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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding Audrey

Time for a new book review! Thanks to the Easter holidays I can read a lot so that means that I can review some more. The book I'm going to review this time is Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. I've had this book in my hands a couple of times but it wasn't until I saw it in the library that I thought, let's just take it and read it.

Audrey has an anxiety disorder, she doesn't leave her house and doesn't put off her sunglasses. Her sunglasses make sure that the world around her keeps distance, it makes sure she doesn't need to make eye contact with people. If she has to do communicate with other people, she'll get very nervous, stressed out and scared. Her psychologist wants her to try and make more contact with the world she's scared of and for that Audrey needs to film. Film her life and soon film people she doesn't know all too well. It's then that she meets Linus, a friend of her brother. It's also very clear that he won't leave Audrey, he wants to help her. Together they try to take steps and make Audrey comfortable in a world she finds so terrifying. 

You might think it's really weird that I don't take it with me in the store but do take it with me in the library. Well, it does sound a little weird! It's just that I wasn't sure if I'd love this book so much that it was worth it to buy. I was doubting so that's why I decided against it, some weeks ago when I was going to walk out of the library it caught my attention. It's only lending so that's why I decided to try it out and see if I was wrong to doubt. 

But before I'll explain if I was wrong or not, I think it's appropriate to talk a little more about the characters! First of all Audrey! To be honest, she was a great character. I've read books before with people having some sort of disorder yet I found this one a lot more interesting. If that's the right way to put it... It's just that this was something more relatable to my opinion. Also because the psychologist was involved and the book is really concentrated on her disorder and not about the world around her and new adventures. That's also what makes this book a lot more different from other books. 

Now back to Audrey. As I already said in the short synopsis, Audrey hides herself behind her sunglasses and tries to stay inside a lot. It's very clear in the beginning that she's suffering from this disorder and that she's also very fragile. But we will see a big development in this character, she's starting to open up to strange people, in particular to Linus. Ever since that moment a lot of changes come with Audrey, she'll dare to take a step outside of her comfortzone. She will be growing stronger and more sure of herself but her sunglasses are something that she keeps close. 

Also at some point in the book you see that she's getting ahead of herself but only to show others that she can really do it. This kind of bothered me a little because all people who said she was still fragile, were wrong in her point of view. Of course we can also see this as something positive, that she wants to get through it by thinking positive but I didn't see it like that. But Audrey is a character who you could really relate to which is something great since she's the main character!

The second character that I'll discuss is Linus since also he is a very important person in this book. First of all maybe what his relationship is with this family: Linus is a friend of Audrey's younger brother Frank. Now we understand this we can go on with Linus. He's important because he wants to help Audrey. He wants her to heal and not to have this disorder any longer. The way he tries to help her is very personal and very beautiful, in my opinion. Their first meetup wasn't the best one and Linus really felt guilty, that's why they start writing little notes to each other and that way they start communicating. Ever since that moment Linus wants to be involved with the process she's making. I really enjoyed the presence of Linus because it was nice to see how much he wanted to help and also to see how he was trying to help. It all starts really innocent though... 

Two other characters that I need to discuss are Audrey's mother and Frank. These two characters... they're hilarious! Because Audrey stays home, Audrey's mom took some time off from her work. Now she's kind of bored at home and she reads the Daily Mail, she's obsessed with it and she believes everything that's in it. This causes her mother to take things way to serious and this makes her also go crazy! So crazy she'll work it out on her son Frank. 

Frank does not like this at all. He's a gamer and wants to join the championship of LOC (this is the game he plays). His mother read that gaming was bad and that it'd make someone more dumb, etc so now she keeps checking on Frank: is he gaming? How much does he game? Is he gaming again? And so on but this causes tension between the two and make sure they have many fights. His mom just goes crazy at a certain moment, I'm telling you guys you'll laugh so hard! This craziness and humor makes sure that the topic of the book comes a lot easier and is also a lot lighter to read. The humor therefore is a very important aspect.

Which brings me to the story line as already mentioned Audrey needs to film her life and interview other people. She's walking around almost constantly with the camera, and when she wants to film... it can be on a very inappropriate time. What I mean with this is that Audrey starts filming when her parents are having a rather more awkward-for-the-daughter conversation. And she has a lot of these moments which make it funny to read this. And so there are many more elements that I could tell to convince you this book is really funny! 

Next to humor there are also other feels that come around such as: fierceness, frustration, love and hate. Let me explain the latter! Audrey won't tell us what has happened that caused her to get this disorder, she only tells us that she doesn't go outside anymore. This means that she doesn't meet up with friends anymore and somewhere in the story we do get to see a friend again. She's just a little naive and thought Audrey has something far more worse going on. This causes me to hate her a little because she thinks that this isn't all too bad. I live up with the emotions that Audrey is sending us. This is however a great asset to this story! It really pulls you in and you feel what the character feels. 

Something else that needs to be told for the plot is that it will show you how Audrey gets stronger, how she has a relapse and gets all anxious again. The book just represents a rather more realistic version of how someone's proces goes: ups and downs. That's also what I really liked in this story, the realistic perspective. 

Now the creative part in this book because there are a bunch of them! First of all, Audrey often takes time to really talk to the person who's reading this. She will assume things of you, she will tell things to you "personally", she will say things but also hide things because she thinks it's not important to tell. I really enjoyed this, I've never read a book where a character directs itself to the reader so this was really refreshing. 

The second creative thing in this book was that some conversations of her filming will be told in a screenplay kinda way and I liked that aspect too. And the last thing worth mentioning is probably the fact that the little notes send between her and Linus are really presented as notes in the book. So I was really surprised by this! I absolutely adore the cover, it's the first thing that pulled me to this story but really reading it and seeing more creative things really make this a great book! 

Now my verdict? I'm not disappointed that I didn't buy the book myself. Sure it was a great book with great characters! It has a good plot that's realistic but will be lightning the mood by its humor and other feels and has a very nice lay-out. But I don't regret not buying it because it isn't going to compete with the books I wanted more badly. That doesn't mean I didn't like reading this book! I absolutely loved this book and I do recommend it! If I did buy it, I wouldn't have been disappointed at all! So if you were doubting too, go check out a library and pick it up! Or go buy a copy, whatever you prefer! I'm pretty sure you'll also sink into this story of Audrey trying to find Audrey! I hope you guys enjoy is as much as I did!

"It won't be forever. You'll be in the dark for as long as it takes and then you'll come out."

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