Author: Lauren Gibaldi
Published by: Harper Teen | 14 June 2016
Date Read: 05 June 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
*ARC Kindly provided by Harper Teen thru Edelweiss for review*
I love contemporary reads but most of the time they are either a hit or a miss. These past few weeks, I feel so lucky that all my contemporary reads are a hit and Autofocus is one of them.
I was not able to read yet Lauren Gibaldi’s first novel, The Night We Said Yes, but I am in definitely in love with Autofocus.
What does it mean to you? Who is in your family? How would you define family?”
Maude was torn as these questions were asked by her photography teacher. As an adopted daughter who have not me her birth mother, Maude is not sure what family really means. Yes, she love and appreciated all her parents has given to her but she still has so many unanswered questions. She wanted to fill out the holes in her life – particularly the one left by her birth mother.
With her photography assignment on hand, Maude has decided that her fall break is to be used into finding out more about her birth mother as well as taking the opportunity to visit her best friend at College.
As the saying goes, Change is really inevitable. Maude arrives at Treena’s dorm and though Treena, her best friend is still her usual bubbly self some things changed. She’s more outgoing and seems to be trying to remake herself. I actually don’t find anything bad about the changes Treena has been through however there are situations on the story that I definitely don’t agree on her actions.
The college issue is I think a part of the story where a lot of people can relate too. I mean, College is a totally different world from High School. But despite the changes with Treena, I liked how their friendship has surpassed the differences that came into their friendship. I really like their bond.
The story started slow but progressed beautifully. The story started with Maude just trying to look for the history of her birth mother but in the middle of it, it was just not about her photography assignment. It became more of the life that she would have if her birth mother is still alive, college and basically everything about her life.
Of course, let’s not forget the romance part of the story. Maude and Bennett were just too cute. I love how they started platonically as friends and developed into more. I just wish we get to know more about Bennett as well.
“The nicest and bravest thing she ever did was give me up. She gave me the life she herself didn’t have. And the thought of her life and what wasn’t lived, fills me with tears again.”
I liked Maude. She’s the silent type of character but full of thoughts. I like her determination and connecting all the dots so that she can find or just get the glimpse of the life her birth mother has lived back then. I really like Maude’s self- discovery.
Autofocus is an empowering story about finding yourself, acceptance, living and letting go. One of the good contemporary for this year.
“I’m full of answers and resolutions. And though there are still mysteries left, ones that might forever go unanswered, I’m okay not answering them. For now, at least.”
I’m listening to these feel good songs while reading this book. They all somewhat relate to the story for me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Public librarian and author of THE NIGHT WE SAID YES, MATT’S STORY (a Night We Said Yes novella), and AUTOFOCUS (out 6/14/16), all with HarperTeen / HarperCollins. Fan of dinosaurs and cheesy jokes. And you.