked from windows, video game tournaments are lost, and at the heart of it all a serious message of teenage bullying and learning to overcome fears. We never learn exactly what happened to Audrey – though we get small glimpses. I think the not knowing makes the title more accessible to readers who might come to the book with a variety of issues in their own life.
There have been many teen books on the market that specifically detail the type of trauma their character has endured and while I find those helpful I think the flexibility of ambiguity. It also ensures the book remains overall upbeat and light – we get the PSA without feeling low at the end. I laughed so many times with this book, I hope you will too. Enjoy!
Formats Available: Book (Regular Print)
Reviewed by Lindsay, Southwest Branch