Love Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series? Check out my Finding Audrey book review and find out how the novel tackles mental health in teenagers.
I enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series so Finding Audrey was a safe bet. Even so, I didn’t think I’d be doing a Finding Audrey book review as they seemed to be everywhere but after devouring it in two sittings I couldn’t resist!
A common problem surrounding mental health in teen fiction is that it can often be trivialised. Often, life-limiting conditions are solved with cute boy or holiday which is far from the truth. Though it is a boy that drags Audrey from her shell, it does follow reality a little more closely.
Audrey doesn’t just meet a new boy and is suddenly cured. Her recovery is a slow one and she experiences set backs and minor victories. The book is written to entertain young people, so was never going to go into the really ugly moments in mental health recovery, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Audrey has been badly bullied which brought to light some extreme underlying mental health issues. She no longer leaves the house (apart from to go to hospital) and always wears her dark glasses, even around her bonkers family. Meanwhile her mum and brother are constantly warring over video games.
The story is funny, like most of Sophie Kinsella’s work! It’s not so funny that you forget the bigger issues and it strikes the balance between humour and sincerity. At the big turning point, you see the realities of humanity, not the outcome that she deserves. My experiences with bullying still effect me and I appreciate that Audrey’s weren’t dramatised or flippantly done away with.
Finding Audrey, is a great starting point for young people wanting to read about mental health. I’d love to read more YA fiction tackling mental health as successfully as Finding Audrey – leave me any recommendations down below!