Book Review: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

Book Review: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LeFleur

Pub. Date: 8th Feb 2011 (US)  7th Jan 2010 (UK)
Publisher: Yearling (USA) Puffin (UK)
Pages: 272
Readership: Children’s
Genres: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★
Buy: Paperback
More: Goodreads

I read Eight Keys last year and I absolutely loved it. It was my first foray into children’s literature for a little while and I adored the way Elise’s story was told — through discovering a key that leads to unlocking eight rooms in her family’s barn — and so I did not hesitate to read Suzanne LaFleur’s début novel, Love, Aubrey.

Love, Aubrey is a heartbreakingly realistic tale of an 11-year-old who suddenly loses her father and younger sister Savannah in a devastating car crash. Aubrey wakes up not long after the tragic accident and discovers that her mother is not at home, and it looks like she’s never coming back. Aubrey’s determined to survive on her own with TV, cheese and crackers, and her new pet fish Sammy, because if she faces the truth too quickly, she won’t be able to bear it.

Aubrey’s emotional transition throughout the novel is slow but noticeable. The story takes place over a few months and we watch as she tries to come to terms with the drastic changes in her life, and frequently has watery flashbacks of the way her family used to be. Suzanne LaFleur is unafraid to show that Aubrey is depressed. Aubrey isn’t sad, she isn’t unhappy, she’s going through something much deeper and traumatic. Suzanne LaFleur does this in a subtle yet purposeful way, which I think is hugely important as a child isn’t simply going to say ‘I’m depressed’. I also loved how the adults were supportive and not submissive. They recognised that Aubrey was not going to ‘snap out of it’. Instead, Aubrey deals with the situation in her own way as she writes letters to her sister’s best friend Jilly,  and in ways suggested by those that care for her, such as her grandmother giving her ‘to do’ lists every day.

Love, Aubrey is an important reminder that children’s books aren’t just for children, a poignant story about grief and consoling. It’s not a book you ‘enjoy’, per se. Instead, you’ll become deeply invested in the well-being of this little girl, richly understanding every emotion and thought running through her head. Suzanne LaFleur has a talent for understand children’s experiences — and how they can be both very different, and very like, the experiences of adults — and I look forward to seeing who she endeavours to tell the story of next.

Thank you Puffin for providing this book for review!

9 thoughts on “Book Review: Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur

  1. […] And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins Love, Aubrey by Suzanne […]

  2. […] Richelle Mead The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur Starters by Lissa Price Insurgent by Veronica Roth The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by […]

  3. this book is realy intresting and sad also ut had a moral to be happy for what youve got

  4. […] and get my books signed. Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge, described as this year’s Love, Aubrey, is about a girl who dies, only to be told it’s not her time. Ferryman by Claire McFall is an […]

  5. My ten year old was reading this book with the audio. It is the first book that I encouraged her not to finish and sat down with her to discuss the tragic situation of the auto accident and the father and sister being killed. I explained just like her friend that lost her father to cancer 3 years ago that if something tragic like this happened in our family I would get her help and support just like her friend participated in “Good Mourning: programs. I would not abound her and would seek professional help for myself and also get her help at school. I think this story is too heavy for a ten year old to fully process. It was one of her Battle of the Books selections to read. I think in today’s society younger children need to understand that there is support and help to try to overcome a tragic situation. Take caution in having younger children read this novel. I think it is more appropriate for 14 years and up.

  6. […] Published: 3rd January 2013 Publisher: Bloomsbury Pages: 240 Source: Thank you Bloomsbury & The Book Depository for providing this book to review! If you liked: Eight Keys & Love, Aubrey […]

  7. Reading this story, for me, was just like any other day. I am almost 11 years old, and I am going through something very similar to Aubrey’s situation. My mother lives somewhere in Bellingham and I only see her every so often. She never answers my calls, and that frustrates me tremendously. I have such a hard time living with myself, my life is like a horror movie mixed with a tragedy. It hurts my insides to think about her, because she is supposed to be there, but it seems as if I have to be the grown up in every situation. She uses up my time, and every day I have to take the energy to act as if I am as happy as any other. That’s not the truth. If you want to hear my story, post in the comments about it.

  8. […] Keys and Love Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur are two heartbreaking stories about family and grief that truly understand the […]

  9. I read this story and I think I understand it and I am 8. I really like the fact that at the end she is happy were she is.

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