Thursday, June 4, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children's Books
Format: Trade Paperback (ARC)
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Synopsis (from publisher's website):
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.

This was a fun Young Adult debut for Sophie Kinsella. She is able to weave together light humour and sensitive topics that are relevant to the book's intended audience.

Bullying. We are made aware that the event that has triggered Audrey's anxiety disorders are related to bullying. There are very little details provided about the actual incident. As a reader, this is very frustrating. But, I can also appreciate that Kinsella wants to keep parts of Audrey's life private. Doing this was a great way to keep the focus of the book on Audrey's condition and road to recovery.

Mental health issues. Kinsella is very specific when she writes about the symptoms of Audrey's anxiety disorder. She focuses on the baby steps needed to improve Audrey's situation. Finally, Kinsella also highlights the support that Audrey's family and friends provide her as she works on getting better.

Screen addictions. Audrey's brother Frank is hooked on Land of Conquerers, an online computer game. He plays for hours on end. When his computer privileges are revoked, he finds other ways to entertain himself through smartphone games and video game consoles. Though this is a minor plot topic, I think Kinsella does a great job in highlighting how much time young people spend staring at screens. However, I do think Audrey mother blows things way out of proportion when it comes online gaming.

Finding Audrey is a great book to take with you to the beach or on a picnic as the weather warms up. I'm really looking forward to any future novels she decides to write in this genre.

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy of Finding Audrey from Random House of Canada. All opinions are my own.
Rating: ★★★

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