From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain. 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.
Fourteen-year-old Audrey is battling anxiety and after an unpleasant incident at her school, stays home with her colorful family. She loves them and knows they're only looking out for her but that doesn't make her plight any easier. Her way of coping is wearing dark glasses and of course going to weekly therapy sessions with Dr. Sarah. Then one of her brother's computer gaming friends reaches out to her and tries to help her make the jump back outside. What follows is a hilarious at times romp through Audrey's life while she tries to make the leap back into the 'normal' world. But then again what exactly is normal?
What worked? Loved this voice so much. This family's struggles and conflicts are so realistic down to the mother HATING computer gaming to the point of threatening to throw her son's laptop over the ledge, to a teen's way of coping with a bullying incident at school, and of course, a chance at romance. Mix all these together and you get a hilarious at times story.
Audrey's anxiety disorder is very believable. Unlike some novels that only dwell on the negative aspects, the author shows her own unique twist which gives readers a heroine to cheer for.
Linus, her brother's gaming partner, is intrigued with Audrey. I love how he doesn't push her too much but is able to pull back her mask a little at a time.
The family is totally hilarious to the borderline neurotic mother who uses her extra time to stress over EVERYTHING. Audrey's older brother handles his mother's dislike of gaming in typical teen fashion with a dash of humor. Omg, on the one scene where the mother wants him to do something else besides gaming and has him go on a run. The aftermath is hilarious.
None of these characters are cardboard individuals. They have vulnerabilities like Audrey's overwhelming fear to leave her house after an experience at her school to how the father relates to everything going around them. The real beauty though is when Audrey decides to face her demons even though the thought of leaving her house and confronting one of her bullies makes her sick to her stomach. She's the one that makes that choice.
A fun mixture of humor, psychological insight, family dymanics, and having the faith to rise above a bad experience. Guaranteed to make you laugh and want the best for Audrey.
2. Hilarious. I dare anyone to read some of these passages with a straight face!
lots of heart
I think this is one of Kinsella's finest books. There is so much heart, struggle, and soul to this book. Mental illness is really difficult to capture, but I think this was a great snapshot of a young woman adjusting to her new reality and slowly growing (on a jagged graph of improvement). The story has serious moments and funny moments and moments that will just take your breath away. I was really touched by the story and the growth of a whole family making the slow path to healing after diagnosis. It is pretty light hearted overall but you get glimpses of the struggle that is so real. The book begins after diagnosis and medication/hospitalization so it isn't the darkest moments but it captures the everyday struggle. The love story is so sweet but really secondary to the family growth/love in my opinion and it just makes the book stronger. I'd highly recommend this book.