Review: Audrey, wait! by Robin Benway

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Summary:

While trying to score a date with her cute co-worker at the Scooper Dooper, sixteen-year-old Audrey gains unwanted fame and celebrity status when her ex-boyfriend, a rock musician, records a breakup song about her that soars to the top of the Billboard charts.

Review:

The summary doesn’t do the book justice. Audrey, wait! is one of the best contemporaries I have ever read. Audrey breaks up with her boyfriend Evan, who is a musician. When she walks out of his house, he calls out to her ‘Audrey, wait!’ but she keeps on walking, with only the promise to come to his show the next night. She does, and things don’t quite turn out how she thought they would. Evan always promised he’d write her a song, and now he has. And it’s called ‘Audrey, Wait!’ and to Audrey’s shock.. it’s actually good!

“Okay, I also have to admit, I was a little disappointed the song wasn’t titled “Audrey, the Hottest Girl I Ever Met,” or “Audrey, That Time Upstairs at the Party (Was Amazing)” or something like that.”

But no, the song is, of all things, about their break up and in this parallel universe, everyone has heard of that song and everyone knows Audrey and the story of The Song.

“The day I broke up with my boyfriend Evan was the day he wrote the song. You know, the song. I’m sure you’ve heard it. Maybe you danced to it at prom or sang it on your car on a Friday night when you were driving and feeling like you must be inhuman to be this happy, the windows down and nothing but air around you. Your mom has probably hummed it while cleaning the dryer’s lint trap and your grandpa has most likely whistled a couple bars. If he’s the whistling type.”

But in this book, she wants to tell you her side of the story. And gah, I love Audrey. She’s sarcastic as hell and has a great sense of humor. She has a fat cat named Bendomolena and she loves music. Loud music.

“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.”

It’s not a surprise she loves going to concerts and cuts pictures of bands out of magazines to hang on her bedroom wall, like a collage.
Back to the story, Audrey breaks up with Evan, Evan writes a good song and a label lands him. The song becomes a hit and suddenly Audrey is famous. People call ‘Audrey, wait’ after her in the hallways, they want pictures with her, want her to sign magazines, the paparazzi follows her everywhere and guys (mostly when they’re in a band) want to kiss her, so she can be their muse. It’s all pretty hectic, and chaotic. Some scenes are written like that, when Audrey’s all over the place, doing a million things at once, but those are the scenes I love. To write a good, chaotic scene like that, it’s hard and Robin Benway did a great job. I sometimes felt Audrey’s panicking myself, like when she’s going on her first date with James, her co-worker from the Scooper Dooper (an icecream shop). She can’t find her clothes or shoes, and oh my god she has only five minutes left to put on eyeliner when Victoria drops by so panic, panic, panic.

“Let me introduce you to something called The Point. You are missing it.”

That is Victoria, Audrey’s best friend. They do everything together and know each other so well, it’s awesome. Victoria is. There is no other way to describe her.

“It should come as no surprise that when Victoria is asked to spell her name, she says, “Like the queen.”

She’s one kickass character and is the best friend you can imagine. Example: Audrey and Victoria go to a concert of the Lolitas together after Evan’s song hit the charts and Audrey ends up making out with the lead singer of the band (he’s hot and British and can sing, what would you do?!). But at the end of the night, it’s clear he’s just using her for inspiration so she dumps him but it’s too late. The next morning there’s a video online of them making out. That’s where Victoria comes in. She drives over to Audrey’s house with coffee and a hammer to smash all her cd’s of the Lolitas to pieces. Best. Friend. Ever. I’m telling you.

“Audrey?”
“Yeah?”
“You.. you have a pretty mouth. You do. It’s just like.. yeah. It’s perfect.”
“James?”
“Yeah?”
“Do you.. ? Do you want to kiss me?”

Meet James, the cute guy who works with Audrey at the Scooper Dooper. He’s had a crush on her since the first day she started working there, back when she was still with Evan.

“On your first day, right after I told you we weren’t allowed to change the radio station? You changed it five minutes later and you knew all the words to al the songs for the entire shift. And then you did that little dance every time a song you liked came on. That was pretty cute.”

Heart heart, swoon swoon. James is quite shy at first, and dorky but he is so cute! Audrey and James are such a cute couple together, but with the paparazzi on her heels and her face in every magazine, it’s a bit hard for them to go on a normal date. On their first date they get chased (James acts like a true James Bond by trying to shake the paparazzi off by turning four lefts, how fucking cute) and have to hide in a cd store to be rescued by the police.

Nope, Audrey’s life ain’t about roses. But apart from all the chaos and the moments she wishes she could be anonymous again, or wishing she never broke up with Evan, there are a lot of funny moments in it. I laughed out loud quite a few times, maybe because I can totally relate to Audrey on so many levels.

“That would make a fantastic college entrance essay. ‘I Killed My Boyfriend and Still Managed to Maintain a 4.2 GPA and the Lead in the Spring Musical.”

I love this story a lot, and even though the book is quite a few years old, it’s still gold. So if you love witty books with a lot of song references, a sarcastic, funny and crazy (but the good kind) main character, an awful ex-boyfriend and a cute dorky boyfriend-to-be- to make up for that, then this must be added to your to read list.

“Like the Beatles said, “O-bla-di, o-bla-da, life goes on.”
And it does.
Rock on.”

amy calloway sisters

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