Welcome to the Five Things series, where I make a small review of a book that I read by listing all the things that I love or hate about them. This time I just want to list the five things about this book. I might like it, and I might dislike it, you’ll have to read more to find out! Finding Audrey is Sophie Kinsella’s first young adult novel, and you probably have heard about this book by now. It’s a novel about a young teenage girl, Audrey, who has difficulty talking and socializing in public after a traumatic experience. She stays home all the time and wears sunglasses to avoid looking into people’s eyes. And the story is about her overcoming this and how her friends and family helped her to do that.
#1. The Pretty Cover.
I like to start a review by telling everyone what I thought of the outside of the book first. And for me, this cover is splendid. I love the colors, I think green/blue is sort of my favourite color, and I really like how simple it is but also interesting. I like the splash of yellow for the title and overall it seemed like a really cute cover.
#2. Short and Light.
This is something I liked about the book as well. I was reading this for my 48 Hour Readathon, so it was perfect. It was short, it had large font, and the content itself isn’t heavy or long. The story wasn’t fast-paced in the way that it had action or running or things like that, but because it was narrated by the funny and quirky Audrey, and added with some screenplay format on some parts of the book, I’m pretty sure anyone would fly through this book and finish it within a few hours. The story itself is also light and fun, although some parts were a little sad and mellow.
#3. How It Dealt with Mental Illness.
Now this has been one of the most discussed about aspect of the book from the other book reviews I’ve seen on Goodreads and WordPress. Obviously, the main character Audrey suffers from a mental illness in this story and it’s about how she tries to overcome it. But some people thought that Kinsella didn’t do a good job of portraying the social anxiety.
Some people thought that it felt like Audrey’s anxiety was too easily overcame after she met Linus and just from that one boy, in a matter of weeks she was getting “back to normal”. And I personally have never encountered someone with a situation like Audrey, but I can very well imagine it. For me, I agree with the people who thought that Sophie Kinsella took the illness too lightly and made it seem like something that was easy to deal with, even though in truth it wasn’t as easy and quick like in the book.
But other than that, I also liked how she wrote this novel in a funny and entertaining way even though it actually deals with something that might be scary or serious. It makes people like me who do not know the subject very personally to actually understand but not feel too involved deeply to it, and it makes the readers think that even thought they know it’s a terrible illness, we can also find something funny in it as well. So I think Kinsella’s light writing style could be a good thing and a bad thing, it really depends on the readers.
#4. The Characters.
This was another part of the book that I thought about a lot while reading it. I really love the familial feeling I get when reading the book. Obviously, the story revolves a lot around Audrey’s family and you can see her mom, dad, older brother and younger brother and their relationship. At first I thought Audrey’s parents were hilarious. But then, around the middle of the book, I sort of found the mom to be too crazy and realized that the whole family seemed too stereotypical. They seemed like a combination of my family – which is normal – and the Dunphys from Modern Family, but with a crazier mom and a less funny dad.
You have the crazy obsessed mom who reads magazines and is bossy around her children. But then Kinsella kicked it up a notch and made her into a crazier and hysterical person who throws computers out the window. Some parts of the mom reminds me of my own mom. She hates it when my brother plays games all day long too. But she’d never – and I know I speak for the majority here – throw anything out the second floor window, or shout around until the neighbours would come out and watch.
Then the dad is this clueless, hopeless father, which is quite funny, but certainly no one is that submissive to his family and it felt like he had no opinions of his own. And the older brother, at first I really liked him too, because he reminds me of my little brother. He’s the typical teenage boy, playing games and all that. And I quite liked him, especially how he silently cares for Audrey and how he finally finds a passion for himself. Other than that, I thought he was just a tool for Linus to be able to get in the picture and meet with Audrey.
And that brings me to Linus. I liked him, but I felt like I couldn’t really connect with him. I like some of his traits, but I just couldn’t understand him. But that I will carry on to the fifth thing about this book. But overall the sidecharacters were okay. They were too general and stereotypical, but there were some moments that made them even more likeable so they weren’t all that bad.
I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.
#5. The Romance
Now obviously, in young adult novels like this it is hard not to expect the main character to fall in love with this unexpected cute older guy who is kind and sweet and caring. And this definitely happens in the novel. I have no problems with Linus and Audrey’s relationship. I thought they’d make a cute couple, even though at that age I didn’t even care about boys or having a relationship. The beginning of their relationship was cute as well, with all the notes and shoe touching. Then suddenly they were going so fast and kissing and Audrey was like so in love with him.
I guess it’s very plausible, and I totally understand that it was quick mostly because the whole novel itself is so short.
I also like how through Audrey’s perspective, you could really see how she really likes Linus and enjoy his company, but also how she doesn’t really depend too much on him or needs him in everything she does. I like how she’s still independent.
And again, there is also the thought that it was unrealistic that just because of Linus, Audrey suddenly experience this rapid change and confidence boost and how suddenly everything changed instantly. I agree about how it sort of lowers women in general, as if a girl with an illness such as Audrey needs a man in her life to be able to overcome it. But I also think that Linus’s participation is just the trigger and that it’s not really that Linus was the cause of the how Audrey got better, it was mostly Audrey herself. Yet again, I also think that everything happened too quickly and it seemed unrealistic to me. Their relationship wasn’t the best thing in the world, it wasn’t my OTP or anything, but it was fun reading about them two.
Overall, these five things about the book show that this novel was a really fun and good read, it’s cute and light. But I also had some issues about it and so I just couldn’t say that it’s an excellent book. I really enjoyed reading it, though, and I would definitely recommend it if you like to read something fast and funny and light.
What about you? Have you read this book before, and what did you think about it? Did you agree with the points I mentioned above? Let me know!