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Books I Read: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh & Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

1-Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh & Finding Audrey by Sophie KinsellaFor today’s Books I Read post, there’s Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella* which both deal, in their own way, with mental illness. While Brosh’s graphic novel tackles it with a sense of humour, Kinsella tells a heartfelt young adult story. Both books are charming and easy to read.

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Hyperbole and a Half by Allie BroshHyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh was recommended to me by my friend Ambur, whose advice I trust explicitly, but it still took me maybe a year to read it after I purchased it. I have a lot of books. However, once I started reading this honest, hilarious, graphic novel I absolutely fell in love. I have struggled with anxiety and other issues, but I think no matter what your mental health history, there’s something to relate to inside these pages.

I actually don’t read Brosh’s blog, with the exception of an occasionally linked post, so I wasn’t familiar with almost all of the stories, and even then over half of them are new. However, these are definitely the kinds of stories I could reread, and I also really appreciate having a colorful, glossy print copy. It’s just nicer than staring at a screen. Also I just subscribed to her blog. That was dumb, I’m honestly not sure why I wasn’t before.

Brosh writes–and illustrates–about every day struggles and the dramatic story that goes on inside our heads. It is so real, and when she tackles issues like depression it can be quite heartbreaking, but at the same time there is always a sense of self-awareness and humour. I will definitely be picking up Solutions and Other Problems when it is released in April 2016, and I can’t wait to see what Brosh has in store. Honestly, Hyperbole and a Half is one of my favourite books I’ve read in 2015, if not ever, so I highly recommend you check it out.

Don't we all have days like this?
Don’t we all have days like this?

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Finding Audrey by Sophie KinsellaWay back in the day I read at least one, if not more, books by Sophie Kinsella, the author of the Shopaholic series, but it has probably been over a decade since then. I remember her books being charming and instantly readable, so when I was offered a copy of Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, the first young adult book from the author, I definitely wanted to try it out.

Finding Audrey is the story of Audrey, a teenage girl struggling with a crippling anxiety disorder, but making slow progress thanks to her regular meetings with Dr. Sarah. When she meets Linus, a friend of her brother’s, she finds herself drawn to him and a friendship develops that may become something more. While at first what has happened to Audrey is a mystery, the details of why she stopped going to school and always wears dark sunglasses are slowly revealed, although I did still wish for a little more in that regard.

Throughout the story, I just wanted nothing more than Audrey to get better. It’s not a novel that’s going to teach you a ton about anxiety disorders, but I liked the emphasis on therapy and thought Kinsella did a great job capturing Audrey’s voice. I was charmed by the story as well as the tentative relationship she had with Linus. Overall, Finding Audrey is a heart-warming book that reminded me of an author that I would definitely pick up again in the future.

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Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella add humour and their own voice to stories about mental illness, and although they both tackle it in different ways I definitely enjoyed both.

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