Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review - Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

As soon as I heard about Finding Audrey I just knew that I was going to have to read it. Whilst this may have been the first YA novel to be written and published by Sophie Kinsella the author has published many other books including the famous, and incredibly popular, Shopaholic series which, incidentally, I absolutely love. Like many of her previous novels, Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey did not disappoint me in the slightest. 

Finding Audrey is about a 14 year old girl called Audrey who suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder and Depressive Episodes, many if not all of which were triggered following a traumatic bullying incident that Audrey went through whilst she was at school. Audrey is currently being home-schooled and also attends regular sessions with her therapist, Dr. Sarah, in the hope that Audrey will be ready to start at a new secondary school in the new academic year. 

Apart from attending her therapy sessions Audrey does not leave the house in which she lives with her parents and two brothers. Despite spending her time at home with her family she never takes off her sunglasses which prevent her from having to make eye contact with anyone else. One day her brother’s friend Linus makes an appearance and, whilst at first, Audrey is extremely wary and fearful of him we soon see her learn to trust him and with his help, support and encouragement we slowly but surely see Audrey start to overcome her anxiety. 

What I particularly liked about this book was the way that Sophie Kinsella’s writing style that is present in all of her other novels really shone through.It was light-hearted and full of humour, something which is quite rare to see in novels that deal with the subject of mental health. However, despite being written in such a way, Sophie Kinsella really got to the heart of the issue and, I thought, gave the reader a very real insight into exactly what it feels like to live with anxiety. 

The novel also conveyed an incredibly important message and one that I feel many people who suffer from anxiety can both feel encouraged by and take hope from - that, although there will be ups and there will be downs and it is not something that will happen overnight, recovery is possible. That is to say that, although it may not necessarily seem like it at the time, things won’t always stay the way that they are forever - things can and do get better. 

In seeing Audrey get better the reader also gains an understanding of how important it is for those living with anxiety to be surrounded by people who take the time to understand their condition, stick by them and take the time to listen to their worries and concerns. Audrey was incredibly lucky in this respect to have so many supportive individuals in her life. Indeed, I strongly believe that it is vital for those suffering with anxiety to reach out and talk to others about how they are feeling, no matter how hard it seems. Be it a family member, friend or healthcare professional there will be someone out there who can and will help. 

In closing I feel that this book is one that all teenagers can hugely benefit from reading due to the very important messages it contains. It was brilliant, beautiful and heart-warming and one that I would not hesitate to recommend.