This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
A standalone fictional novel for young readers about a fourteen-year-old girl struggling to overcome an anxiety disorder triggered by bullying at her school.
In 2015, Finding Audrey was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Young Adult Fiction.
I know I can only give this a “5” on the websites, but it is definitely a “7”! And that’s saying something because I swore I’d never read Kinsella again after enduring several of her Shopaholic stories!
It’s Audrey’s story and very definitely first-person point-of-view, and while the story is triggered by bullying, we don’t actually learn what they did, which makes me nuts.
The way Audrey describes herself is curious and makes me wonder if her paranoia about everyone looking at her, obsessing about what people are thinking about her, is part of the problem that led into how badly the bullying affected her. Maybe that’s another class that kids need, one that encourages self-confidence as well as considering that other people have events and turmoils going on in their own lives that may affect how they react to you.
For all the seriousness of Audrey’s condition, you can’t help LYAO throughout the story. It’s a typical teen’s view of her clueless parents and her siblings. With a character arc that is perfectly achieved.
I do adore Felix:
“He greets most life events with disbelieving joy. A lorry in the street! Ketchup! An extra-long chip! Mum throwing a computer out the window is just another one on the list of daily miracles.”
Then there’s Audrey’s take on her Mum with her Daily Mail obsession, her freak-out about Frank’s online gameplaying, not listening to her kids, and Mum’s constant contradictions on “what she always used to do” ROFLMAO. We also experience Audrey’s slow realization of what her mother has given up. What her family has endured. Frank. Oh, man, Frank is the stereotype of teens and boys. Totally unobservant when it really counts, lol. Linus, now. He’s an absolute doll. Incredibly patient and willing to both wait and push at Audrey.
The example Linus uses of his crazy Gran for Audrey was too sweet, and too true. As for Audrey’s explanation of how to deal with the lizard brain with Felix as the comparison…brilliant.
More ROFL with the replies we all wanted to make to our parents’ questions. Omigod *more laughing*
And…for all my laughing at her Mum, I have to give props to Audrey’s parents for being so very supportive.
Now, that damned Amerson infuriates me with her dismissal of the bullying. Too typical of almost all schools who ignore it because the teachers/admins aren’t paying attention, the bully’s parents wield too much power, or the teachers don’t care. If government wants to throw money at something, they should be throwing it at stopping the bullying. Teach the kids better ways to deal with issues. Find out who is bullying those kids, to turn them into bullies…because that’s all they know. We need to stop the cycle!
And keep in mind that life is that jagged graph. Up a bit. Down a bit. All life long.
The progress Audrey is making in her daily life — ever since that anxiety disorder slammed into her — is making her crazy. It’s too slow. And too much. All at once.
It takes meeting Linus to encourage Audrey to try more than she’s comfortable with, as she connects with him, his patience, his concern.
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.
“You’ll be in the dark for as long as it takes and then you’ll come out.”
Audrey Turner is a fourteen-year-old girl traumatized by events at her school. Frank is her older, computer-obsessed brother with a passion for Land of Conquerors (LOC). Felix is the too-totally cheerful four-year-old. Mum, Anne, is the frustrated one who rules the household and has left her job as a freelance brand consultant. Dad, Chris, is an accountant and much more easygoing.
Linus is a schoolfriend of Frank’s. And totally cute. Nick and Rameen are part of Frank’s LOC team; Matt will become an okay fourth. Aidan is Felix’s friend, but he has chicken pops. Natalie Dexter had been Audrey’s best friend — the one who froze. A bipolar homicidal maniac? Seriously?
Arjun is a friend of Mum’s from her Pilates class who does freelance computer work. Alison is in Mum’s book group and doesn’t even have TV at home. Hmmm, I wonder what the Daily Mail says about that?? Mike is a friend of Dad’s with whom he plays squash. Allan is another of Dad’s friends. Paul Taylor has good deals.
Dr. Sarah McVeigh is Audrey’s therapist at St. John’s hospital who could take some lessons from Linus. I did like Dr. Sarah’s idea about doing a video.
Heath Academy is the new school Audrey will start in the fall. Stokeland Girls’ School is her former school. Miss Amerson was the head teacher. Freya Hill, Izzy Lawton, and Tasha Collins were expelled. The remaining “gang” include a changed Katie, Chloe, and Ruby. Miss Moore is the deputy head who left. Izzy’s parents are amazingly unconscious of their daughter’s behavior.
Ade is a chef at the Fox and Hound whose grandfather, Derek Gould, has just moved into an old folks’ home, Avonlea. Rob McDuggan and their son, Ollie, are neighbors. Sinead is a policewoman.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a soft green turquoise banded by unevenly edged grayed-out colonial blue horizontal stripes. It’s a cartoon-like Audrey with her long brown hair and sunglasses poking up at the top of the yellow title with her hands appearing below it. The author’s name is large and at the top in yellow with an info blurb about Kinsella’s popular Shopaholic series.
The title is the battle this girl is going through, for Finding Audrey will take a great deal of struggle and support.