My rating: 5 of 5 stars
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
Beware spoilers ahead!
I’m going to be honest here. I don’t really know anything about Social Anxiety. There is one person that I do know who has Social Anxiety. She did say that yes she has breakdowns and episodes but aside from that we didn’t talk about it. We usually talked about other topics so it didn’t really occur to me to ask any questions I might have had at the time. Going into this book I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into. When I first saw it I thought that Audrey would be ‘cured’ once she started a relationship with Linus. I came across Emily May’s review and found that my assumption was wrong. Audrey does not get instantly ‘cured’ because of her relationship with Linus. After some thought I decided that this book was worth investing in (not to say that you should buy it). And I was really happy that I did buy it!
Back when Audrey was in her previous school there was an incident that involved three girls in which she finds out that she has Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, and Depressive Episodes. Since then her parents transferred her out of said school and transferred her into a different school. She has been spending her time catching up on the school work. The new school has told her parents that it is best to start the school year later on. As you can see on the cover that she wears these sunglasses. She wears them as a means of protection. It’s to difficult for her to star into people’s eyes. She can’t talk to any strangers. This is the beginning of the book. As the story progresses she does improve.
The book begins with her mother claiming that she will throw her sons laptop because he is addicted to video games. The readers are then taken to a month earlier so we can see what led up to her throwing her son’s laptop. Her mother is addicted to reading the daily mail. She reads it everyday and believes all of it. So when reads about video games addiction she is convinced that her son Frank is addicted.
When Linus comes over she makes Frank stop playing Land of Conquers. She proposes that the boys play another game. They settle on a game and disappear downstairs. Audrey is with her mother in the kitchen saying that the game they choice won’t be fun as a two player. Her mother then descends downstairs so that she can play with them. Meanwhile Audrey is calmly eating some Oreos’. Her mother finds that Frank and Linus are still playing on the computer (the new game they settled upon) and start yelling at Frank. In the midst of this Linus makes his way into the kitchen and says hi to Audrey. On the verge of a panic attack she leaves the kitchen. Her and Linus do make up later on.
The readers never figure out what exactly happened between Audrey and those three girls. In the beginning I did want to know but after finishing the book I realized that it doesn’t matter what happened. As Audrey explains in the book she does not have to tell the audience what happened. Instead you are shown how said incident has affected her and her family.
Throughout this book Audrey recovers with the help of Linus, her family and her motivation to get better. By the end of the book she has stopped wearing her sunglasses and she doesn’t have panic attacks when exiting the house nor when talking to strangers. Readers also read about Audrey’s visits to Dr. Sarah. Dr. Sarah assigns Audrey these projects that helped with her recovery. Linus started challenging Audrey to talk to strangers by asking them questions. Of course her family supported her and cared for her.
My favourite part about this book was the relationships between the characters and how much they all grew from their experiences. All the characters were realistic as well as their struggles. Despite how crazy Audrey’s mother comes off as in the beginning of the book she is very loving. Even if a bit on the eccentric side. Audrey’s struggles were real and how she reacted to situations were realistic as well. I liked how you get the impression that Audrey was talking to you. It was also really fun to read about her filming her family. The relationship between Audrey and Linus was sweet. I really loved how understanding Linus was. Felix (Audrey’s four year old brother) was a doll and so much fun to read about! Out of all the characters Frank’s growth surprised me the most. It was extremely enjoyable to read about Audrey’s recovery.
Amongst all the books that I have read Finding Audrey had the best family dynamics! And it was so funny! It’s been awhile since I have laughed out loud when reading a book. This was a sweet and touching read. I will definitely look out for more books by this author. I recommend this to everybody!