Posted 20 hours ago

Finding Audrey

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Sophie Kinsella has sold over 40 million copies of her books in more than 60 countries, and she has been translated into over 40 languages. il parle de la famille , d’amour d’adolescents, bref, il parle de la vie, avec ses hauts et ses bas, il parle d’espoir et de courage. but I thought it was a bit strange that one minute Audrey was having such bad anxiety that she couldn't look him in the eye or even face him and the next minute they're making out? Her new friend Linus stumbles into her life and together they try to solve her issues with romance and friendship.

Some of this review will be a ramble-y description of my experiences with anxiety (which I will put in a spoiler tag at the very end). I'll start off by saying that a lot of things about Audrey and this book were so similar to me that I was freaking out a little bit. I hope that anyone suffering from anxiety, bullying, or even just teenage woes can take heart from her. As someone who has dealt with anxiety and depression for most of my life, I can happily say this book contains an accurate depiction. Overall, I'm very pleased I read this book because of the mental health rep, but I can't find any other notable elements of praise.

The Turner family all have so many different characteristics and ideals, just like our own families, making them easy to sympathise with. The book says that a certain event at school triggered it, but it never told us what that event was. She stays at home every time hiding in her home, wearing black glasses to avoid eye contact and avoiding strangers.

Interestingly, it isn’t a story about bullying or what caused her to feel this way, but instead it focuses on healing and recovery. I don't feel we had enough development on Audrey's father for me to have strong feelings, and apart from being the cute younger brother who acts as comic relief, Felix also isn't a memorable character for me. I developed a fear of cameras, airplanes, social media, spiders, germs, the ocean, people - you name a fear, and chances are, I probably had it. It was a very therapy positive book and I loved how it was made clear that progress isn’t a straight line upwards, but instead you will have setbacks and it is up to you how you want to proceed from there. Let's be realistic: being in a romantic relationship with a mentally ill person is a lot of work, especially since Audrey's anxiety is quite severe.

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. The after effects of something that happened at school has left her unable to brave the outside world, or talk to strangers and she wears sunglasses even indoors. Audrey's mother is a neurotic Daily Mail fan who constantly tries to improve her family's lifestyle after reading articles like "The Eight Signs Your Child is Addicted to Computer Games". What she had been through had obviously been traumatic, and being unable to even look at people without panicking was really limiting for her.

If we let Felix run our lives, we’d all wear superhero costumes all day long and eat nothing but ice-cream. Her family are brilliantly drawn and her relationship with her brother's friend Linus is extremely touching, but it is the message of hope that resounds. I was expecting a typical mental illness contemporary, where the MC has something "wrong" with them, meets some love interest, is miraculously cured, and then goes to make-out or have sex, or whatever the fuck with their insta-lover. Imagine you're this family's neighbor and everyday you can hear their fights, wouldn't that be a bit irritating?Her mother was the typical "video games are bad for you and you need to play outside because that's what I did when I was younger" except exaggerated TIMES A THOUSAND. I love how true of a portrayal this novel is - Social anxiety is not only being afraid to talk on phones, not feeling comfortable in crowds, or having trouble making new friends. It felt lazy and unfinished, I think an actual anecdote about what happened would have strengthened the story. Let me just preface this by saying one reason why I love this book so much is because of how personal the topic is to me. This was lovely and heartwarming story of a young girl overcoming extreme bullying and the debilitating social anxiety that followed.

I really liked Linus,I loved the messages he wrote with Aubrey they were cute and I like that he helped Audrey to overcome her anxiety.Audrey is a brave, charming and resourceful girl and I hope she will inspire my readers as much as she has inspired me.

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