Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi | Book ReviewAutofocus by Lauren Gibaldi
Published by HarperCollins on June 14th 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Social Themes, Dating & Sex, Girls & Women
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062302236

From the author of The Night We Said Yes comes a fun and heartfelt YA contemporary tale. When Maude decides to search for information about her birth mother, she finds out more than she expected. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Susane Colasanti.
Family. It’s always been a loaded word for Maude, whose birth mother died after giving her up for adoption. With her best friend, Treena, in college in the same town where her birth mother grew up, Maude decides to visit and explore her past. But when Maude arrives, she quickly discovers that Treena doesn’t seem to have time for her—or for helping with 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, she starts to realize that her mother’s past doesn’t have to define her own future.

Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi really moved up higher on my TBR stack when I saw Eric Smith tweeting about it. There’s just something about unbridled enthusiasm that convinces me to read a book. And so, I decided I need to read this book sooner rather than later. I absolutely do not regret this decision. I felt that this book was an endearing, excellent read about finding yourself and not letting your past define your future.

Autofocus follows main character Maude as she works on a project for her photography class. Maude is adopted. Her biological mom died soon after her birth due to an undetected heart condition. Maude has always been left with questions about her mother. She wants to know what they have in common, she thinks it will unlock the key to who she is. So, when she is assigned a photography class project around the word family, she decides to find answers about her mom.

This takes Maude to Florida State University, where she is visiting her best friend Treena. This is also where her mother went to school and grew up in the area. While at the school, Maude learns that Treena has changed a whole lot – she’s now wrapped up in this guy named Trey. Maude also makes some changes herself and finds herself getting close with this guy named Bennett.

Maude is the sort of character who really seems to have her head on straight. I mean, she’s a good girl but that’s not necessarily a negative. She’s always been pretty reserved with few friends. In fact, it seems she really has two friends – Treena and Celine. She is not one for going out and partying and hooking up with boys. Neither was Treena, until college. I liked that Maude was allowed to experiment and try drinking. She acted in a way that I thought seemed consistent with reality. I also liked how committed Maude was to being a good friend.

Actually, speaking of Maude, her journey to find more information about her family in Autofocus is so interesting. She hits a lot of dead ends. She comes across disappointment. Sure, Maude finds out some information about her mother Claire. However, ultimately we learn it is not about the destination, but the journey and it does change Maude for better. Also there’s a lot of discussion about nature versus nurture which makes this book one that I think is ripe for discussion.

Finally, the last two big factors regarding this book that I cared about were the college factor and the romance factor. Maude is visiting a college for what seems like the first time, on her own. She gets the real experience. She sees her friend Treena change from how she was in high school and just transform. Treena is now outgoing and dating some jock guy who is a bit of a ladies man. I liked that Maude engaged in partying, as I said above. I liked that she began to take her time and really think about what she wants from college.

Also? The romance with Bennett is super cute and progresses at a great pace. In all, I absolutely enjoyed this book and am so glad I happened to catch this recommendation at some point on twitter.

Other reviews of Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi:

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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