Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is one of the first YA books I have read in a while. It was on my TBR for a long time, and the last time I bought a Kinsella book (My Not-So Perfect Life) I added Finding Audrey to my order just for fun.
I knew next to nothing about it other than the main character, who always wears sunglasses, forges a connection with someone, Linus, who helps her through her fears. It turned out to be about so much more, with themes of acceptance and family connections and the very important and timely topic of mental illness.
I don’t want to give away too much with this one because I really think the reader should explore the story for themselves. Each little detail about Audrey’s past, including why she wears dark sunglasses and stays home from school, is revealed in its own time and done so organically over the course of the book. Giving any spoilers on the background details would lessen their effect later on, so I’m going to skip doing so.
The topic of mental illness was introduced thoughtfully and with care. I could fully identify with Audrey during her moments of distress, not to mention the intense exhaustion she felt after leaving the house and engaging with people for longer than normal. In this day and age, I think it’s safe to say that most of us have been there and will in turn be able to clearly see ourselves in Audrey. She may be a teenager, but she represents all of those who struggle with anxiety.
This book had all the aspects we can expect from a Kinsella book: quick-witted humor, well-developed plots for both the main and the secondary characters, the all-is-lost moment in which you can’t quite figure out what’s going to happen, and a truly satisfying resolution. Not to mention amazing writing and dialogue. I can’t say enough good things about this book, and would highly recommend to anyone.
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