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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  408 ratings  ·  112 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by HarperTeen
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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(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 more
“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
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 family?”

Maude was torn as these
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
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.
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
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
I DNFed The Night We Said Yes and I was tempted to DNF this, too. Maude is exceptionally dull, despite her attempts to explain, otherwise.

Maude is adopted. When her photography teacher assigns the class a portfolio (aka: a family tree) to show what family means to them, she’s reminded of what she lacks. The story of her birth mother. As her biological mother insisted upon a closed adoption, she goes to Tallahassee for more information on her and to visit her best friend at college, Treena.

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
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
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
Stacey Lee
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Budding photographer & artist Maude goes to Tallahassee to spend time with her best friend Treena who is now in college, but also to learn about her deceased-birth mother. But Treena has changed, and Maude finds herself relying on Bennett, one of Treena's friends, to find the story of her mother's past. A modern romance and a tale of the evolution of friendship that authentically and effortlessly captures the journey to self discovery. Loved this quiet, charming, book.
Bethany Miller
Nov 10, 2016 rated it liked it
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 she is taking a
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
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
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 ...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 ...more
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 ...more
Jun 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: signed, owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, ebook
I couldn't connect with the main character in this. The writing was very basic and the dialogue didn't ring true. There was a bizarre line about a character now having legs after she put on weight? (Pretty sure skinny people have legs too.) Also, I don't understand why you'd have two characters called Tree and Trey.

Oh, and it bothered me when Treena was off-her-face drunk and kicked Maude out so Trey could sleep over. When Maude was like, "Um, maybe you're not in the best place to be making
Mariah Bassett
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
First I want to say that this author is amazing. I loved her first YA and this one is just as good. I can't wait for her third one!
(When I wrote this, I was only on page 118, but I couldn't wait to finish it before reviewing)
So Maude and Bennett. LOVE THEM, SO CUTE. I relate to Maude in almost everyway.
except the adopted part. (Similar personality, love photography, loner, etc.)
Treena and Trey... Well theeey.. can go away. But I guess the book wouldn't be it without them. But aside from
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
3,5 stars
the story was probably a little mediocre (I mean, really, looking for information about a biological parent...), but the execution really got me into it. The author made the plot interesting and kept me reading. It wasn't the best thing I've ever read, but it was pretty good. And while it was not exactly a four-star-read, I've found that I cannot give it three stars, either - so I put in four, but really, it is truly somewhere in the middle.
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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.
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“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
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