Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Rating: 4 stars
Here it is!! My first post! 🙂 Okay, it’s currently 5am and on my most insomniac night ever, I’m reeling from excitement setting up this new blog and writing my first review here! 🙂
After a semester full of reading Modern Literature for uni texts, coming back to reading a YA book feels almost like a warm, familiar embrace. Yes, no more deciphering for nationalistic urges or internal turmoils. Not that I don’t love modern lit though, I really do.
So anyway, Finding Audrey! This is one book that leaves you wanting for more, you keep wishing it never ended. My previous encounters with Sophie Kinsella’s books were mostly from the Shopaholic series. While her witty, humorous style have always left her as one of my favourite authors, it certainly felt fresh seeing this book written from the perspective of a younger character, and more so one with mental illness.
Speaking of the topic, I felt the issue of mental illness was very carefully and properly dealt with. Audrey is a 16 year old girl suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, and Depression. Having gone through a similar experience myself, I felt that Audrey’s (the protagonist’s) struggles were very succinctly and adequately portrayed. The therapy sessions in Dr. Sarah’s room, the attacks felt like genuine encounters, not overly stereotypical or idealised. What’s more impressive was that Sophie Kinsella still managed to portray it in her usual lighthearted yet captivating narration that leaves the reader wanting for more. It portrays Audrey as a teenage girl actively and willingly seeking psychological help, rather than spending the whole novel passively dwelling in her struggles.
While the romantic episodes with Linus were sweet and captivating, I felt that one thing Sophie Kinsella did well was to keep the storyline stayed true to focusing on Audrey’s recovery, all the way until the end of the novel, instead of having an ideal, cheesy “love heals all” romance ending, where her psychological symptoms stopped after meeting Linus. The recurring attacks and her still having the “jagged line” growth displayed the full difficulty and reality of mental illness recovery.
What was most unexpected, yet lovely was the way Audrey came to terms with the demons of her past. Already ready to confront with Issy seated in front of her, Kinsella twists the story at the right moment, teaching readers that the coming to terms with the past means truly letting go of the fragmented pieces, instead of having to prove and compensate.
Indeed, Finding Audrey is a book all about losing, being lost, finding, and being found. As Audrey inches closer and closer to recovery, we too, find a piece of her in ourselves. 🙂