Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
Reader, I am sad. And reader? I’m disappointed.
I was so excited when I found out that Sophie Kinsella was writing a children’s book about mental health. I’ve probably read Can You Keep a Secret? about ten times… it’s my go-to book when I’m sad or ill.
But, unfortunately, this book fell short for me.
Audrey was an OK character but she often got waaay overshadowed by her big brother and her mum. We didn’t really get to see who Audrey was and it just seemed that the whole of the story was Audrey reacting to things that her family did. She was, quite literally, behind the scenes for about two thirds of this book. I just feel that Kinsella missed a trick with this because it would have been great to see what Audrey was like and see a bit more of her as opposed to just her family.
I think this might be the only YA book where the mum was the most memorable character and I don’t think that’s a good thing.
And I think it’s a bit random that we actually never found out what happened to Audrey to bring on her anxiety. There are some things that you can get away with leaving up to the reader to decide but I don’t think this is something that falls into that category. It’s a major plot hole and I got really frustrated because it doesn’t make sense for her not to mention what happened.
END OF SPOILER.
I liked Audrey’s interactions with her therapist and it was great to see how she struggles with her mental health and how it affects her life. It was great to read a book about a character who actively seeks to get help, even if the road isn’t always easy. I also really enjoyed the relationship between Audrey and Linus, her brother’s best friend, because it showed pretty well what it’s like to have a mental health problem and how sometimes, not everyone can understand what you’re going through and how frustrating that can be.
One good thing about this is that I think a lot of people will read this book because it’s written by Sophie Kinsella and that means more people will read a book about mental health. And that can never be a bad thing. It’s great to see high profile books dealing with an issue that is still not talked about and classed as a taboo.
So this book wasn’t for me but, you know what? It was a cute book. It was sweet. And it was unchallenging. It was fine. I think I was just expecting this book to be more.
I received a copy of this book from the publishers.