Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella brings to light the issue of anxiety through the viewpoint of a young adult. I’ve had anxiety ever since I was ten years old so reading this book made me reflect on my life, what I went through and continue to experience each and every day. Audrey’s account with anxiety is not only very relatable but highly accurate. Besides the recurring theme of anxiety, Sophie Kinsella discusses another issue—one that not only hits close to home, but is a bigger problem than we care to admit. Finding Audrey confronts the extreme attachment we have with technology and how it affects our well being and our relationships.
Our Internet addiction is unfortunately becoming seen as a normality with each passing day. There isn’t a day that goes by where we aren’t constantly checking our phones or playing a video game for hours on end. The author not only addresses the issue, but goes about it in a humorous way in Finding Audrey.
Throughout the story, we encounter a multitude of confrontations between Frank, Audrey’s brother and their mother because of his video game addiction. You know, typical teenager stuff. With Frank’s distant behavior and increase irritability, the components of addiction are there. He spends most of his time glued to a screen while his mother, on the other hand, is trying to break through to him and preaches that finding another hobby such as music, reading or outdoor activities will make him a more well rounded person. With two completely different viewpoints, this feud can only end in disaster as they don’t see eye to eye.
Sophie Kinsella did a great job highlighting society’s internet addiction. This was not only shown through Frank’s behavior, but we see moments where his parents show the same signs. Both sides are blinded by ego. Frank sees his video game addiction as a serious undertaking, while his parents see their use of the internet more rational since they use it for work. This broken family shares similarities that we see in our own household.
Audrey brings all of these points together perfectly as she examines the viewpoint of her brother and the viewpoint of her mother.
“The thing about Mum is, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just, no adults do. They’re totally ignorant, but they’re in control. It’s nuts. The parents are in charge of all the stuff like technology in the house and time on screens and hours on social media, but then their computer goes wrong and they’re like a baby, going, “What happened to my document?” “I can’t get Facebook.” “How do I load a picture? Double-click what? What does that mean?” And we have to sort it out for them.” (Kinsella, 131).
Though parents mean well, the increase of technology and the addiction is seen across the board. We’re all at fault and have to stop pointing the blame. From parents even down to young adults, this addiction has become a little frightening. We are all addicted to the internet and we all have to strive to find a better balance between being glued to a screen and engrossing ourselves in other hobbies. Kinsella’s humorous viewpoint brings to light the heavy topic and I think everyone can take something away from the story. Finding Audrey takes a stand on this issue through the use of storytelling and humor.
Overall, Finding Audrey was a joy to read. It was quite the page turner that kept me engaged during the entirety of the story. It was laugh out loud funny and heartfelt throughout. Audrey’s experience with anxiety was raw and very accurate. I found myself knowing exactly how she feels, which brought some peace because it reminded me I wasn’t alone. Also, Frank’s obsession with online video games draws conclusions as to where we are in society and as individuals. Though there were some gaps and missteps in the plot that seemed a bit abrupt or rushed, I still thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.