Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella | Review

Finding Audrey is a unique and fascinating account of mending, love, and evolution within a family unit that will keep you reading and interested the entire way through.

Audrey addresses you, the reader, to tell her story, in a clever use of second-person narrative by Kinsella.  She just happens to leave out the inciting incident, which is okay, because even though you as the reader desperately want to know what happened to make her the way she is?  Knowing would be poison to her story.  It's not about what happened to make Audrey stay in her room, unable to make eye-contact with even her closest family members.  It's a story about growth, for an entire family, and it's told beautifully.

Most YA tales eliminate the need for a parent by making them absent or impotent.  This usually allows for the main character to step-in and become the decision maker and adult in whatever situation the character finds him- or herself.  Finding Audrey isn't just a tale about Audrey though.  It's a story about her family, and how they circle around and protect each other, even when they come off as outright crazy in the process.

Audrey's mom does read as nuts.  Her dad is happier to not make waves and focus on his dream car.  Her littlest brother, Felix, is clueless as to what's going on (and really, acts more like my two-year-old than any four-year-old I've met, but that stays in line with the family crisis, I suppose).  And her just-barely younger brother, Frank, is somehow still very aware of and supportive of Audrey's anti-sociality than you want to give him credit for.

Ultimately, the story is constructed in such a clever way that the technical mishaps didn't seem to matter to me at all.  They were a way to achieve an end, an end that I didn't see coming, but is totally believable, and an end that satisfied me completely.  It would be a fantastic beach read, and an even more amazing mother/daughter team read.  So go ahead, preoder it.  It drops June 9th.

Also, and very happy to me, was the pure Britishness of this book.  It's always fun to experience other cultures through literature, and this book is no exception.  I got to google products like Lemsip, Shreddies, Ribena, and Nurofen. It was delightful.  It is also full of British slang, some of which I had to google to figure out.  To me, that's fun.  I hope it is for you too.

Parents:  While Audrey's parents are involved, and protective, and whatnot, they do come off as silly and weird sometimes.  There are about twelve instances of the "F" word, and a lot of British swearing that may not count as swearing in the US.  Audrey deals with extreme anxiety and depression, so be involved if your child/teen also has these tendencies.  Some of her self-talk may validate others' suicidal thoughts.  It's not, "I should kill myself."  More like, "Why do I even exist?" It may not be harmful, but I want to point out that it's there, so that you can talk about it if need be.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with an advance copy of this book at no charge.  My review is based on this copy, and the finished product may differ from the book I read, but all opinions are my own and are not influenced by any outside source.  All purchase links are affiliate links from which I get a smidgen of commission.