Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw has a cute premise but the execution fails to impress.
Genre: Young adult, contemporary
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Amulet Books for letting me read this.
Oh Yeah, Audrey! is about Gemma Beasley, a 16-year-old obsessed with Audrey Hepburn and her character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly. Gemma and her two internet best friends, Brian and Trina, started the Tumblr blog of the same name as the book, and they have planned to meet up for the first time in NYC for a special showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But after meeting up with everyone, she’s swept off her feet by a cute boy with a lot of money.
This book is a ridiculously fast read; I read it in just a few hours. It was okay, but I wouldn’t say it was great…maybe not even good. It felt really unrealistic: everything in the book was constructed to move the story, and the characters, along to teach them something about themselves and life. The decisions that Gemma made were because the author wrote her making the decisions; Gemma herself didn’t make them. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but when I read a book, I want it to seem like the character is doing the things. I don’t want to be pushed out of the story because it is so obvious it’s a work of fiction.
As for the writing: the descriptions felt really superficial and the character had no real depth to them. On the other hand, there were some good descriptions though:
“She doesn’t hold back her opinion. Like two opposite people in one. But I like them both and, besides, who isn’t at least two opposite people in one? Sometimes I feel like four or five people during the course of the day.” *
But then there were some bad descriptions too. I was surprised to find out that this was not a debut novel.
Gemma comes across as seriously immature, which I’m not sure was the point or not. The end of the novel does have more of a quiet emotional moment that did help the novel in my opinion. I wish that more of the novel were like that. Gemma has recently lost her mother, but this doesn’t really resonate in the book. Rather, Gemma (or the author) brings it up when she wants sympathy.
The bottom line: This was a really cute idea that just fell a little flat for me in its execution. I think bigger fans of Breakfast at Tiffany’s (not saying I’m not a fan; just saying super fangirls like Gemma) will enjoy the correlation to the movie and references to Audrey Hepburn. Not a memorable book for me.
Rating: 5 – take it or leave it
*Quotes taken from an advance copy of the book. Note that they might change in the final edition.