Monday, January 3, 2011

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Title: Audrey, Wait! (Goodreads)
Author: Robin Benway
Published: April 10, 2008 by Thorndike Press
Summary:  According to a poll on the front page of USA Today 63 percent of Americans blame me for the breakup. So let me clear the air right now: they're right. Sixty-three perfect of Americans are no fools when it comes to my love life, a fat which is really creepy and not helping me sleep well at night.
The most popular song of the year is about Audrey--and now, she's famous@ Not the free-stuff-and-backstage-passes kind of famous. The paparazzi-hiding-in-your-shrubs, worst-moment-of-your-life-plastered-across-the-front-page kind of famous. Disaster!
Audrey doesn't want to be caught in the spotlight, but once the world decides she's a star, will her life ever be normal again?
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My thoughts: I'm not a big fan of re-reading books. I usually remember what happens really well and I just find it unnecessary to re-read an entire novel for no reason. However, Audrey, Wait! is one of those books that I find myself wanting to re-read constantly. From the lyrics introducing each chapter to the fun, inventive story line, everything about Audrey screams to be read again and again.
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To begin with, I'm a music freak. So, when I see a YA book revolving around music, I instantly want it. And Audrey is so full of music that I was jumping up and down in an anxious stupor when I bought it. And let me tell you, it delivers. Audrey is your typical girl, who just broke up with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend just so happens to write a song about their breakup, and his band just happens to play it at a concert where some talent scouts just happen to fall in love with their song (called "Audrey, Wait!") and sign them for their label. Okay, first of all, high five, Benway, for thinking up such a creative, exciting plot. I love how quickly Evan's band gets famous and how popular the song gets, almost instantly. It added to the exciting, fast-paced story and the quirkiness of the whole book.
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Audrey doesn't want fame; she's not spotlight hungry, and she's not desperate for attention. She just wants to survive the whirlwind that her breakup has caused, and maybe get a date with her cute co-worker, James. Maybe it was her quiet, music-loving spirit, but I loved Audrey from the start. She was relatable, likable, and reasonable. She wasn't really like any other characters in a lot of YA books, and I appreciated her naivet√©. It was nice to read about a real teen with an unreal problem. She might not always be agreeable or even all that great of a protagonist, but she was real, and I loved reading about her misadventures.
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While I was completely sympathetic to Audrey's not-so-average problems, I really loved Victoria, Audrey's kick-ass best friend. She was sarcastic, smart, and totally in-your-face. I would kill for a best friend like her, and from her parent butt-kissing to her amazingly accurate (and occasionally inaccurate) love advice, she was a great best friend and a fantastic secondary character. Her loud demeanor made a perfect pair with quiet Audrey and it made for a great friendship and a wonderful reading experience. Her hilariousness only added to her charm.
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James was sweet, cute, and totally adorable. I loved the shy way Audrey and his romance was, and it was perfectly written. I liked how Benway wasn't graphic in any really sexual way (save one bad experience with a musician) because it showed that detail doesn't have to be too graphic to be sweet and kind of hot. Of all the strange events that unfold within the story, the romance was my favorite element, and Benway writes surprisingly well whether she's referring to Audrey's love life or her bad paparazzi experiences.
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The story was, in a word, crazy. Everything from sweet, romantic memories of Evan to strange encounters with rabid fans to chance, heated scenes with jerky musicians, this book never fails to entertain. And in all the times I've re-read it, I still can't help but laugh and tear-up a little at the melancholy, funny way Benway portrays those few months from Audrey's life. There wasn't one scene that had some sort of emotional part and their wasn't one page that wasn't crammed with great writing and dialogue. There aren't many authors who can portray teen life at its craziest so well as Benway. Also, I adored the lines from songs before each chapter. It was creative and added to the overall experience of the novel.

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From start to finish, Audrey, Wait! is a gripping, hilarious, and must-read for all teens. It has a lot thrown in, and it's just mature enough to make it great for older teens. The characters were three-dimensional and realistic; the story was insane and creative; and the writing was teenage-like and gripping. You can't really ask for more in a light, quirky teen read. 
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Cover: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 stars

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