This book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be famous? Rising up into stardom… having everyone know your name… being the hot topic of the world… I know I do, but for 16-year-old Audrey Cuttler, this was her worst nightmare. Robin Benway, author of Audrey Wait!, describes the not so normal life of Audrey Cuttler. The author of this ostentatious story attended college at both NYU & UCLA. She is known mainly for her young adult novels and outstanding fictional writings.
Audrey Wait! is a fanciful and gaudy story about a 16 year old girl who wants nothing more than to be normal again… oh, and for her ex-boyfriend, Evan, to pay for writing the stupid song… and have all the hot rock band boys stop being jerks… and for James to forgive her, along with Victoria… and– okay you get my point. She wants a myriad of things, but come on, she’s a girl. enough said. Through thick and thin, best friend for life, Victoria, has always been there for Audrey. But will things change? As boys, rumors, and fame, cloud Audrey’s mind, will she get back to reality, or loose the most important people in her life? From leaked photos, to crazed paparazzi hiding in her bushes, will Audrey ever become normal again? Audrey finally gets to tell the world her side of the story, and show the not so good things about being the world’s number one top muse. Like crazed fans and stalkers who won’t even let her go on a simple date, parents who put you on lockdown because you’re famous, how about getting on the cover of the magazines with rumors written all about you, or the worst one, having a leaked video of something you don’t want your parents’ to see online… well, that’s Audrey’s life for you. Follow a story filled with rock band boys, dorky co-workers, fake friends, crazy fans, overprotective parents, girl fights, and a whole lot more, in Audrey Cuttler’s wild, high school ride.
Robin Benway’s unique and quick read book portrays the downsides of fame, rather than the perks. As Audrey goes through a brimming junior year, the author describes the main character’s mistakes, as well as the consequences she must face. This book separates itself from others because ordinarily, most books don’t explain the costs of their behaviors. This results in many teens making poor choices similar to those of the characters’. However, the author makes sure to point out the problems that poor choices can cause. The themes of love, friendship, celebrity and identity are strongly represented in this climactic book.
This book includes fantastic morals that are very cogent for everyone; mainly categorizing teenagers, the age this book is appointed towards. Audrey, as any regular teenager, has to make choices everyday. Some of her choices were better than others, resulting in consequences for her rash decisions. The main morals of this novel include to always stay ethical and to not change due to peer pressure, fame, gossip, or rumors. Also, always try to build friendships up, rather than tear them down, because friendship is key. Lastly, always think before you speak, and take caution over your actions.
Living in hot southern California, Audrey and Victoria spend their days at boring, old high school, lame jobs, and of course rocking out to their favorite bands. Whether they’re dancing in their bedrooms, catching bands at the local jukebox, or tuning it out at a concert, these crazy girls always have a blast. But who can’t, when you’re living in California! Now don’t get all excited, because with benefits comes work; like, when you work at the Scooper Dooper ice cream shop (more like Scooper Pooper shop) Audrey hates her job, especially wearing the untrendy, pink uniforms. “My job sucks the most suck that has ever sucked” (26), Audrey complains. Robin Benway put a lot of effort into making her book comical and entertaining. And just from this sneak peak into the story, you can pick up on how humorous this book is.
Music loving Audrey is the main character of Audrey Wait!. Her personality is similar to her best friend, Victoria’s, and that’s why they get along so well. Audrey is your average-smart student at high school, but all of that changes when she breaks up with her boyfriend, Evan. She is perky, loud, musical, and does NOT want to be in the spotlight. As a natural lover of music, especially rock, she loves to play her music loud. “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-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” (9). Audrey continues by talking about how she feels about music. Although, Audrey Cuttler was never a role model of mine, as the story progresses, she grows into a more respectable idol. Now, I believe that she has learned a lot from mistakes and conflicts that have presented themselves throughout her life.
Victoria is Audrey Cuttler’s best friend for life. She was my favorite character throughout the book because I loved her personality and qualities. What really stood out to me was that Victoria was her own person. While in other books, the main character takes most of the spotlight in the story; Victoria has her own completely different limelight. This novel is unique to me because the author doesn’t create one big star, although it is obvious that Audrey is the main character. Both girls have separate qualities that make them special. Some of Victoria’s traits include being fun, loud, crazy, sweet, caring, girly, dramatic, energetic, stubborn, intelligent, and spirited. Victoria loves loud rock music, just as much as Audrey.
Robin Benway created the voice of her story from her interpretation of 16-year-old girls. However, I disagree with her, and think that she did a poor job bringing the characters, setting, and book to life. There was rarely any description or adjectives to describe a character’s appearance or the environment around the character. Although the story line was fantastic and very intriguing, I constantly was side tracked by her attempt to sound like a teenage girl. As cussing becomes more commonly known for teenagers, I blame influences such as this book for that. The author writes swear words into the dialogue between teenagers, but she does it excessively in my opinion. Additionally, there were some editing errors, but overall, I really enjoyed reading this page-turner book.
Audrey Wait! was a fun read, and I would definitely recommend it to others. However, be cautious of the strong language and young adult content in this book. Lastly, above all, make sure to ask your parents if you can read it or not, before you go ahead and read something not for your maturity level.
-Ania O., 7th grade