In her first book for teens, Kinsella (the Shopaholic series) offers pathos and humor in equal measure. The story has two cinematic threads: the candid narration of 14-year-old Audrey, who is coping with depression and anxiety disorders, and the transcript of a documentary she is recording at her therapist’s suggestion. Since being hospitalized after an unspecified incident at school, Audrey refuses to leave the house or interact with anyone outside her family, wearing dark glasses to avoid eye contact. The title of her documentary, “My Serene and Loving Family,” is only half ironic: her parents are loving and supportive, but her mother’s unpredictability sometimes overshadows her good intentions and shatters any semblance of serenity in the household. Mum is determined to cure Audrey’s brother’s “addiction” to online gaming and their bickering builds to hilarious mutual exasperation. Yet at its heart, this is Audrey’s story of healing and reemergence, facilitated by her friendship—and first love—with an insightful, patient boy. Kinsella’s knack for humor and sensitivity shine in a story that should easily expand her already substantial fan base. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, InkWell Management. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/13/2015 Release date: 06/09/2015 Genre: Children's
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