You haven’t really had a hangover until you’ve read a book that you can’t shake yourself out of.
Alcohol’s got nothing on a good story.
And this one?
Oh my WOWZA.
Although I have not read any Sophie Kinsella books before this one, I have heard nothing but rave reviews for all of her works, and through her first YA novel, she has really proven herself to be a great author.
Oui, that is Nutella on my hand. Oops.
I cannot wait to get stuck into this review, so without any long introductions or further ado, I give you:
July 2017 Book Of The Month
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
Audrey can’t go outside. And no, she’s not sick, this is not ‘Everything, Everything’. Not physically sick, at least. Audrey is a fourteen year old dealing with anxiety, so much so that she has to wear dark glasses even at home, because eye contact is the worst of all. With a mom whose life guide is a magazine called ‘The Daily Mail’, a younger brother named Felix who is generally quite excited about everything, a dad who’s cool but usually indifferent to house rules and must be reminded of his parental duties by his wife, and an elder brother named Frank, who is an obsessive gamer and drives his mother absolutely insane, Audrey’s family is quite crazy and keeps her occupied. Just when she feels like she will never escape her anxiety, Frank’s friend Linus comes into her life and suddenly she is a Rhubarb (you have to read the book to understand that reference 🙂 ). This adorable, funny contemporary romance will leave you in stitches. Follow Audrey as she learns to love, laugh and live again.
I LOVED the characters in this book. Every. Single. One. Starting with our protagonist Audrey, she is just such an amazing young girl. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I found her to be very real. When I read really good books like this one, sometimes the characters are so awesome that they tend to seem kind of paranormal, like existing on a whole other level, out of reach of normal people like us. And although I like that too, Audrey Turner was so relatable, and the reader really feels like they are living the life of an ordinary fourteen year old girl. Her narration is absolutely hilarious, and I came to admire her determination and wit. Then there’s Frank. There were times when I realised how dull this book would be without Frank Turner, and by that I don’t mean anything bad about the book, I mean that he was an amazing addition to the mix, and thank god he wasn’t left out. Frank is a smartass, and a badass too. With his almost unhealthy addiction to the video game ‘Lord Of Conquerors’, he takes his digital world very seriously. What made Frank such a lovable character was his sarcasm and hilariously bratty behaviour (only at times, though). Seeing how he drove his Mom crazy and was always one step ahead of the parental units was such fun. Felix is the cute younger brother, and although he doesn’t have as large a role in the story like Frank or Audrey’s mother, I found myself looking for more of him in the story. His childish innocence and hysterical remarks throughout the book just made it that much better. Here’s a little excerpt from the book, with Felix, that makes me laugh out loud every single time:
“Engage your core”, Mum says to Frank. “You should do Pilates. Have you heard of an exercise called ‘the plank’?”
“Give me a break”, mutters Frank.
As they’re bending over to stretch their hamstrings, Felix comes bouncing into the hall.
“Yoga!” he shouts in his joyous way. “I can do yoga. I can do yoga VERY FAST.”
He lies on his back and kicks his legs in the air.
“Brilliant yoga”, I tell him. “That’s very fast yoga.”
“And STRONG yoga.” Felix looks at me seriously. “I am the strongest yoga.”
“You are the strongest yoga”, I agree.
I am a rolling-on-the-floor laughing mess right now.
Also, I know this is a very long ‘Characters’ section, but I really can’t help it if I love them so much. Last one, promise. The best word to describe Audrey’s mother is eccentric, and it’s a riot. She just wants the best for her children, but her freakish belief in that magazine and her confusion and utter befuddlement at the concept of video games is a HOOT. She’s chaotic, crazy, but still sweet and caring, and I love her. The story would not be the same without her. As for Linus, I loved him too, of course, because I loved everyone, and especially how daring and funny he was. Although, I felt that he was lacking a little substance, I wanted to know more about him.
Although the plot of this wasn’t too deep or life-changing, that’s fine because it wasn’t meant to be. It was wonderfully light and quick to read, while still being as impactful as it needed to be, dealing with issues like anxiety, and other things which I don’t want to reveal for you 😉 . It doesn’t glorify psychological distress at all, and keeps it real, even within the family aspect. That, actually, is one of the things which stood out to me in this book, simply that the family was involved, and given importance. Too many YA contemporaries and romances forget to mention the family of the protagonist at all, and although that is upto the author of course, I personally enjoyed reading about Audrey’s family a lot.
I admire Sophie Kinsella for the way she has managed to weave a story which is not too serious, yet not too fluffy. This is difficult with contemporaries, and she has just aced it. As you may already know, I love humour, which meant that I was instantly sucked into this book because it was flippin’ hilarious. In the middle of the novel, Audrey starts filming a video of her life, and this is told in the form of a transcript, which changes things up in the book and makes it so much more interesting! There are witty remarks scattered in appropriate places throughout the story, and it is a perfect book to get you out of a reading slump, very easy to follow. I liked the length of the book too, 280 superb pages.
I bought the paperback, and yes, it was the wonderful floppy kind. What I really loved was the vibrant and very beautiful colours on the cover, it just instantly made me want to pick it up. One day, I am going to own the OH SO PRETTY Zoella Book Club edition.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I would recommend it to all of you for a light, fun read. I will definitely be reading more Sophie Kinsella.
My Star Rating
5 out of 5 stars.
I’m so happy that I’ve been reading such good books lately! YAY!
Thanks for reading this very long review, I do hope you pick up ‘Finding Audrey’ in the near future, and feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments below if you already have!
ThePastryPoet, signing off.