'Shopaholic' Author Sophie Kinsella Is Writing A YA Novel, 'Finding Audrey'
Hot on the heels of Tuesday's release of her novel Shopaholic to the Stars, Sophie Kinsella announced she will be joining other adult authors on their ventures into young adult lit. Kinsella's first YA novel Finding Audrey has been acquired by Delacorte Press, and she's aiming for a June 9, 2015 release date.
Kinsella is best known for her Shopaholic series, starting in 2000 with Confessions of a Shopaholic, also titled in some areas The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic. But Finding Audrey promises to leave the mall and credit cards behind in favor of a focuing on a 14-year-old girl's recovery from an anxiety disorder.
“Finding is my first YA novel, and I loved writing it,” Kinsella told Publishers Weekly. “Audrey has already become a best friend to me, and I hope you will enjoy meeting her and her crazy family.”
Delacorte says the novel with blend “family comedy, romance, and personal discovery.”
Anxiety disorders is fertile ground for young adult literature, and it's a positive step that Kinsella will be working to address issues that so many teenagers (and adults) cope with every day. The National Institute of Mental Health states that about 8 percent of teenagers aged 13 to 18 have an anxiety disorder, but only 18 percent of those suffering have received mental health care. Hopefully, more representations of anxiety in books aimed at teenagers can help dismiss some of the stigma and encourage teens to seek support.
If you just can't wait until next summer, some other fantastic YA authors have written novels focusing on anxiety in teenagers, particularly recently:
Don't Touch by Jennifer M. Wilson
Caddie's anxiety disorder has her afraid to touch another person's skin, but when she's cast in a production of Hamlet as Ophelia, she starts to let go of her obstacles. Wilson's novel is insightful, not gawking, and it gives a look into just how debilitating anxiety can be.
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets is incredibly funny, but it's also a poignant look at how anxiety and depression can dig itself in to a person's life. And its Walt Whitman influence means you'll probably want to be sounding your own barbaric yawp as you read.
The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
When you think about it, as Jade does too often, there are so many things we encounter in life that could kill us. In The Nature of Jade , Jade has become fixated, and it has lead to her diagnosis of Panic Disorder. But Caletti does a crucial job of showcasing how those suffering from anxiety don't want to be defined by it, that it's only one element of a person.
It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Ned Vinzzini's novel, based on his own tragic life story, is a quintessential must-read for teenagers and adults. It has so much to say about anxiety, depression, and the people who suffer from them. It will stick with you long after you read it.
I'm hopeful that Kinsella can take her quirky charm and skillful storytelling to focus on a story that should be told far more often. With so many people in the world suffering from mental illness, and anxiety in particular, it's encouraging to see more and more authors with sterling reputations and big names in the industry tackling the issue.