Finding Audrey follows the story of Audrey who suffers from severe social anxiety as well as depression. Audrey can’t leave the house and the only people she really talks to at the start of the book are her family and her therapist who challenges her to conduct interviews with people and get out of her comfort zone. I was super excited to finally be able to read a book that so openly talks about anxiety and depression but especially a book that talks about the true reality of mental health.
Finding Audrey had a lot of truth for me. It reflected fourteen year old me and the struggle I faced with anxiety and depression. I wish I could say I was better but the truth is you have highs and lows just like Audrey and that is the sad reality of living with a mental illness. I found this book super fascinating and I 100% Recommend it to everyone.
WHAT I LOVED
The story mainly focuses on Audrey but it also shows her relationship with her family as well as Linus her brothers best friend and her love interest. I really loved the dynamic between all the characters and I also really appreciated seeing how understanding and caring her family were as it reminded me of my own parents (I really wish this was the reality for everyone.)
I enjoyed how Kinsella really for me personally broke a lot of the stigma of mental illness. I think a lot of people have this idea that anxiety and depression can only be real if you suffer 24/7. That of course is 100% false. From personal experience I can say that some days you feel great and others you feel at your lowest. Kinsella did not wash over the subject of mental health and she really showed the ugly side to it which I think is amazing for educating people who don’t necessarily understand it and also those who maybe trivialise how serious it actually is.
WHAT I DIDN’T LOVE
One element of the book I really questioned was whether the story was romanticising mental health. For me it did seem to at points fall down the trope of love curing all including illnesses. I don’t have a problem with there being romantic elements in this book because of course a mental illness doesn’t mean you can’t fall in love however I think it could have been executed better. I think at points it did seem as if Audrey was only progressing and getting better because of Linus and not because of her own personal strength and willingness which did bother me slightly.
Nevertheless I really really enjoyed this book and still thought is was well deserving of 5 stars despite it’s flaws. I think this is an incredible educational and thought provoking book that everyone should read. I am so happy that mental illnesses and mental health are being more openly talked about in media and finally people are starting to see that it should not be such a taboo subject.