review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella


“I think what I’ve realized is, 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.”
 ― Sophie Kinsella, Finding Audrey

Disclaimer: I didn't like this book. And now, I'm not one to be very negative about books; I obviously enjoy and appreciate books very much. But our views and opinions will (probably) be different, and that's okay! You can agree with me or not. But remember: annaish is a safe space, this is my review and my thoughts. I'll respect your thoughts if you respect mine.
Note: This is an older review! I'm slowly revamping my older reviews (new photos, thoughts etc) because they are just so cringy. Enjoy & thanks for reading.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Publication Date: June 9th 2015 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 286 
Series: Standalone 
Genre: Contemporary, Mental illness, YA

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.

A disgusting comedy about social anxiety.

Back in 2015, I remember finishing Finding Audrey and saying (out loud) "What the heck?!" I picked up this book for information, friendships and something maybe relatable. I clearly needed to stop judging books by their cover and start reading synopses. (I was younger when I read this book so I was still pretty new to hype and sophisticated covers.) Anyway, I remember jumping on Goodreads and reading other reviews, which they all gave 3-4 stars. I was confused - did we all read the same book? But then I came across Cait's (Paper Fury) review and she also despised Finding Audrey, for the same reasons. I was relieved. I went on to rant about the book to my mother. So here I am now, to give you bookaholics my full review on Finding Audrey.


I have read other mental illnesses books before this one and they've included romantic relationships, relatable quotes and some were upbeat, light and easy to understand. Finding Audrey tried to do that but it just went downhill. We have our main character, Audrey; who was recently diagnosed with social anxiety after a traumatic accident happened at school (we get no flashbacks/ backstory on this "accident"!! so was this the case?). And yes, this is one of those cases where our mentally ill character is their personality. I didn't know anything else about Audrey except her social anxiety. Anyway, she's (pretty much) isolated now and borderline depressed, but then she meets her knight in shining armor, Linus. Their relationship is insta- love and I found cringy. Audrey seemed so fragile and so young for a relationship! Maybe her disorder was "magically" doing better because Linus is there (???) and she doesn't have to deal with her crazy family. 


Audrey's immediate family contained her mother, father, and her two brothers. Audrey's mother was the ringleader. She was verbally intimidating and was weirdly obsessed over her family. I mean, her own spouse was (almost) uncertain of her. Audrey's mother quit her job to focus on Audrey, which was a very nice and grateful gesture but that wasn't 100% the case. She wasn't there half the time for Audrey and she got anxiety advice from gossip magazines. Oh dear. Her father wasn't the brightest in this family, he also wasn't at home (our main setting) a lot. Frank, Audrey's older(?) brother, was ignorant of her Audrey's social anxiety and played video games a lot. And her youngest brother, Felix, was (character-wise) kicked to the curb. All the characters in the book felt two-dimensional and I just wasn't having it.


The plot started out character-driven (I think) but then when Linus joins the crew, the plot became more focused on Audrey's relationship. *cues, me, rolling my eyes* The plot wasn't the most entertaining and strongest, I basically wanted this freak-show to be over. But Sophie Kinsella's writing wasn't bad actually. Also, Audrey would write up screenplays of her family's dialogue and I thought that was pretty cool; I can't remember why it was necessary tho. And the only character I did appreciate was Audrey's therapist. She seemed more understanding (thankfully) than any of the characters in this book. 


TRIGGER WARNINGS:

- Swearing

- Slurs

Don't hesitate if you need more information on how much of these topics are covered in the book.
My email is always open at browneyedbibliophile@yahoo.com

OVERALL

Finding Audrey wasn't my cup of tea. I wanted an informative book about social anxiety and something relatable for my age but instead, I got a joke. I don't recommend this book unless you can get past the two dimensional characters, weak plot, and the comedy. 


Some rant reviews contain gifs, light-hearted writing but when I really despise a book, I bring out the facts (and I'm salty). So I apologize if this review seems different - writing wise. I'm also not this upset/intimidating all the time! It's rare for me to give one-star reviews out. And yeah, I feel guilty republishing this hahahahhhh. ANYWAY HAVE A GREAT DAY I LOVE YOU ALL <3


10 comments

  1. I read Finding Audrey as well, and though I did laugh at some of the humor, I thought that the family was overly dramatized, and crazy. I also do not think that humor should have been mixed with anxiety, and the anxiety present in the book didn't seem very realistic.

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    1. Much agreed. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I absolutely despised this book. It was funny at times but as a person who has family members with anxiety disorder, this was not a good book. It made fun of anxiety and like you said, I think the author didn't do her research right. I was thoroughly disappointed with this book.

    Lovely review, I adored the pictures!!

    ~Noor

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one, Noor. I agree. Thank you! <3

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  3. I have heard such awful things about the disrespective way mental illnesses are treated in this book that I have removed it from my TBR. So many books misrepresent things and I HATE that "love cures all" thing this book and so many other present. I also hate when character's are nothing more than their illnesses. It's just all sorts of wrong. I'm getting a little frustrated about this book, and I haven't even read it! On a lighter note, your pictures and new review style is great, Anna!!!

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    1. I love your thinking, Erin. I just can't stand unrealistic mental health books. :/ Thank you so much!

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  4. Is it strange to say that your review made me want to read the book? XD Just because I am curious (coming from someone who used to have minor social anxiety). Your review isn't the first one I've seen with the same opinion. I'm actually quite surprised that people feel this way considering the book has been on so many recommended lists. o.O But like I said, I am now curious.

    I always enjoy reading your reviews, Anna. Keep up the great work!

    xx Mackenzie

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    1. I don't think so? Haha! I wonder the same thing.

      Thank you!! <3

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  5. This is interesting; I have loved Sophie Kinsella's books in the past and can't imagine her writing something so awful. This was really helpful and I'm tempted to read it and see if I agree now... a trip to the library may be in order!

    Lauren | Sincerely, Lauren Emily

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    1. Glad I was helpful! Thanks for the comment, Lauren.

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