Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Review

Started: January 24, 2016

Finished: January 27, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Summary (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.


Sophie Kinsella has done it again with this fantastic young adult novel. Finding Audrey did what no other book that I’ve read before has done: it captured what it feels like to have an anxiety disorder.

I’ve had my experiences with anxiety and never before have I seen my own feelings mirrored in a book.

Audrey was exactly what I wanted in a protagonist: she was smart, witty, and had a good background. That description sounds a little boring until you get down into Audrey’s character. A girl who has had traumatic things happen to her and she is trying very hard to get past them. She made plenty of mistakes, as a person in her situation is very capable of making. I found myself scolding her in my head at these mistakes, and I found myself cheering for her at her moments of triumph.

Audrey wasn’t the only great character in this book, though. I can’t write a proper review of this book without mentioning Linus.

I loved Linus. Not more than Audrey, but I really liked him. I liked how much he focused on Audrey and didn’t let her hide if her “lizard brain” told her to hide. Linus was such a good person and a good character and I love him.

The story was fantastically written and moved with a pace that allowed me to read this book quickly in between other things. There wasn’t a dull moment, and I liked that. One thing I like about Kinsella’s novels is that she doesn’t leave anything open or lazily rolling along through the novel. She keeps every aspect of the story intact and in perfect agreement with all of the other aspects.

If you’re looking for a new book to read and want one that will warm your heart, give Finding Audrey a try.


 

NEXT READ: How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr
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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks Review

Started: January 13, 2016

Finished: January 24, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life — boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him…and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn’t help. Despite himself, Travis can’t stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?


This book was…interesting. I love Nicholas Sparks, and I love most of his novels. I read this book because of the new movie coming out, and I loved the first half. I adored Travis and Gabby’s relationship, and if the whole book had been like the first half, it would have gotten five stars from me. I got slightly bored in part two of the book, only because it became tedious.

The actual story didn’t become tedious; I was actually on the edge of my seat for most of it because of Sparks’s superb writing. Travis became the tedious part. I loved him in part one, but in part two he became incredibly annoying.

He had a reason to be, but he was so annoying that I couldn’t attribute it all to his situation. Something about him and his characterization just got under my skin for the majority of part two.

Disregarding that, I loved the story of this novel. It was fantastically plotted and wonderfully written. Excluding Travis, every character seemed to grow and I loved all of them. It’s a great read for romance fans and I can’t wait for the movie.


NEXT READ: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

 

All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Started: January 9, 2016

Finish: January 13, 2016

Rating: 3 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.


 

Okay, so I gave this book three stars because I’m not entirely sure I enjoyed it.

Let me explain.

This book was very good. Very well written, suspenseful at times, and overall a good read. And I appreciate it as a work of literature, because that’s what it was.

This book dealt with some tough subject matter. I’m all for books that handle subject matter like this, and this one did not disappoint. It left me in a state of shock in some parts of it, but at other parts it dragged.

I can appreciate the art of this book. This book did exactly as it was supposed to do: it made me uncomfortable.

As with any form of art, some pieces are intended to make the audience uncomfortable. Now, I’m not sure if the goal of this book was to get the reader uncomfortable enough that they had to think about some thing, but that’s what happened with me.

When dealing with subject matter such as kidnapping, mutilation, and murder, it needs to make the reader uncomfortable to a certain extent. Yes, I felt all of the other emotions that were intended for this book. I felt sorry for Judith, fell in love with Lucas along with her (at least in sections 4 and 5), and thanked Maria for giving her a chance. But parts of it made me want to sit down and think for a moment about things that happened in this book.

All in all, I liked this book. I liked the artistry and craftsmanship that came from the well-written use of the point-of-view, I liked the characters, and I liked the narration. But it had some moments that definitely dragged for me. I probably won’t ever reread this book, but for me, it was a likeable story that could have done with a little less obsession (see: Judith and Lucas’s relationship in sections 1-3) and a little more story.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Started: January 2, 2016

Finished: January 9, 2016


 

As a whole, I enjoyed this book much more than I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird. It moved with a quicker pace and an older Jean Louise Finch was much more appealing to me than a younger Jean Louise Finch. I was going to give this book five stars, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t bring myself to do it for one reason: Jean Louise’s character development.

I never liked Jean Louise. Not once, through all of To Kill a Mockingbird. She seemed arrogant, pigheaded, and had a little bit of a superiority complex (See: Her opinions about the Cunninghams). I actually really liked her in Go Set a Watchman. I enjoyed how complex her character had become, and the new personal views she carried with herself. During one specific encounter with her father, I was fully prepared to give this book five stars because of how excellently this young woman was written…

And then I read the last two chapters of the book.

And it was suddenly like nothing had happened to Jean Louise at all. It was as if the second half of the book had never happened. She accepted her father’s racism instead of attempting to combat it, she went back out with Henry instead of fighting for her ideals. She made a complete reverse to the character she was at the beginning of the book, and to me, Jean Louise Finch deserved more than that.

I enjoyed the pace, and the actual storyline of the novel well enough to give it four stars, I just wish with all my heart that Jean Louise could have been given a better ending. But all in all, I’m satisfied with this sequel as a whole, and I believe that Harper Lee couldn’t have mastered a better form of writing with which to tell this story.