First published in 2015, Sophie Kinsella of the Shopaholic series fame embarked on her Young Adult novel journey with Finding Audrey. Although I was excited at the prospects of this book, I have to admit I was weary of it becoming a tale of girl meets boy and all her life troubles are miraculously “fixed” as a result of entering a relationship. Realistically this isn’t the case and depending on the theme, I like a realistic feel to fiction.
Instead, it follows the life of Audrey dealing with a social anxiety disorder that has left her housebound having experienced bullying in school. She lives her life behind sunglasses in the comfort of her own home with her worried but encouraging parents, her supposedly gaming obsessed brother and his fellow gamer friend Linus.
Yes, striking up a relationship with Audrey is where Linus comes in. However, rather than having Linus fix all problems surrounding Audrey’s life, he’s there to offer a friendly word. Encouraging Audrey to use writing notes as a form of contact which eventually shows her she is capable of communication and progresses to braving the outside world.
The truth is, if you don’t communicate with anyone new, ever, at all, then you lose the knack. And when you go back to it, it’s sort of draining.
I devoured this book from the first page. The more I read into it, the more I realised how important a read like Finding Audrey is. Not just for a person living with anxiety but for others who possibly can’t comprehend what it is to live inside a mind trapped with anxious thoughts about the world around you.
I read Finding Audrey mid 2016, (this review was a long time coming) and can honestly say it topped my year as far as books go. It’s such a beautiful little read and I would recommend it in a heartbeat, to young and old alike, in fact I believe it’s books like these that should be added to a schools’ curriculum.
Thank you Sophie Kinsella for writing such a clever and informative novel on living life with the struggles of anxiety.