Review: Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi



It’s always been a loaded word for Maude. And when she is given a senior photography assignment—to create a portfolio that shows the meaning of family—she doesn’t quite know where to begin. But she knows one thing: without the story of her birth mother, who died when Maude was born, her project will be incomplete.

So Maude decides to visit her best friend, Treena, at college in Tallahassee, Florida, where Maude’s birth mother once lived. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena has changed. With a new boyfriend and a packed social calendar, Treena doesn’t seem to have time for Maude—or helping Maude in her search.

Enter Bennett, a cute guy who lives in Treena’s dorm. He understands Maude’s need to find her mother. And as Bennett helps Maude in her search, she starts to find that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Lauren Gibaldi has crafted a beautiful and timely coming-of-age story that poses the question: Is who we are determined at birth, or can we change as we grow?


*Book Received in Exchange for Honest Opinion/Review*

I wanted to love this story; however, I found myself bored and irritated by these characters. Maude is determined and tenacious, but this determination quickly turned to annoyance and pushy. Treena is having some un-diagnosed multiple personality disorder. I can understand going to college and wanting a fresh start but to completely act like an irrational, crazy person is unacceptable. Treena was flaky, self-absorbed, and overall a rude and sh*tty friend. Seriously, if she was as drop dead gorgeous as the book describes her as, she shouldn’t be so overly shocked the second a boy pays her a little attention.

There were things I did love about the book, Bennett, for example was sweet, cute, and nerdy and made waiting till 79% for a kiss worth it. You have your first kiss but spend the remainder of the book reminding yourself this isn’t last and its ending the second I leave…that is just depressing to me. However, the minor romance doesn’t even shine a light on the true journey of the book.

Maude, sorry I associate this name with old people from the 1920s, is on an endless search for her mother. Mind you, all that we learn are people were really slutty back then, and don’t pass judgement on these slutty people because they were just having fun. Just way too many hook up characters in books this year, this is a reoccurring theme in YA-Contemporaries this year and it is rather disappointing.  Susan is an absolutely aweful, bitter woman and I am so grateful she doesn’t exist in real life. Overall the book fell flat to me…

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