2015 Book #71 – Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

41i4to+i6eL

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Date finished: 7/12/15
Genre:  Young adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 9, 2015
Pages in book: 286
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from Amazon:

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.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I haven’t read much by Sophie Kinsella but her Shopaholic series is on my TBR list. I saw the movie they made of the first book and loved it. So when I saw that Kinsella had a YA book coming out I wanted to read it.This story is (mostly) about Audrey, a young girl trying to learn how to cope with depression and anxiety after it appears she had a mental breakdown resulting from an “incident” at her school. I have to be honest, part of me finds it extremely frustrating that we never learn the specifics of this “incident.” There are vague references to what happened, and the reader is left to piece together what probably occurred. While I found this frustrating though, I thought it really spoke of some of the main points in the book. Audrey (the narrator) says multiple times in the book that she has learned through her therapy books that everyone has the right to privacy, your thoughts and feelings are your own and you have the power to say no to anyone. And towards the beginning Audrey says to us that she knows we (the readers) are curious but that the actual incident itself doesn’t really matter, what matters is what happened after that. Which is true of the book, the point of the book wasn’t to get into the gory details of why Audrey had the mental breakdown, it was about her road to recovery and about feeling more like herself again. So long story short, while I found it frustrating, part of me also appreciated that the author didn’t include exact details of the incident.
Along her road to recovery, Audrey becomes friends with her brother’s friend Linus. Linus ends up being a big support for Audrey and helps nudge her along on the  experiences she needs to be more functioning in the regular world. They end up developing a romance which is very sweet. The mother’s fixation on Frank’s video games became frustrating at times, it felt almost a little overdone. That seems to have been the point though, for part of the story the family is a bit tense and edging towards shambles but they learn to appreciate each other more and as Audrey awakens from her shell of depression we see more of the family’s loving side.
Overall I thought this was a sweet and touching book. It was a fairly quick read but full of insight into the lives of those dealing with depression and how frustrating it can be to want to feel normal and just not be able to accomplish that due to some dumb chemical reactions in your brain. The characters were all funny and interesting, I found myself laughing out loud at multiple points in the book. Great read!

The bottom line: I thought this was a good book. Some parts were overly frustrating but overall I think this is a touching story and I would recommend it!
Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Advertisements

2015 Book #61 – The Anxiety Toolkit by Alice Boyes

81htmrDvU7L

Title: The Anxiety Toolkit
Author: Alice Boyes, PhD
Date finished: 6/20/15
Genre: Non-fiction
Publisher: Perigee Books
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Pages in book: 206
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

Do you overthink before taking action? Are you prone to making negative predictions? Do you worry about the worst that could happen? Do you take negative feedback very hard? Are you self-critical? Does anything less than perfect performance feel like failure?
If any of these issues resonate with you, you’re probably suffering from some degree of anxiety, and you’re not alone. The good news: while reducing your anxiety level to zero isn’t possible or useful (anxiety can actually be helpful!), you can learn to successfully manage symptoms – such as excessive rumination, hesitation, fear of criticism and paralysing perfection.
In The Anxiety Toolkit, Dr. Alice Boyes translates powerful, evidence-based tools used in therapy clinics into tips and tricks you can employ in everyday life. Whether you have an anxiety disorder, or are just anxiety-prone by nature, you’ll discover how anxiety works, strategies to help you cope with common anxiety ‘stuck’ points and a confidence that – anxious or not – you have all the tools you need to succeed in life and work.

My rating: 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a nonfiction book” check box since this was a nonfiction book (duh). I have struggled with anxiety for pretty much my whole life. It isn’t debilitating for me, just annoying sometimes. Its a family trait on my mom’s side and while I do feel like I have a pretty good handle on it, I feel like there is always room for improvement. So when I saw this book at the library I thought it would be a great book to read to try and get a better handle on my issues. I think that the book was pretty helpful, it presented a bunch of helpful tips for overcoming anxiety. I’m glad I read it!
The bottom line: This is a good book for people with anxiety, it has some great tips for how to deal with anxiety issues.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page