From the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.
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. – Goodreads
I wish teenage me would have had Finding Audrey, I know for a fact it would have made me feel less alone. Audrey has social anxiety. Makes it hard to leave the house anxiety and while mine doesn’t get that bad, I have been known many of the emotions that Audrey carries throughout this novel. Audrey comes from a family that loves her, even if they may love her too much. But she has a family that accepts her. And it’s a welcome bit to read in a YA novel! Many seemed to consider the parents to be stereotypical cardboard characters, but I actually found them to be real and loving. Even her brother Frank, who has Audrey’s back, isn’t afraid to call her out on her bullshit. Even when everyone is coddling her, Frank will say “HEY. STOP.”
Audrey has horrible social anxiety. She doesn’t like to leave the house or deal with people. It’s actually crippling for her to leave the house. But with help from her family and a psychologist she works on being able to leave the house. She goes from filming parts of her life and being a fly on the wall to actually being part of the film. I also don’t think it’s fair to make it be like Linus is the whole reason Audrey worked out her “problems.” Audrey was already working on her “problems” without Linus, he just helps her out–gently.
I also enjoyed Audrey’s growth throughout Finding Audrey. About halfway through the novel she notices how the depression put her in a giant fog. She’s finally noticing things noticing things and even becoming less self-obsessed. For example, she notices that her mother stopped working once she had a break down and she hates that she didn’t notice sooner. She knows she should have noticed sooner.
Because Audrey is feeling better, she decides it would be okay to stop taking her medicine. She’s convinced she does not need it. What she doesn’t expect is the fact one of the people who caused Audrey to have this break down wants to meet up with her. Plus, when she finally tells someone (Linus) that she stopped taking her meds, Linus freaks out at her. Linus wants what is best for her and she keeps trying to push him away. I understood this part of Audrey so well.
While this is not the perfect book Finding Audrey is an enjoyable, relatable read and I cannot recommend it more.