My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A lot of people are saying this book makes "light" of mental illness. It doesn't. But then again, that's just me.
Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.As someone once said, "No two people read the same book". Judgments are based on experiences, and what one person finds deep and touching, others find cheesy. Or what some people find hilarious, others are offended. Books about mental illnesses are no exception--everyone perceives them differently. I don't find it too shocking that Linus helped Audrey recover. Isn't having a good support group essential in managing anxiety? Linus was there for her when she needed it the most. Yeah, I find it weird that she was so okay with touching and kissing him right away, but overall I didn't mind.
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.
My main complaint against the book is that Audrey doesn't really do anything--everything that happens is because of someone else. She's kind of a fly on the wall. On one hand, that's okay. She's recovering from something horrible that happened at school and she's not exactly at an adventurous point in her life. But it was still kind of boring. Also, what did Linus see in Audrey? I get why she liked him, but why did he like her? I wanted to understand more from his point of view.
Audrey's family, though, is the best. Well, more of the worst. But they sure were fun to read about! Her mom is obsessed with computers, but not about using them. She's obsessed about Audrey's brother, Frank, using them. Is Frank older or younger than Audrey? He felt older for some reason, but acted younger. Also, shout-out to Felix, the four year old! This is the first time I've read about a little kid that actually acted their age.
"How's school, Felix?" I say. "Are you still friends with Aidan?"
"Aidan has chicken pops," he tells me.
"Chicken pops," he corrects me, as though I'm an idiot. "Chicken pops."
"Oh, right." I nod. "I hope you don't get them."
"I will fight the chicken pops with my sword," he says importantly. "I'm a very strong fighter."
The author, Sophie Kinsella makes a decision about revealing what started Audrey's disorder that I don't really know how to feel about. (view spoiler: She does nothing! It's implied that something really bad happened at school, but we're never told what. Sophie Kinsella said she decided not to reveal what happened to make Audrey more relatable--you can fill in the blank with something that's happened to you, for example. I don't think I like it very much? But I didn't mind.)
I would still totally read other YA books by her though. I love her light writing.
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Sexual content: A