I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
I love Sophie Kinsella’s books save for the Shopaholic series which I did love till post third book where Becky seemed to go on this endless merry-go-round of being an idiot. But her other books are thoroughly enjoyable chick lit. So, I was happy to see that she was writing a YA novel because you know Sophie’s stuff is sort of my jam.
Finding Audrey is a bit different than Kinsella’s other books. It deals with a more serious subject matter-mental illness-and focuses less on romance and more on family.
Although, there is a romance in Finding Audrey that is very cute.
I’ll have to say I liked the focus on family. It reminded me of the earlier Meg Cabot novels. One of the things that I loved about those books and this book is that there was a lot of focus on developing the main character’s family and they didn’t suffer from Charlie Swan syndrome.
Although, Audrey’s mom was a bit too much at times (The Daily Mail obsession was a little too OTT ) I did enjoy the fact that she and the rest of Audrey’s family were heavily featured throughout the story. It was nice seeing a family in YA deal with issues and actually liked and interacted with each other.
In addition to the family interactions, the romance in Finding Audrey was really cute. Which really isn’t a surprise, because I enjoy all the romances in Kinsella novels. However, YA romance differs from adult romance and she was really able to capture those first. You know the first touch. The first kiss etc. Added the fact that Audrey was suffering from mental illness it added an extra dimension to it.
The mental illness for the most part was handled well, BUT I thought it might’ve been rushed a bit. Audrey seemed to get over her depression/anxiety/agoraphobia rather quickly. That’s not how it works. I just felt like she had way too many good days and not that many set backs. I understand it was probably paced that way, so the storyline could progress more but it just seemed to be a little too neat to be realistic.
I did enjoy the fact that Audrey’s psychiatrist played a significant role in the story though. That was one thing I didn’t like about Made You Up, another YA book dealing with mental illness (that you should read).
The other issue I had with this book was the whole bully side plot (or at least that’s what I think it was suppose to be). It was only very loosely developed and while I get that the narrator (Audrey) didn’t want to go there I thought a little more exploration of that part of the plot might’ve made for a more interesting book.
I really did enjoyed this one. While not perfect, it had a lot to offer.