Just… Easy going, fast paced, family based, cute, true and absolutely HILARIOUS.
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.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to pick up this book. I had heard a lot of good things about it and I was curious to see how the anxiety aspect was used. I have had severe social and general anxiety for as long as I can remember (diagnosed at eight years old) and anxiety books are always a yay or nay thing for me. I was really positively surprised! I also didn’t expect the large family aspect of this book, it’s something that you don’t see much anymore (just a bunch of fifteen year old’s running around without a parent mentioned). I found it a fun (so, so funny), refreshing read with a realistic view on life issues.
So first of all, the first chapter already totally captures you. It’s absolutely hilarious! Just a random scene without backstory and a bunch of crazay things going on. You just need to know more after that.
The fact that the story is so extremely easy going (you feel like your just sitting in a corner watching a tiny bit crazy family going through their daily routine) makes it really fast paced. It’s very evenly paced and you don’t feel like you’re working your way up to a big climax, but in a positive way. There are quite a few small story lines within the family which keeps the story fresh.
Now let’t talk about how funny this book is, because it is so absolutely HILARIOUS. Like, I was laughing out loud so many times! The members of Audrey’s family are such well done stereotypes. The sarcastic, computer addict brother; the crazy, overly obsessed and control freak mother; and the father who tries to stay out of the conversation. And just all of everything is so funny.
There is a little bit of romance, but it’s a small part and feels really young and almost friendship like. But it’s really quite cute and you have to keep in mind that Audrey is just a fourteen year old and those don’t generally fall head over heels in love and are all about spending the rest of their lives together. They are practically just kids in love.
The anxiety part is really, really realistic, but a thing that really bothered me was the fact that Audrey recovered from her very, very severe case of anxiety like it’s nothing. It might be because she might have been able to do all the normal things all along and after she did them just once, she realized it was really nothing. But to me it seemed unreal for someone to recover from an extreme case of anxiety by just touching your foot to another’s foot and talking to a few strangers. It just bothered me.
All the characters are very real, funny and adoring. Like I said, Audrey’s family pretty much exists out of stereotypes (but extremely well done and with a lot of dimension).
Audrey really didn’t feel like a fourteen year old in my opinion. This might also be, because she’s alone at home all the time and she isn’t interacting with other kids her age, but still.
Her explanations about how her anxiety is like, is really relate-able to me (and like I said I have a lot of experience with anxiety and this book was a yay for me). And overall I just really liked her and enjoyed reading from her perspective.
Frank (Audrey’s brother) is just amazing. I love how sarcastic he is and he totally reminded me of my younger brother who also spends ten hours a day (literally, he get’s out of bed and climbs behind his computer and only get’s downstairs for dinner) behind his computer doing the same kind of games with his group of friends. My brother is even training to go to a national gaming contest with his team next spring! I also loved that Frank was still so caring about his sister and he really tried to understand what she was going through.
Mom was just too funny. She had me constantly laughing out loud. She is just so hysterical and all over the place (that moment she is in front of the window).
Dad wasn’t really too spontaneous, but I still thought he was a great character. The fact that he was so much on the background made the moments where he spoke up so much funnier.
Linus isn’t a character that I enjoyed too much. He assumed that just after speaking to two people Audrey’s anxiety is gone(?). And he thinks he gets it even though he has no reason to do so. But he was really nice and trying everything he could to fix Audrey.
Overall, I loved it and spend so much time laughing out loud. A great read to make you feel good. I had a few problems with it, but it has a good plot, hysterical characters and some really refreshing aspects.