Sophie Kinsella, best known for her Shopaholic series and her hilarious writing style, introduces her first YA novel. Finding Audrey; the not so depressing book about depression.
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.
SUMMARY: Audrey is fourteen with anxiety problems that have convinced her and her family that she is basically "mental". Do we know what happened to Audrey? Barely, something to do with mean girls at school (who are never to be underestimated). She can't leave the house, talk to strangers, or take off her black glasses that shield her from eye contact. The only people that she can feel normal around are her four-year-old brother and her therapist -- two people that never judge. Her family has problems of its own though, her mother has an obsession with her sons obsession with video games, and this little feud leads us to hilarious situation after hilarious situation. And of course, a boy named Linus eventually comes along and makes Audrey feel something that she hasn't felt in many moons; happy.
PROS: I loved the story, and I loved the writing. However, my favorite part of this book is it's possible educational value. There are a lot of books out there -- and soon to be coming -- about depression and anxiety, about having issues that nobody understands and trying to deal with them. This one though, would be my number one suggestion for anyone who wants to learn about how to help people who are going through these things, or if you're younger and having these issues yourself. It was all very realistic; her symptoms and personality obviously belong to someone with depression, but it never becomes TOO intense. It just shows you insight and possible tools.
CONS: I personally have no complaints about this novel, Sophie Kinsella's writing is so charming that any flaws in this just didn't matter to me. but there was a complaint I heard that I thought was reasonable. "Unfortunately, Audrey's rapid recovery once she meets a cute guy rings a bit false, or at least, a too conveniently clichéd." -- School Library Journal. My response to this? People with depressive disorders are known to have mood swings and can be easily effected by triggers. In this case, Linus triggers a positive reaction from Audrey.
RATE: Awesome. 5 out of 5 books (because books are better than stars).