I’ve never read anything by Sophie Kinsella — I mostly associate her with the Shopaholic series, which isn’t really my thing. But I kept seeing great reviews for this one — plus the cover is so freaking cute — so I downloaded the audiobook from the library and tried it out. I’m glad I did — it was really a good story.
“I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.”
Audrey has been suffering from an anxiety disorder, which got considerably worse after some event at her school months ago (she never really goes into it, but it’s obviously some Mean Girls-style bullying scenario). She wears dark glasses to avoid eye contact with people, and never leaves her house except to visit her therapist. When her brother’s new friend Linus takes an interest in her, she starts to come out of her shell a bit and concentrates even harder on her recovery.
Kinsella does a great job of portraying Audrey’s anxiety — how it affects her, the way it makes her feel. I loved the lizard brain analogy — very accurate, in my opinion. Her family members each had their own things going on, too, so you get a good sense of Audrey’s whole world. I do feel like the ending tied everything up a little too neatly, but overall it’s a really good little book. And the audio version is great — anything with British accents usually gets an extra half star from me!