Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

I haven’t finished reading my current book, so I thought that I’d talk about one of my favourite books instead. Audrey, Wait! was a huge influence on the short story I wrote last year (which I’m turning into a novel for NaNoWriMo), and I’ve read it so many times, I can practically recite it.

From Amazon:

“The wait is over for the paperback of this irresistible, fast-paced, hit-worthy debut!

When funny, charming, absolutely-normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit and rockets Audrey to stardom!

Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed, let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same – at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!”

Audrey, Wait! combines my love of reading with my love of music, which is one of the reasons it has earned a spot on my list of “MOST FAVOURITE BOOKS EVER”. A lot of what I read has some sort of fantasy element (i.e. vampires, werewolves, zombies…oh my!), but this is contemporary – as such, the characters seem real and easy to relate to.

The first time I read it (and every time I reread it), I wanted to go to a concert with Audrey. I wanted to hang out with her best friend Victoria. I wanted to go to the Scooper Dooper and ogle – uh, I mean, talk to – James. I especially wished I could hear The Song and see Evan play it live.

I also wish I was friends with Robin Benway because she seems so cool, and I believe she has a fantastic taste in music. One of the highlights for me are the chapter titles – all of which are song lyrics, some taken from songs I actually know/love (bands mentioned include: Taking Back Sunday, Jack’s Mannequin, Anberlin, The Academy Is…)!  As a music fan, nothing makes me more excited than seeing that other people like the same music as me.

This is my absolute favourite paragraph (in this book specifically, but also possibly in the WORLD), the one I connect with the most:

“If you really want to know something about me, you should know this: I like my music loud. I mean loud. I’m not talking the kind of loud where your parents knock on your bedroom door and ask you to turn it down. Please. That’s amateur hour. When I say loud, I mean you-can’t-even-hear-your-parents-knocking-and-the-neighbors-are-putting-a-FOR-SALE-sign-on-their-house-and-moving-to-another-block-because-they-can’t-handle-the-constant-noise-anymore loud. You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and fizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it’s exactly right.” (pg 9).

I almost want that paragraph as a tattoo because I’ve never read such a perfect description of what it feels like to lose yourself in a song. It happens to me all the time (at concerts, on Tuesday nights when Ro and I have a dance party in the living room, on the bus, etc), but I had no words to explain that feeling. Luckily, Audrey (or Robin, I suppose) did. It’s the little “real” moments like this, the moments when she perfectly expresses what you’ve always secretly thought, that make Audrey, Wait! such a amazing book.

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