Thursday, October 6, 2016

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I got Finding Audrey after seeing it on a book vloggers top ten funny books list.  I was needing an audio book and so got it in that format.  While I'm not sure I'd put it on my top ten funny books list, I'm really glad I did pick it up because it was quite good.

Our point of view is Audrey's.  Something happened to her at school.  Prior to the something, she was already kind of shy and anxious.  After the something, she has a breakdown and is a couple of months into her recovery period at the time of our story.  Because her life mostly revolves around her family and her therapist, so does our book.  While Audrey is having a very difficult time of it and her family dynamic has changed in part due to that, it seems from the start, that the bigger issue is her brother, Frank.  Their mother becomes convinced that Frank is addicted to video games and a huge bru-ha-ha ensues.  Meanwhile, Frank's friend, Linus, who comes over to play video games with Frank, develops an interest in Audrey which is reciprocated.

I really liked this book.  I thought Sophie Kinsella did a good job of showing a confluence of events (time, therapy, meds, developing of an interest in someone outside the home, a supportive (if sort of crazy) family) all contributed to Audrey's not straight forward recovery.  There was a lot of humor.  And I saw a little of myself in their mother.  I hope, though, that I'm not as crazy as she is.  But, I do tend to go on these, "We are all addicted to screens," or "What are we eating?!?!" bents.  The mom (and, okay, me, too) clearly has anxiety issues, as well.  That doesn't mean I liked her character best.  If anything, she made me a little uneasy, but I did relate.

I've seen some criticisms that center around this not being a realistic portrayal of social anxiety, but that being an issue that we deal with here in my house, I thought it was pretty okay.  I do know that these sorts of books don't hit everyone the same way and I respect that.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  The other critic was the instalove between Audrey and Linus.  I can see that and did feel it was a little bit of an issue myself, but I also think it's not all that uncommon for the age.  Crushes hit quick.  Sometimes they develop into something more and sometimes not.

I really liked Finding Audrey and I will be checking out more of Sophie Kinsella's books.  

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