Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Autofocus” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.68  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  113 reviews
From the author of The Night We Said Yes comes a fun and heartfelt YA contemporary tale. When Maude decides to search for information about her birth mother, she finds out more than she expected. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Susane Colasanti.

Family. It’s always been a loaded word for Maude, whose birth mother died after giving her up for adoption. With her bes
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Autofocus, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lauren Nope, it's a standalone! …moreNope, it's a standalone! (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  461 ratings  ·  113 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Autofocus
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Maybe I can go up there and find something on her, my birth mother.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who was adopted.

Maude was a determined girl, and she was a good friend to Treena. I understood that she wanted to find out more about her mother, even though she didn’t have the best of leads.

The storyline in this was about Maude trying to find out m
“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

----Ansel Adams

Lauren Gibaldi, an American author, pens a sweet yet poignant YA contemporary novel, Autofocus that revolves around a young girl trying to find the story about her birth mother for a special family related photography assignment, and in her quest, she goes back to her best friend for hel
Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)
*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen thru Edelweiss for review*

I love contemporary reads but most of the time they are either a hit or a miss. These past few weeks, I feel so lucky that all my contemporary reads are a hit and Autofocus is one of them.

I was not able to read yet Lauren Gibaldi’s first novel, The Night We Said Yes, but I am in definitely in love with Autofocus.


What does it mean to you? Who is in your family? How would you define f

Grace {Rebel Mommy Book Blog}
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This review was originally posted on Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Truth time. I put off this book because by the time I was ready to pick it up I had seen a lof of meh to bad reviews and decided I just didn’t have time for it. Fast forward to ARC August and me trying to clean out some old ARCs sitting around. I tried another that got bad reviews and I had put off and that was a DNF @ 16%. Then I decided to try Autofocus and so glad I did because I really enjoyed it.

Autofocus is about Maude (got I love t
Eric Smith
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Five out of five stars, only because Goodreads won't let me give it one million out of one million stars.

Autofocus is about adoption, friendship, and family. As someone that's adopted, let me tell you. Gibaldi nails it. This is a book I wish I had as a teenager, and will be talking about for quite some time.
Jaime Arkin
This was a pretty light read for the most part. Maude is adopted so family has always meant something a little bit different to her than it might to others. Her mother died when she was born and she doesn’t know who her father is. When she’s given an assignment in her photography class – show the meaning of family – she isn’t quite sure what she is going to do. She doesn’t even know where to begin because she’s tried to find out more about her mom before and it went nowhere.

This time, she wants
If I can think of one word to describe this book, it would be: LACKING.

But don't take that to mean that I didn't enjoy it because, really, I did. Lauren Gibaldi has a natural talent for storytelling but this novel stuck more to the surface for me, and I think she missed some great opportunities to deeply explore the delicate intricacies of adoption while giving an insightful account of the psychological and emotional effects that adoption might have on not just the adoptee but on the involved f
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Actual rating: 3.75-4

Slow start for me but the lovely writing was what did it. Full review tk.
Lauren R.
2.5 stars. Maybe I had a chip on my shoulder the whole time I read this and never gave it a fair shot, but I just really did not like this. The main character annoyed me so much from the very first page, the writing felt nothing like Gibaldi's first book that I loved, the romance was meh, and so much felt forced and cheesy. I have a lot of thoughts on this actually. More later.

There are a lot of things I didn’t like about this book, but I don’t think I can necessarily say that it
Siiri (Little Pieces of Imagination)
I have yet to read Gibaldi's debut novel The Night We Said Yes, but without a doubt it's now high on my TBR list [especially after snagging it from a recent ebook sale; thank you book goddesses for good book deals!] since I very much enjoyed Autofocus. Unlike my friend Jess from My Reading Dress, I really enjoy roadtrip books and this one is a slightly roadtrip-esque with a side of a scavenger hunt of sorts. It was very sweet, fun and summery, as expected, while tackling the topic of belonging a ...more
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
YA Contemporary fiction with a splash of romance. The book is about an adopted senior girl's journey as she goes on a trip to learn about her birth mother. She deals with changing friend dynamics, self discovery, and finding out that your idealized versions of things don't always line up with reality.

As I mentioned, there is a splash of romance but I think if you go into the book for romance you might end up disappointed. While the love interest is great, swoony and worthy, there isn't a resolu
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss
3.5/5 stars

Autofocus is a standalone YA contemporary novel. The narrator is 17 year old Maude.

Maude is in her last year of high school. She is given a very interesting assignment in her photography class about family. Maude is adopted so she is not really sure how to proceed with this project.

What I loved about this book? I loved that photography played such a significant role in this book. Also, I was really fascinated by the adoption aspect of this story. It was very interesting to get into th
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
I don't know where to start with this review. I loved loved this story. It tugged at my heart like no other book has. It dealt with so many issues teens face but one issue in particular that is hardly explored in books is adoption. This struck a chord in my heart because I know a lot of people who have been adopted and when they go to find their birth parents it is not what they envisioned.

Maude is in school and her photography class project is to photograph her family. Only problem is Maude's b
Elliana Maselli
I think Imma give this book 3 stars. I did like it, but there was a lack of...something. Though I’m not really sure what.

Also, not gonna lie, that phrase “I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding” was in here and that costed this book about a half a star lol. Sorry, Shay.

Bennett was by far my favorite fact, maybe he was a little too perfect at times. Also, there are too many letters in that name (sorry to anyone whose name is Bennett out there. This isn’t a dig at you, it’s
May 21, 2021 rated it liked it
not bad, just not a stand out?? though i’m loving the rep <3
Bethany Miller
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: royal
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic
Grades: 9-12
Literary Merit: Good
Characterization: Good
Recommendation: Optional Purchase

When her art teacher assigns a project on family, teen photographer Maude visits her best friend Treena at college and goes in search of information about her birth mother who died during childbirth. Maude discovers new information about her mother and finds that her best friend has changed in the few months that she has been away at college. These revelations lead her to question
Kelly Gunderman
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Check out this and other reviews on my young adult book blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

Autofocus is a contemporary that has a lot going on, including emotions. This isn't a negative thing at all - in fact, I found it to be quite the engaging read because there wasn't a dull moment in the entire book.
"The pictures tell the story - my story."
Maude not only loves photography - she is committed to it. She even longs to be a professional photographer after high school. While
Resch Reads
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

I wanted to love this story; however, I found myself bored and irritated by these characters. Maude is determined and tenacious, but this determination quickly turned to annoyance and pushy. Treena is having some un-diagnosed multiple personality disorder. I can understand going to college and wanting a fresh start but to completely act like an irrational, crazy person is unacceptable. Treena was flaky, self-absorbed, and overall a rude and sh
Jul 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: incomplete
I didn't like the main character, which never bodes well for a book. It made sense that Maude wanted to find out information on her biological mother, but I didn't understand why she wanted to include a complete stranger in a family-focused project for school.

The way she reacted when her teacher announced the project was a bit much in my opinion. She had a loving family at home, and she loved them. It seemed silly when she said she didn't know how to do a project like that because she was adopte
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: won
This was a 2.5 out of 5 stars read for me. I had so many issues with this book, where to begin. Maude is assigned a school project for her photography class to define her family in pictures. Maude is adopted. Her birth mother died when she was born so she feels this assignment should be an exploration into who her mother was. Her mother happened to attend the college where Maude's best friend Treena (who is one year older) is currently attending so what better way to learn about her birth mom th ...more
Jan 05, 2016 added it
I liked this. The love interest was really likable and actually read like a 19 year old boy (in a good way), and it was pretty resonant with me (even though I went to college a million years ago) and the experience I had when someone from "home" visited me there.

The photography metaphor got really heavy handed at the end there, which wasn't really necessary, it the whole theme was pretty obvious.
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a small thing to focus on in such a wholeheartedly lovely, moving story, but can I say how amazing it felt to read a YA book where the main character explicitly has a large/bumpy nose? I love my large, bumpy nose now, but teenage Amanda was so insecure about her nose that she was saving her money for a nose job at 18 (thanks for not going through with it, teenage self!). It would have meant the world to me as a teen to get to know a character with a nose like mine.
Dec 26, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015
This was really sweet, really lovely. Maude was a wholly sympathetic character and I totally shipped her with her love interest. In my head, their story is not done.
The adolescent tone of this novel rarely wavers. (The teenaged characters rely heavily on words like “cool” “okay” and “weird”.) But this is very much the point. The main character is at the age of restlessness and has the wish to spread her wings beyond the place where she has been reared for the last 17 years. Maude’s timidity and uncertainty about her photography skills are laid out convincingly in the early pages; the author lets us know right away what sort of person we’re dealing with here ...more
2 stars
I thought I recognized the name of the author, but ignored it. I ordered it from my town's library and realized that this is the same author who wrote the book The Night We Said Yes, which I didn't exactly enjoy. I decided to take a chance on this one.
Warning! There could be spoilers.
(view spoiler)
I've read "The Night We Said Yes" by this author and I think I liked that book so I was kind of excited about reading a new book written by her. The story seemed okay enough. The first few pages where the main character is going to school, talking to her cool parents and talking to her friend on the phone and making plans about going to find more about her birth mother was nice. I liked that part. But the moment she gets there and the whole my-friend-is-in-college-gosh-she-has-changed-so-much wa ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Maude is given a troubling assignment in her photography class. She has to do a shoot centered on the theme of family. The problem is she's adopted, and her mom died in childbirth. Maude hatches a plan to take a road trip to Tallahassee to visit her friend Treena at college. She can do some research on her mom at the same time. Her mom was a freshman at Florida State University when she learned she was pregnant. Maude soon learns that Treena is too preoccupied with her college life to be much he ...more
Jun 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: signed, owned, ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved how the author was able to shed some light on the idea of how adoption affects the child when the child becomes a teenager. I love how Maude goes on the journey to find more about her birth mother and learns more about herself in the process too gaining additional friends and even a potential boyfriend. I was curious about Treena and Maude's friendship and it made me happy to figure out what happened in the end. I definitely enjoyed the book even though it was a bit of a slow start for m ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
  • Dreamland
  • Keeping the Moon
  • That Summer
  • Someone Like You
  • Bad Girls with Perfect Faces
  • This Lullaby
  • Crazy Messy Beautiful
  • All Our Broken Pieces
  • Maybe This Time
  • Along for the Ride
  • Slated (Slated, #1)
  • Pamiętnik grzecznego psa (Grzeczny pies, #1)
  • The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story
  • Czy wojna jest dla dziewczyn?
  • Niebieski autobus
  • Wojna na pięknym brzegu
  • Wakacje grzecznego psa (Grzeczny pies, #3)
See similar books…
Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT'S STORY (a Night We Said Yes novella), AUTOFOCUS, and THIS TINY PERFECT WORLD, all with HarperTeen / HarperCollins. Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you. ...more

Related Articles

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young...
60 likes · 11 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“There may be no future for us; there's just now. And now is enough.” 2 likes
“I look at him, and he leans forward, touching my arm. "I think it's up to you, to be who you want.” 1 likes
More quotes…