My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mental Health, Family, Romance
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.
Sophie Kinsella did it again.
Earlier this week, I read and disliked ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS. I thought it was because the main character was lethargic, which was mostly due to her social anxiety, but so is Audrey. She’s an observer also—very calm, stays inside, interacts little—and I loved the hell out of her voice.
Something bad happened to Audrey at her last school, so now she wanders around the house aimlessly. Her doctor tells her to make a video documenting her life, family, recovery, which helps her interact with others and herself. Another new key element in her life is her brother’s new friend to whom she took a liking.
I loved the humour. I was so scared it would be similar to WHERE DID YOU GO, BERNADETTE, which is a tragicomedy also, with an isolated protagonist who disappears. But unlike the title suggests, this isn’t a book about the literal definition of finding Audrey. More like the metaphorical one.
The characters are very interesting. It revolves around Audrey’s family and Audrey herself. All family members are fully fleshed out, from overly eager little Felix to obsessive stay-at-home Mom. In ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS, Eliza preferred to stay away from her family. She thought of them as an annoyance. I found that extremely irking. Audrey may not necessarily approve of everything her family does—she definitely disfavours the drama—but her affection toward them is obvious to the reader nonetheless.
A very addictive novel with entertaining characters and sweet romance. Job well done.
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