Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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..
“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 heading more or less upwards.”
Fourteen-year-old Audrey Turner is diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, becoming nearly a prisoner in her own home – and only finds comfort behind dark glasses.
Until Linus comes along, her brother’s gaming friend, and with him, a budding romance between the two teenagers. Suddenly, Audrey finds herself making leaps and strides in recovery – along with the chaotic, motley crew that is her family.
Finding Audrey tells a story that is light-hearted and entertaining, yet Kinsella manages to weave in more serious, complex issues. Kinsella’s characterization of Audrey is wonderful – her worries, her faults, her exasperated fondness for her family.
Linus is sweet and approachable – the typical boy-next-door. But Kinsella makes her characters realistic by giving them flaws – Linus doesn’t always do or say the right thing.
While the romance between Linus and Audrey will make readers coo, Audrey’s eccentric family will not fail to charm readers either: her gaming-obsessed brother, her mum who bears a tragic dependency on the Daily Mail, her dad who tries and fails at being the stern father, and her little brother Felix.
Finding Audrey isn’t a story where the shining knight in armour swoops in and banishes the troubles of the damsel in distress. No, the true hero of the story is Audrey herself. She struggles to overcome her own setbacks, a process which is, as she says, ‘slow and painful, an endless game of snakes and ladders’, but with ever-supportive family and friends.
Readers may be disappointed at the lack of explanation of the events that triggered Audrey’s anxiety disorder, but by doing so Kinsella manages to drive home the point that to live is to live in the present and not the past.
Finding Audrey hits a different note than other novels of Sophie Kinsella, but still bears her signature style – hilarious moments, a quirky yet endearing protagonist, and overall a quick, fun read.