Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published: June 4th 2015 by Doubleday
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems.
Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother's hot new best friend a bit of a challenge.
But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.
A laugh-out-loud romance from the bestselling author of the Shopaholic series.
Review: When one of your favourite authors announces a new book, you get extremely excited, mark the day on the calendar and start counting the days until publication. This is exactly what I did with Finding Audrey. I have read and loved all the books written by Sophie Kinsella. I have to admit though that when she said she was working on a YA book this time I got a bit worried. What if her fun and fresh style didn't translate well to the new genre? But people, worry no more. Finding Audrey is an amazing YA novel. Actually it is an amazing novel. Full Stop. Perfect for both new and old fans of Kinsella's.
Audrey is a fourteen-year-old girl who suffers from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. I think that writing about mental health is always difficult because most people don't really know the extend of these illnesses and this sometimes might lead to wrong assumptions or rushed conclusions on how to treat them. Here, Kinsella has obviously done her research. We really get to understand how Audrey is feeling, she has accepted her illness and is trying with all her might to get better, helped by her therapist and her family. But it's not easy. Not everyone understands why she can't just simply snap out it, as if she hasn't tried that... So I applaud Sophie Kinsella for handling this so tactfully and so well, I am sure that Audrey's story will help a lot of people understand these illnesses better.
Finding Audrey is told in Audrey's point of view and she addresses the reader as if she was having a conversation with them which might not be easy to follow at the beginning, as Audrey (as any other teenager) is not a bit fan of finishing sentences and loves the word whatever. But you soon get used to this style and really connect with Audrey. Plus, as part of her therapy, she has to film a documentary about her family, so some parts of the book are written as the script of this documentary. I really like this idea and I think it worked very well.
I also loved reading about Audrey's family. They are a bit crazy (who isn't?) but so lovely and supporting. I especially liked Audrey's older brother, Frank. He preferred video games to human interactions (which also has a major role in the story, as their mum thinks he might be addicted to video games) but you could tell how he worried about Audrey and how understanding he was. And then, there was Linus, Frank's friend, who little by little starts becoming an important part of Audrey's world too.
Finding Audrey is a cute quick story that will make you laugh but also think a lot. It handles serious topics with tact and responsibility. I hope Sophie Kinsella will write more YA novels as she has proven that she can write in this genre really well. I highly recommend this read.