Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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.
So I picked Finding Audrey up on a whim because Popular Malaysia was having a sale (and also my friend Arep kept recommending this to us). There were some elements of the book I liked and disliked equally.
Finding Audrey is about a girl with agoraphobia who is recovering while she waits to start the new school year. She’s been this reclusive socially anxious teenager (aged 15) for the past few months that she can barely meet anyone’s eyes (hence, the sungalsses), let alone venture outside.
Her mom is this over protective person who handles 2 teenagers with not-so-much flair while her dad is aloof. Her brother Frank , 16, is going through his own teenage problems while her younger brother, Felix, 4, is just adorable.They’re this perfect mix of chaos that reflects most families struggling to deal with teenage drama, but this time you have an agoraphobic teen thrown into the mix. Which makes the dynamic more interesting.
It’s a great book to know more about social anxiety and agoraphobia. From page 1, this book is hilarious and witty in a way that makes you want to reach out and hug Audrey. I believe the main character was brilliantly written in a way so comical and in depth. You understand more of Audrey’s mental state as the book progresses and how difficult it can be to try to heal.
But unfortunately the blurb for this book is very misleading. From reading it, I’d have thought Linus had more influence towards Audrey’s journey to healing, being there for Audrey 24/7 and handing out powerful life-inspiring messages. I was in need of some adorable young-love, but I was sorely disappointed. I felt like he pops in and out of the book whenever it suits him? The plot felt a bit too rushed as well, because in comes Linus, and BAM! Audrey is somehow inspired to feel better. Granted they do spend more time towards the end of the book, but I felt it was a little too late by then to really feel invested in Linus’ character.
Also, we never got to know what happened to Audrey pre-agoraphobia and I wonder why it was never properly explained in the book?
This book was a bit mild for me, and whilst I rarely pick up YA contemporaries, I do understand its appeal to most younger readers. You somehow hope for a new person’s presence in your life to change it for the better. But at the end, you realise that only you have that power to change yourself…
Give this a try if you want a quick read. I hope you enjoy it more than I did! 😀