I recently finished Sophie Kinsella’s debut YA novel, and I’m so glad I have read. It is one of the most heartwarming novels I have read this year. Reading a book that is able to address a sensitive topic of social anxiety in a humorous and warm manner is refreshing.
This book is about 14 year old Audrey, who is unable to leave her house and is afraid to make any sort of social contact hence why she constantly wears dark glasses, even at home. But things start to change when her brother’s friend start to show up at their house, he approaches Audrey and with his infectious smile he is able to coax her out again- well to Starbucks at least.
‘Finding Audrey’ is a smart book that deal with the pressure of a being a teenager. The book touches on sensitive topics such as bullying and the impact it has on mental health as seen through the character of Audrey. Audrey’s family is also entertaining to read in the book, and brings the humor factor to the novel.
The family consists of a Daily Mail obsessed mother, who thinks video games are rotting her son’s brain and throws his computer out of the window. Then there’s her brother who is a typical sulky teenager with humorous and sarcastic quips for his mother. The 4 year old character of Felix is also well-written as his innocence is shown to provide enough comfort to Audrey for her to take her glasses off, and her dad is the typical, hopeless father who is unaware of what is going on. The structure of the novel goes back and forth from a transcript to a diary entry, which is creative.
Overall the book, despite being a YA novel, is suitable for all ages as it addresses the issue of anxiety which everyone can connect with it. Being a shy child from an early age, I’v always found comfort in reading, granted I do not have severe anxiety like Audrey but characteristics of her character can be identified by all anxious people. Reading this book has been a eye opener and taught me to that anxiety can be defeated in small steps, and has to be confronted before you let it lead your life.