by Sophie Kinsella

Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

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.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you.

So it’s no lie that I love Sophie Kinsella’s books, can you keep a secret is one of my all-time favourite books of ever. I have been reading that book since I was about 13/14 (to be fair that was a tad too young but hey, I stole it from my mum!). So when I saw Kinsella had a new YA book coming out I was stoked and I snatched it up straight away. Honestly I read this book in about 3 hours (instead of studying mind you) and it was wonderful, such a quick and inviting story that I immediately fell in love with and related to 100%.

So let’s explain why!

Let’s start with Audrey, even though she was supposed to be 14 I imagined her a little bit older, I don’t know if that was because of her dialogue or something but I saw her age at 16/17. This didn’t bother me at all because I almost instantly connected to her, as I am someone who does suffer from social and general anxiety, (not as severe as Audrey) she was fantastic. In the way she addressed her condition and spoke about it, Kinsella did a fantastic job of capturing how you feel doing bouts of anxiety. You saw the ups and downs that anxiety and depression come with, Audrey wasn’t always down and anxious and she was quite a happy person. I was so relieved to see a character be portrayed this way.

Audrey’s family. Now I have two parents who are pretty much the same as Audrey’s mother, maybe less erratic but definitely share the same views ‘Video games destroy the mind, Kids spend far too much time focused on screens, go play outside’ then go ahead and ask me how to turn on the printer. The overall message that I got from this family structure was very much ‘we love you, we want the best for you but we don’t always know how to show it’ it took me many years to learn that!
Finally we come to Linus, this was a character that I was weary of, I was so concerned that was only there to ‘fix’ Audrey. But alas, if there was anyone to write mental health positive book it had to be Kinsella! Yes, Linus does get help Audrey but not to a miraculous extent, she still trusts her psychologist to a larger degree and Linus is there a part of her support bubble which was fantastic.

Arty shot much ;)

I have one issue with the plot, and that was that the ending felt a tad rushed. The ‘conflict’ was very much in the last half of the book and it was resolved very quickly. I guess that isn’t the worst thing but I honestly believe that the book could have had about 5-7 more chapters.

I will say that I loved loved loved how positive the book was towards mental illness, medication, psychologists and support groups. The amount of young readers that will read this book and have some sort of connection to the book and even if they do or don’t have any sort of mental illness, they will come out of it will a more positive outlook on the whole experience. The stigma around mental illness is huge and that wall needs to be taken down, brick by brick and Kinsella does a great job of taking a bulldozer to the wall and I love it!

I hope it didn’t end on a too serious note there but this is a big issue to me and I loved what Kinsella has done!

I rated this book 4/5 stars

I would highly recommend this book, it was so quick and wonderful!

Until the next time I read a book;
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Chelsie xox 

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