Grace (BURTSBOOKS)'s Reviews > Finding Audrey

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
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it was ok
bookshelves: reviewed

This is the worst book I’ve ever read.

Okay, objectively I know that I’ve read much worse books. The writing and plot of this book are not the worst I’ve ever read and it’s readable unlike some other books I’ve read but I didn’t hate those as much as I hate this. I hate this book. And yes, I know hate is a strong word and I shouldn’t waste my energy on hating a book when that energy could go to reading books that I will end up loving but this book hurt me. This book offended me so deeply and there’s no other word to use. I hate it. I hate the way it’s made me feel.

Finding Audrey is about a girl who is so crippled by her anxiety that she can’t leave her house. She hasn’t been to school in months because of extenuating circumstances, hasn’t talked to any of her classmates or friends, can’t even look her family members in the eye… until she meets her brother’s friend, Linus and then she magically gets better…. Or something.

I really thought I was going to relate to this book.

Tragically, I was recommended this book by my therapist, who I was seeing for anxiety…. So, yeah, I was expecting this book to be good rep and hopefully give me some sort of comfort and a story to look to for hope when my anxiety got the best of me. I didn’t get that. This book is a sorry excuse for representation and I can not believe how atrociously the author handled this topic.

I think it goes without saying that the ‘boy fixes girl’ trope is over done and highly problematic and just unrealistic. Not to mention in this book it makes absolutely no sense. It all happens so fast; you can’t even call what Audrey goes through development. The plot progression is stilted and the character development suffers because of it. For example, one minute, Audrey can’t talk to Linus at all, doesn’t want him in the house and has to write notes in order to speak to him and the next they’re making out. I’m not joking, on the same exact page she can’t look at him and then one paragraph later they are swapping spit. Or, she can’t leave the house and then she’s going to Starbucks. Granted she does panic over this. The whole way to Starbucks she’s panicking and then we get to Starbucks and she can easily talk to the barista without so much as a batted eye…. I don’t get it. Or even better, Linus tells her to go talk to random people at Starbucks and she just does it…? And then feels better afterwards and can do it again and again. I’m sorry but that’s not how anxiety works. Just because you manage to do something that causes you anxiety once doesn’t mean the anxiety goes away the next time you try to do it… it’s always there and portraying it as this thing that can be so easily overcome is really insensitive.

Not to mention, we don’t get to know Linus at all. I’m not kidding, I couldn’t even tell you if he has any siblings. All we know is that he plays video games and he’s Audrey’s brothers friend. His literal only purpose is to “fix” Audrey. He’s only there to kiss her and tell her to talk to random people and congratulations, she’s cured.

I really don’t understand why people like this book…. Not only is it terrible representation, it’s just not interesting and the writing is bland. Yes, this is just my opinion and you can like what you like but why?

So yeah. I wish I never read this book. Even though I understand that this book is unrealistic and wrong, it really pains me that a lot of people younger than me will go into this book expecting representation and a form of hope and come out with 1) an unrealistic expectation that one person can cure you 2) an even more unrealistic expectation that recovery will be fast and seamless.

This is just so so wrong. 1) Romance is already so toxic in a lot of media forms and the idea that a romantic interest (in this case, like most cases, a man) can fix something as ingrained as anxiety is a terrifying and damaging idea to be perpetuating to young girls. 2) Anxiety, like all mental illness, is life long struggle and it doesn’t just go away. Our anxieties will always be there, they are a part of life but as we recover, we learn how to deal with our anxieties more and I wish YA authors understood this better. Just once I want a book about a realistic recovery. I want to read about a character learning how to live their best life and learning ways to deal with their mental illness in healthy and careful ways… I don’t want to read about someone being fixed by some dude. I want them to learn how to help themselves and in turn help readers learn to help themselves.
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2017 – Shelved
January 24, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 24, 2017 – Started Reading
March 25, 2017 –
page 11
3.93%
March 25, 2017 –
page 11
3.93%
March 25, 2017 –
page 50
17.86%
April 8, 2017 –
page 210
75.0%
April 9, 2017 – Finished Reading
January 15, 2018 – Shelved as: reviewed

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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Alice Yup not only is the situation to how she became anxious was never explained she also got magically cured from EXTREMELY SEVERE anxiety super quickly.


message 2: by Audrey (new)

Audrey That's a generous rating.


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Alice wrote: "Yup not only is the situation to how she became anxious was never explained she also got magically cured from EXTREMELY SEVERE anxiety super quickly."

Yeah seriously there were so many things wrong with this I feel like I barely covered any of it


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Audrey wrote: "That's a generous rating."

It's more a 1.5. I gave it a two because it was readable and back when I read it almost a year ago I was super generous with my ratings all the time and I feel weird changing it now


Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿ Yeah, that sounds legitimately awful. Too bad, I kept seeing this book around.


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Nina ✿ Looseleaf Reviews ✿ wrote: "Yeah, that sounds legitimately awful. Too bad, I kept seeing this book around."

Same I saw it everywhere before I read it. I was expecting so much more


Kelsey I felt the same way and I felt that it was more about how Frank couldn't stop playing video games than anxiety. I was not okay with the anxiety representation and we never found out what the traumatic event really was. I listened to the audio book and was so frustrated at the end!


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Kelsey wrote: "I felt the same way and I felt that it was more about how Frank couldn't stop playing video games than anxiety. I was not okay with the anxiety representation and we never found out what the trauma..."

Yeah seriously this book had no focus and over all just super furstratin to read about


message 9: by noor (new)

noor This book looks awful, I’ve seen SO many negative reviews and it seems like the worst portrayal of anxiety that I’ve probably seen anywhere :(


Nawal Didn't even tell what happened with Audrey at school


message 11: by Caye (new) - rated it 2 stars

Caye I 100% agree. And, damn. To think your therapist believed that this book might be of help. Has he/she actually read it??? I'd find another therapist if I were you. (1/2 kidding)

I'm sorry this book turned anxiety into some kind of joke. The whole thing is horribly misrepresented. I'm selling my copy after reading it lol


message 12: by Lily (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lily McShane The thing with anxiety is, everyone has it differently. So a lot of the time you'll find that you are basing your opinion on anxiety representation on your own experiences. Some people will read this book and one hundred percent relate to Audrey. Others (like myself) will be able to relate to a few characteristics whereas many may not relate to Audrey at all, depending on their own experiences. Although we try to keep an open mind, we can't help but compare it to ourselves a little bit. So any book that has a representation of a mental illness will have mixed reviews. I hear your points and understand where you're coming from. But I think Linus was really something that aided her recovery, he didn't completely magically 'fix' her. Perhaps someone like Linus was just what she needed. Remember Audrey hadn't suffered from anxiety before hand. It was triggered from an awful event at school. This is perhaps why she recovered more quickly than others that have dealt with anxiety for their whole life. I think Audrey really liked Linus's gentle approach and she surprised herself when she was able to warm to him quickly. Also remember that she did fancy him and that was evident straight from the start of the book. So she did have an interest in him and had a wish to be able to talk to him which perhaps helped her push past her fears a bit more. I don't think this is a very complex book so if you're looking for a really deep and meaningful read, this isn't the one. It's a fun, sweet, warm and comfy read. Personally, I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. I just loved Audrey's character. If you're looking for a really sweet and lovely book, this is the one :)


Jennifer I have anxiety and depression myself and I just found it offensive that the author made it feel like she was cured of all her worries and depression after she feel in love with a boy ughhh it frustrated me soooo much! Also all the side characters were sooo stereotypical. I just don’t think you can just get over trauma like that just because of a boy... Stuff like that just doesn’t go away. It’s been like a 1 or so since I read it but still bothers me


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) noor wrote: "This book looks awful, I’ve seen SO many negative reviews and it seems like the worst portrayal of anxiety that I’ve probably seen anywhere :("

Its atroscious andit pisses me off that soooooooo many huge booktubers and reviewers have recommended this because it's actually terrible and it hurt my feelings


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Nawal wrote: "Didn't even tell what happened with Audrey at school"

right! apart from the fact that the rep sucked the writing was just bad


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Caye wrote: "I 100% agree. And, damn. To think your therapist believed that this book might be of help. Has he/she actually read it??? I'd find another therapist if I were you. (1/2 kidding)

I'm sorry this boo..."


No my therapist never read this book and yes I have gotten a new one..... that was a bad time lol.

The rep in this book is tragic and I continue to be hurt by it


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Lily wrote: "The thing with anxiety is, everyone has it differently. So a lot of the time you'll find that you are basing your opinion on anxiety representation on your own experiences. Some people will read th..."

I think it's evident by my review that I disagree. My problems with this book aren't the fact that I don't relate to Audrey. She's a 14 year old girl; I wasn't expecting to compare myself to her; it isn't about relating, it's about the message this book is sending to its readers about social anxiety. If Sophie Kinsella wants to write cute and funny books that are more for fun than profound messages, she shouldn't be writing a novel that's main plot points all have to deal with mental illness. If you're going to write about a topic you need to make sure that it isn't a hurtful misrepresentation. Not everyone has to relate to it but I shouldn't have to read a book that disresptects my illness.


Grace (BURTSBOOKS) Jennifer wrote: "I have anxiety and depression myself and I just found it offensive that the author made it feel like she was cured of all her worries and depression after she feel in love with a boy ughhh it frust..."

exactly!!!!


Saily I don’t understand why people love this book. I think Kinsella started off right with an accurate depiction of anxiety and how paralyzing that is, but the whole recovery is unrealistic. She’s had months of therapy to work up to one task and she doesn’t do it on her own but because of a boy? A love interest? Not to mention the family and how annoying they all were I don’t see how they’re helping matters. It had potential but it became a disaster. As someone whose gone to therapy for anxiety I was hoping for a better rep


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