Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, 320 Pages
This book was great, I have nothing but positive sunshiney rays of feeling toward it. Much like the technicolor rays blasting from Audrey as she rocks out on the cover.
The story is sublimely simple: Audrey Cuttler dumps her rock-god wannabe loser boyfriend and in doing so provides the catalyst to propel him, and herself, to stardom. Her somewhat callous decision to keep walking right out the door when he calls “Audrey, Wait!” (though I get it, sometimes you gotta keep walking or the sad breakup tractor beam will pull you right back into the relationship) inspires him to write an angry scorned-lover pop rock anthem that takes their town, then college radio, then the country by storm. Suddenly all eyes are on Audrey as she is cast as either muse or heartless bitch, depending on who’s doing the talking.
Audrey is in no way enjoying being suddenly thrust into the limelight, she’s just a normal chick who broke up with a crummy boyfriend, but she tries to deal and hopes it will blow over soon. While taking advantage of an unexpected perk of her instant-celebrity, she accidentally boosts herself to infamy status and front-page tabloid fodder. Her best friend encourages her to milk her fifteen minutes for every free cosmetic and comped ticket it’s worth, but Audrey is having a hard time seeing the silver lining when she can’t even attend classes without paparazzi snapping her through the windows.
This book is absolutely solid, just a great read and one I would definitely pass on to my fame-hungry pre-teen niece. Audrey is one of the most believable sixteen-year-olds I have ever read in YA fiction: bursting with energy and charisma, in love with music and life, makes some pretty poor snap decisions that haunt her later, and is more swayed by public opinion than by her own assessment of things. The ex, Evan, is the ubiquitous sixteen-year-old boy in a band without devolving into a stereotype. It is easy to see why Audrey was dating him in the first place, and it’s equally as easy to see why she would dump him. Audrey’s co-worker at the local ice-cream shop and potential love interest James is the kind of stand-up guy teenage girls overlook every day, and it’s to her credit that Audrey recognizes her own shallowness in writing him off. Their romance develops over the course of the novel and is not without its hiccups, it makes for great reading.
One of the best things about this book is one of the more subtle aspects: Audrey’s support system. Far from suffering from disappearing-parent syndrome, Audrey’s are there every step of the way trying to navigate this unexpected situation with her. They never fly off the handle and confine her to her room, but they don’t allow her college-student levels of latitude either. Both parents listen to their daughter first no matter what the tabloid covers say, and the whole relationship is totally refreshing in a sea of absentee parents or draconian taskmasters. Equally refreshing is Audrey’s aforementioned best friend, Victoria, a true-blue bestie who sticks by Audrey even when she’s being a whiny brat and steers her toward all the things that are good for her: good guys, good times, good vibes. I was so glad the author didn’t take the “jealousy-related falling out” or “suddenly ultra-competitive user” route with this friendship (even if Audrey may have perceived some of it that way).
Another fun part of the novel is that each chapter starts with an appropriate lyric from a song, after awhile I got on Spotify and started playing them as I read. It added a little something to this energetic read.
There is nothing I would change about this book, so I hope all of you pick it up and give it a chance because it’s a fun read (with the happiest ending)!