Finding Audrey

288p. Delacorte. Jun. 2015. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780553536515; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780553536522.
Gr 7 Up—The author of the wildly popular "Shopaholic" series (Dial) for adults, has a surefire winner in her YA debut. Audrey doesn't go to school, wears dark glasses all the time, and rarely leaves her house. Mum and Dad are gently encouraging and helpful and try to assist Audrey in recovering from her debilitating anxiety disorder, for which she has recently been released from hospital care. Brother Frank is a computer gaming fanatic, and four-year-old brother Felix is a cute foil for the drama going on in the rest of the household. Readers are left pondering why is Audrey so anxious—what happened? Kinsella never explicitly reveals what triggered the protagonist's anxiety. The expert and sympathetic depiction of the teen's symptoms and emotions is the strongest part of the novel. Unfortunately, Audrey's rapid recovery once she meets a cute guy rings a bit false, or at least, a too conveniently clichéd, but tweens and teens may enjoy the portrayal of the hasty romance. Sparkling dialogue, carefully developed characters, great parent-child interaction, and a bit of rom-com all join to demonstrate the author's expertise in developing a compelling story.
VERDICT A deep and sensitive portrayal of a British teen's recovery from a traumatic experience. Expect requests!

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