Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Character Voices

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This week is freebie week for Top Ten Tuesday! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week I’m going to feature some books with strong character voices that I really connected with.

1. Adam (The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten)

I read this novel very recently and Adam’s character and his voice really made this book for me. He’s probably one of my favourite protagonists of all time and I couldn’t stop rooting for him.

2. Simon (Carry On by Rainbow Rowell)

Another one of my favourite characters, I mostly love Simon because of his voice. He’s so incredibly funny and adorable, and I sped through this 500 page book because Simon’s voice was so great. I also really loved Baz’s voice too!

3. Todd (Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness)

The thing that you notice immediately when you read the Chaos Walking trilogy is Todd’s voice and the unique writing in the book. It’s very distinctive and really shows who Todd is as a character.

4. Max (Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali)

The thing that made Max such a wonderful book for me was the main character, Max’s, voice. He’s arrogant and vocal about his opinions but that’s kind of why I love him. His character and personality really come through his voice and it was just so interesting to read from the perspective of a fetus and really young child.

5. Solomon (Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley)

Solomon is an agoraphobic who hasn’t left his house in over three years. But that doesn’t make him a boring character. He was such a funny and interesting person and that really came through in his voice. I thought the writing in this book was super strong.

6. Simon (Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)

Simon is hilarious. He’s somebody that you automatically connect with from the very first chapter. He has a great personality and his voice is extremely relatable.

7. Audrey (Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella)

Audrey is a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety and depression but she doesn’t come across that way in the book because her voice is so unique and interesting. You can feel her anxiety and shyness but at the same time, you also can feel that she’s a sarcastic and fun-loving character.

8. Frankie (Frankie by Shivaun Plozza)

If you’re looking for a spunky character with lots of sass and attitude, Frankie is the girl for you. Her voice is feisty and sassy and makes her a character who you can’t turn away from.

9. Allyson (Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

Allyson can seem like a little bit of a bland character to some, but to me, she’s so full of life and her voice was completely relatable. I really connected with her character and I thought her voice was really, really strong.

10. Alice (The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard)

In this novel, Alice has been through a traumatic incident and now has trouble expressing herself verbally. So she writes poetry to express herself. This book was super interesting and had a great mix of prose and poetry. Alice’s voice and personality was so unique and strong in this book, and is the main reason why I loved it so much!


What are some of your favourite character voices?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Made Me Chuckle

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today, I’m sharing ten books that made me laugh. I don’t really read a lot of funny books but here are ten that are on my shelves.

1. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On was one of my favourite books of last year and it was because it was so incredibly funny! The characters and their relationships were wonderful but the humour was also a massive standout for me. It was just a really enjoyable and lighthearted read.

2. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

This is a book about anxiety and depression but, like most of Sophie Kinsella’s other books, it was full of funny moments. If you see this novel at the bookstore, I highly recommend just reading the first scene. It was absolutely hilarious!

3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

If you love Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory and all of his hilarious awkwardness, you will love Don in The Rosie Project. They have the same social awkwardness and it was just so funny to watch him navigate his first experience of falling in love.

4. The Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty

This isn’t supposed to be a funny trilogy but it’s set in the most magical and whimsical world that was full of quirks, and a joy to read.

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

This series is adventurous and thrilling but it also has a whole load of funny moments. Percy’s voice is just so great to read from and I laughed out loud at some many things that he said and thought.

6. The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

This book is set during one afternoon and night at a sci-fi convention. It’s full of crazy antics and was just so funny to read. I loved everything that happened and all of the outlandish moments.

7. Denton Little’s Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Despite the ominous sounding title, this book was surprisingly funny. In this world, everybody knows their deathdate and there are all these crazy preparations and events that happen before the deathdate. It was all super crazy but really entertaining to read about.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This is another book that isn’t intended to be funny but it features a big, crazy family with lots of young children. I chuckled so many times as I read this book and it’s impossible to fall in love with baby Patsy and the insanely paranoid 4 year old, George.

9. YOLO Juliet by Brett Wright

This is Romeo and Juliet written in the form of text messages. I have to admit that not everything worked – there were just some bits that were kinda boring, and some things that just didn’t make sense as a text message – but there were lots of really funny messages and I really enjoyed the reading experience.

10. THE HATERS by Jesse Andrews

This is the novel that I’m currently reading. I wasn’t a fan of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and I think you just have to be a certain kind of person to connect with Jesse Andrews’ books and humour. But there were some bits in this book that I found to be funny and laughed at.


What are some of your favourite funny books?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Every Budding Psychologist Should Read

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the group over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week I thought I’d feature some books about various mental illnesses that I think are very well handled.

1. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

This book deals with depression and teen suicide very well. It was one of my favourite YA releases of last year and just one of my favourite mental illness YA novels.

2. When We Collided by Emery Lord

The main character in this book suffers from bipolar disorder and I thought the disorder was very well represented in this novel. Both the depression and mania aspects were handled well and it’s probably the best novel about bipolar disorder that I’ve read so far.

3. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

This one is an absolute tear-jerker. But it’s completely worth it. Like if you want a good punch in the feels, read this one. But there are a whole heap of trigger warnings: self-harm, suicide, rape, emotional abuse, child abuse… the list goes on.

4. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey is about a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe anxiety and depression. Despite its heavy themes, it’s actually quite a funny and lighthearted read. It’s super relatable and a highly enjoyable read.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This novel is confronting but so well written and conceptualised. It’s dark and hard-hitting but so worth the read. It’s written in epistolary format and definitely one that you should dive into and experience for yourself.

6. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

This novel deals with schizophrenia and is a great one to read if you’re looking to transition from YA to adult. The writing is impactful and you get a really good sense of schizophrenia and how it affects those suffering from it from just the main character’s voice.

7. Paperweight by Meg Haston

Paperweight is about eating disorders and is set at an institution for eating disorders. The author herself has previously battled an eating disorder and I thought the setting and how eating disorders were represented were really authentic.

8. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

This is another one of my favourite books about depression and suicide ideation. I really liked the characters in this novel and connected with them straight away. I liked how suicide ideation was explored in this book and it stood out from all of the other books I’ve read that deal with teen suicide.

9. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

I wasn’t enamoured by the first half of this book but it came home really strongly. Another book about depression and suicide (gosh, I just love these sad books), I thought it was really unique and I enjoyed the combination of LGBTQ+, mental illness and sci-fi elements in this one a lot!

10. Dreamology by Lucy Keating

This one isn’t really about mental illness but I liked the dream and consciousness aspects of Dreamology a lot. It wasn’t the best and I’d say that it was halfway there because most of those dream elements weren’t actually resolved. It felt like the author didn’t know where to go and didn’t want to do the research so she took the easy way out and decided not to explain ANYTHING. But I still thought it was a unique and interesting concept.


Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That I Love But Haven’t Talked About Enough

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, there is a topic and bloggers create a list based on that topic. This week’s theme is books that I loved but haven’t talked about enough.

1. The Colours of Madeleine trilogy by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is an Australian YA fantasy trilogy and I absolutely loooove it. I’ve actually talked about this book quite a bit over on Happy Indulgence, where I reviewed all three of the books. But I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much I love the series, on this blog! The first two books were good but the final book, which came out in February, was AMAZING. This series is like a wonderful mix of contemporary and fantasy elements. It’s magical, colourful, funny and exciting, and I highly recommend it.

2. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is a book that I enjoyed so much that I was scared to review it. Which sucks, because you guys probably didn’t know that it’s currently one of my favourite books of the year so far. This is a Romeo and Juliet story about forbidden love. Cluck and Lace come from rival families and fall in love. Their romance was soooo great and is definitely one you can root for! There’s magical realism in this book, which just speaks to my soul.

3. Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I’ve recommended this one a few people individually but I thought I needed to profess my love for this book in this post. Just One Day is my favourite of all of Gayle Forman’s books. If you were disappointed with I Was Here (don’t worry, I was too) and you didn’t love If I Stay as much as you thought you would, I recommend her Just One Day duology! Both Just One Day and Just One Year are fantastic! The epilogue novella, Just One Night, was also absolutely amazing. If you want a great coming of age story with lots of travel, please check out this duology!

4. Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

I’ve given both of Robyn Schneider’s books 5 stars. Severed Heads, Broken Hearts (aka The Beginning of Everything) was amazing, but I enjoyed this one even more. It was bittersweet and fun, with lots of amazing characters. It had the fun, as well as the depth, and I thought it was a really well-balanced story.

5. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything is the epitome of a great contemporary novel. It has intriguing and relatable characters, realistic friendships and romances and it actually explores the issues that it sets out to explore. On top of that, there’s a lot of mention of pizza in this book, which just warms my heart.

6. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Last year, I read a whole pile of books about teen suicide, all at the same time. My Heart and Other Black Holes was one of the standouts (along with The Last Time We Say Goodbye, which topped the list). Forget All the Bright Places. Forget I Was Here. My Heart and Other Black Holes is where it’s at! What I think it has that the ever popular All the Bright Places doesn’t, is an accurate representation of depression and suicide. All the Bright Places kind of shocked me into liking it with all of the emotions and feels (when honestly it wasn’t even that great). My Heart and Other Black Holes really sucked me in with the writing and the realism, and it received a 5 star rating from me because it was a great book, and not because it shocked me into loving it.

7. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

I don’t think I can explain why I loved Finding Audrey as much as I did. It was just a really adorable and funny book about anxiety that still managed to portray it well. The characters were hilarious and I loved the format of the book. I also liked that it wasn’t a ‘love cures all’ kind of book. It was just wonderful!

8. What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I always seem to talk about My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, but I love What I Thought Was True almost just as much. The characters are wonderful and the love interest is a super nice guy. What more could you ask for from a contemporary romance? It also has a lovely summer setting and you will just absolutely fall in love with. As with all of Huntley’s books, the writing is beautiful to read and your eyeballs will sign with happiness!

9. Every Day by David Levithan

This is one of my favourite LGBTQ+ books. There are so many diverse characters in Every Day and I appreciated all the representation that was in this novel. Every Day has a really intriguing premise and I enjoyed every single page of this book. I cannot wait for the sequel to come out!

10. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This is one that everybody loves, so I probably don’t need to profess my love for it. But I’ve realised that I rarely talk about how much I loved it. It was a wonderfully conceptualised and crafted world that you can’t help but be sucked into. I loved most of the characters and were really intrigued by them. Most of all, I just really want Kell’s coat. I’ve been putting off reading AGOS because I really want to reread the last third of this book to refresh my memory first. But I hear people raving about AGOS left and right, so I might just jump straight into it.


Are any of these books on your favourites list? Which ones have I convinced you to pick up? XD

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

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Another Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week’s topic is top debut authors who have me looking forward to their next release. I have ten 2015 debut authors to share, so let’s get started.

1. Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my all-time favourite contemporaries! It’s a light and adorable read, with a really important message. It’s an absolutely fantastic LGBTQ+ book that I think all young readers would enjoy!

2. Nicola Yoon

There was so much hype surrounding this YA debut and I loved it just as much as everybody else seemed to. It was creative and had lots of wonderful illustrations in it. Hopefully Nicola’s next book is just as wonderful as Everything Everything!

3. Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not was a book that gave me all the feels. I cried like a baby when the book was over and immediately wanted to read something else by Adam Silvera. Sadly, he only had one book available. I’m super excited to see what his next book is about!

4. Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn was probably my favourite fantasy debut that I read this year (not that I read very many to begin with). I thought it was such a great beginning to the duology. It had a fantastic set of characters and the romance was OMG. I devoured this book in just one day.

5. David Arnold

I really liked David Arnold’s debut novel, Mosquitoland, but was frustrated with the writing style. It was overly purple prose-y and I wished it was slightly more comfortable to read. I enjoyed the story a lot so I’m still excited to pick up something else by him.

6. Jasmine Warga

I read My Heart and Other Black Holes at the beginning of the year and I loved it. I read a whole pile of books on depression and mental illness at around the same time and this debut novel really stood out as one of the best.

7. Erin Gough

The Flywheel is an Aussie YA debut that blew me away! It’s a wonderful LGBTQ+ novel and it’s one of my favourite diverse books. This book is set in Sydney and it was wonderful to be able to read a book and know where the places are. This is probably my favourite OzYA book so I highly recommend it, if you can get your hands on it.

8. Meg Haston

I really enjoyed Paperweight by Meg Haston. It was an emotional book about eating disorders and is set in a treatment facility. I thought it was a wonderful representation of eating disorders and it’s a really important book that needs to be read! I can’t wait to see what Meg Haston brings next.

9. Lauren James

The Next Together was a book that I read recently and really enjoyed. It was unique in its concept and was executed pretty well. It’s the first book in a duology so I can’t wait to see what the next book is about.

10. Melinda Salisbury

I read The Sin Eater’s Daughter at the beginning of the year and thought it was a pretty good first book in a new fantasy trilogy. I had some problems with it but loved the direction that it took at the end. Can’t wait to see what happens next.


My honourable mention goes to Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey. I know that she’s not a debut author since she’s released a million adult books, but Finding Audrey is her first YA novel and I thought it was delightful! I hope she continues to write YA books because I’d pick them up in a heartbeat.

Pastry Book Tag

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I have the biggest sweet tooth, so when Jesse @ Books at Dawn tagged me to do the Pastry Book Tag, I just had to do it. I was so excited that I even modified my usual tag header into a pastry-themed one.


CROISSANT: NAME A POPULAR BOOK OR SERIES THAT EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOU) LOVES

clockworkangel clockworkprinceclockworkprincessIs there anybody out there who actually doesn’t like The Infernal Devices?! I love this series so, so much. Clockwork Princess is probably my favourite series finale ever!


MACARON: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS HARD TO GET THROUGH BUT WORTH IT AT THE END

alittlelife Man… this book.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was amazing but my heart suffered such a beating. This novel gave me so many feels and I just felt emotionally drained after each chapter. It was also a 720 page book so it took me forever to get through it.

But it was completely worth it because A Little Life has become one of my favourite books of all time. It’s truly beautiful.


VOL-AU-VENT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE AMAZING BUT FELL FLAT

i-was-here I was expecting a lot of great things from I Was Here by Gayle Forman but unfortunately, it fell a little bit short. Just One Day is one of my favourite YA books, and I also loved her If I Stay duology, so I thought I Was Here would blow my mind. It wasn’t a terrible book by any means – I still gave it 3 stars – but I was just expecting a lot more from it.

I just found the plot to be a little bit lacking and I don’t think the issue of teen suicide was dealt with well enough. I also wasn’t a fan of the romance.


PAIN AU CHOCOLAT: NAME A BOOK THAT YOU THOUGHT WOULD BE ONE THING BUT TURNED OUT TO BE SOMETHING ELSE

findingaudrey Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella was one that I was pleasantly surprised by. Going into the book, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to connect with the main character, who’s only 14 years old. But I ended up loving Audrey’s voice and really connected with her.

I was kind of worried that the anxiety aspects of the book wouldn’t be handled well but I was so wrong about that. I was also a bit wary of the book because I thought it would be a ‘love cures all’ kind of story but I didn’t find that to be the case at all.


PROFITEROLE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT DOESN’T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION

missperegrines hollow-citylibrary-of-soulsI read the Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children series recently and my mind was blown by how great it was! I also have reviews for Hollow City and Library of Souls.


CROQUEMBOUCHE: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT’S EXTREMELY COMPLEX

snowlikeashes icelikefireSnow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch has such a grand and complex world. There are 8 kingdoms in this world – 4 are Season kingdoms that only experience one season all year round; the other 4 are Rhythm kingdoms that experience all four seasons. The magic system is also really complex and will be explored further in Ice Like Fire, I’m sure. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


NAPOLEON: NAME A MOVIE OR TV SHOW BASED OFF A BOOK THAT YOU LIKED BETTER THAN THE BOOK ITSELF

gossip-girl This is an interesting one. I can’t think of a movie adaptation that I thought was better than the book. And I don’t really watch a lot of TV (I mainly watch Japanese dramas and variety shows). But one that sticks out in my mind is Gossip Girl.

I read the Gossip Girl books by Cecily von Zeigesar about a year or two before the TV show came out and my 14 year old self thought they were really good. But the TV show is sooo much better than the book series. I’m glad it deviated from the books.


EMPANADA: NAME A BOOK THAT WAS BITTERSWEET

morehappythannot I don’t have an image of empanadas being bittersweet. To me, they’re just awesome, but we’ll roll with it.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera was a book that I gave 4.5 stars to. But I thought the first third of the book was just boring. I didn’t like the characters and didn’t connect with any of them and I was really close to quitting the book. But it got exponentially better after the 100 page mark, and the end of the book gave me so many feels. I ugly cried for a really long time.


KOLOMPEH: NAME A BOOK OR SERIES THAT TAKES PLACE SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN YOUR HOME COUNTRY

theminiaturist Pretty much every book is set in a country other than Australia so I had a lot of options for this one. I decided to go for something a little different and not choose something set in the US or the UK.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton is set in 17th century Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This is the only book that I’ve read that’s set in 17th century Amsterdam and I found the setting and the whole time period to be fascinating! I learnt so much about Dutch history from this book and I thought it was a wonderful read.


PATE A CHOUX: NAME A FOOD FROM A BOOK OR SERIES THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRY

toalltheboys ps-i-still-love-youI was not creative with this at all but I couldn’t think of anything.

Because this is a pastry/sweets challenge, I decided to go with all of the cookies and cakes that Lara-Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and PS. I Still Love You. All the baked goods that were mentioned in this duology made me so hungry!


I TAG:


Wrap Up: August 2015

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August was another great reading month for me. I read a total of 18 books, with a good mix of female and male authors (and a lot of David Levithan!). There was also a mix of books that I did and didn’t enjoy. I have written reviews of almost all of these books. Click on the links to read in-depth reviews of each book!

August15

Reading summary header

1. The Improbable Theory of Ana & Zak – Brian Katcher  4 stars
A fun, nerdy and fast-paced contemporary about Ana and Zak who are searching for Ana’s brother at a sci-fi convention.

2. After Dark – Haruki Murakami  35 stars
A thought-provoking story following a couple of characters on their ‘adventures’ in the middle of the night. Slow-paced with a hint of magical realism.

3. Sunkissed – Jenny McLachlan  3 stars
A fun, summery, coming of age story set on a Swedish island.

4. The Shadowhunter’s Codex – Cassandra Clare & Joshua Lewis  3 stars
A guide to the Shadowhunter world, with illustrations and commentary from Clary, Jace and Simon.

5. Every Day – David Levithan  5 stars
A great diverse book about A, who wakes up in the body of a different person each day. He falls in love with the girlfriend of a boy whose body he inhabits and he has to find his way back to her each day.

6. Two Boys Kissing – David Levithan  45 stars
Another great LGBTQ+ book from David Levithan. This book is poignant and important. It explores different aspects of what it means to be gay, comparing previous generations to the current generation.

7. Sinner – Maggie Stiefvater  25 stars
A companion novel to The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend reading the trilogy first.

8. Six Earlier Days – David Levithan  4 stars
Six short stories about six days in A’s life, before the events in Every Day. I’d highly recommend these if you enjoyed Every Day.

9. A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab  45 stars
Set in parallel London’s, this book follows Kell who is able to travel between the different Londons, and smuggles items from one to another.

10. Polarity in Motion – Brenda Vicars  35 stars
When a nude photo of Polarity emerges online, she has no recollection of how the photo was taken. She finds herself yanked from her family and entangled in a world she knows nothing about.

11. The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman  45 stars
A wonderful reimagining of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, with beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell.

12. Snow Like Ashes – Sara Raasch  5 stars
A brilliant fantasy world, with some great characters and a fascinating magic system. This was a fantastic first book to a trilogy.

13. The Boy Most Likely To – Huntley Fitzpatrick  45 stars
Another great contemporary book from Huntley Fitzpatrick. This is a companion to My Life Next Door, and can be read as a standalone. I’d recommend reading MLND first though for all of the character building (and also because it’s a great book)!

14. Wonderland – Robert McKay  4 stars
A sci-fi retelling of Alice in Wonderland. This book was fun and crazy in the best ways.

15. One – Sarah Crossan  45 stars
A story, written in free verse, about conjoined twins and what it means to share a body and a soul with somebody else.

16. Risk – Fleur Ferris  2 stars
A serious and dark Aussie YA book about online safety and the dangers of meeting strangers online.

17. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella  45 stars
This is Sophie Kinsella’s first YA novel and it was so great! It was a heartwarming and funny story about family and finding yourself again after adversity.

18. The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan  4 stars
Written as a series of dictionary entries, this is a story about love. It’s a non-linear story, written in second person, and explores the positive and negative aspects of love.

T10T

This month I did four Top Ten Tuesday posts. You can check out my posts by clicking the links below.


If you’ve done a wrap up for this month, I’d love to see what you’ve read.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

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Publisher: DoubleDay Childrens
Release date: June 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0857534599
Pages: 288
Goodreads || Book Depository

Audrey can’t leave the house. she can’t even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother’s friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again – well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she’d thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you . . .

MY THOUGHTS

45 stars

Finding Audrey is such an adorable, funny and heartwarming story. I was hooked from the very first page and I couldn’t put it down. The opening of the book just captures your attention – it’s comedic and just perfect. I genuinely laughed out loud so many times while reading this book. I finished it in one sitting.

Audrey is a 14 year old girl who suffers from severe social anxiety and isn’t able to leave the house or make eye contact even with her own family. This book is about her recovery and finding herself again. What I loved most about this book is that it’s not only about Audrey getting better, but her whole family getting better together.

“So we’ll make it work,” I said, as robustly as I could. “Mum, there’s no point in me getting better if things don’t get better for all of us. I mean, we’ve all had a bad time, haven’t we?”

The family elements were my favourite part of the book. Audrey’s family is so supportive of her and they never pushed her or forced her to get better faster. Even her 15 year old brother is very caring and supportive of her, which I find a little bit rare in YA fiction. I loved reading about Audrey’s family and all of the dramas they go through. They have a great family dynamic and I could relate to so many of the things that they went through because my family went through those things too. Such as me sneaking out of bed to chat to my friends on MSN, and my parents threatening to throw out my brother’s computer because he was addicted to computer games 🙂 Audrey’s family was chaotic but so heartwarming to read about.

While the book is about anxiety and recovering from anxiety, I liked that it was still lighthearted and fun. I don’t feel like the book was too focused on the social anxiety – of course it’s still present throughout the novel because that’s what Audrey suffers from but it didn’t focus on the darker aspects of the disorder. There were times when I even forgot that Audrey had anxiety because I was enjoying the family drama so much (It also helped me forget everything I knew about anxiety and just enjoy the story). We also never fully learn about the events that happened to Audrey to trigger her anxiety, but I kind of liked it that way. The book was more about recovery and moving forward than it was about dwelling on the past, which was refreshing, and I didn’t think we needed to know about her past. There were a couple of instances where I thought the book made treatment of anxiety seem very easy, when in fact it isn’t. But at the same time I was really rooting for Audrey and I just wanted her to get better without relapsing.

I know a lot of people have concerns about Audrey recovering from anxiety because she found love (ie. love cures all)… but that was definitely not what happened in this book. She starts to come out of her shell because she is forced to talk to Linus who comes over to her house to game with her brother. They fall in love but it wasn’t the act of falling in love that treated her anxiety. It was the fact that Linus was supportive of her recovery process that pushed her to get better. I also don’t feel like the book was focused on the romance. For me, it was more about recovery and family.

But I have to say, the romance between Audrey and Linus was just the cutest. They are adorable together and Linus is so perfect. He sends her virtual kisses and gives her the nickname Rhubarb. Which brings me to an excerpt that I really want to share – this was probably my favourite scene in the whole book. It had me on the floor laughing. In this scene, Audrey and Linus are at Starbucks but she feels uncomfortable with her name being called across the coffee shop, so he tells her to give a fake name to the barista.

“Yes, that’s my name. Rhubarb.”

“You’re called Rhubarb?”

“Of course she’s called Rhubarb,’ chimes in Linus. “Hey Rhu, do you want anything to eat? You want a muffin, Rhu?”

“No, thanks.” I can’t help smiling.

“OK, Rhu. No problem.”

“Fine. Rhu-barb.” The girl writes it down with her Sharpie. “And you?”

“I would like a cappucino,” says Linus politely. “Thank you.”

“You’re name?”

“I’ll spell it for you,” he says. “Z-W-P-A-E-N-”

What?” She stares at him, Sharpie in hand.

“Wait. I haven’t finished. Double-F-hyphen-T-J-U-S. It’s an unusual name,” Linus adds gravely. “It’s Dutch.”

I’m shaking, trying not to laugh.

The Starbucks girl gives us both evil stares. “You’re John,” she says, and scrawls it on his cup.

I loved all of the characters in this book. Even though Audrey is 14, I found it so easy to relate to her. Her voice is very mature and I never saw her as juvenile or immature. I loved reading about her parents. Her mother is obsessed with the Daily Mail and her dad is just wants to keep the peace. Audrey’s 4 year old brother, Felix, is also hilarious and I loved every scene he was in.

I also really liked the formatting of this book. As part of her journey to recovery, Audrey’s psychologist gets her to film a documentary of her family and her life. Because of this, some of the chapters in the book were written as a transcript (kind of like in Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl). These chapters were a great change in pace and kept the book interesting.

Overall, I really loved Finding Audrey. I thought it was a very heartwarming story about family, love and finding yourself. It was a very hopeful book, with some really great characters that will stay with me for a while.