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It's the song everyone's singing. And it's about her! But for Audrey, becoming famous overnight equals total, life-changing disaster...
-- The log line on the novel cover.
Audrey: If there is any justice in the world, the first major meteorite to ever strike the Earth will score a direct hit on the Scooper Dooper.
Audrey, Wait! is a charming Coming of Age Story by Robin Benway about a girl in California who breaks up with her musician boyfriend... causing him to write a hit single about their break up that sweeps the globe. Suddenly her ex-boyfriend is famous, and she's reluctantly pulled along in the wake of his success. Her best friend Victoria (and her boyfriend, Jonah) help her through the initial shock of fame, through thick and thin as the paparazzi and frenzied public complicate their lives.
It gets worse when Audrey gets a chance to go back stage at a concert with a favourite band of hers, where a short fling with a famous singer ends badly. Now the media is twisting the events to paint her as the next Britney Spears, and her phone/personal email flood with nasty accusations from the general public. Things continue to snowball from there as Audrey grapples to hold on to her friends and finally get the tabloid writers away from her and her family.
The novel is written as though it were her factual recount of the events that led to her fame. The narration is laid back, easy going, generally quite humorous, and littered with all sorts of pop culture and new media references.
Audrey, Wait! contains examples of:
- Accidental Heroine: Sort of. While inspiring a catchy song is hardly heroic, the media still plays it up for all it’s worth.
- Adorkable: James, full stop. Even Audrey, to an extent.
- Afraid of Blood: Audrey's mom.
- Ahem: The secretary does this a few times when Audrey’s isolated from the rest of the school to minimise fame-related interruptions. Audrey tries to stretch out her bathroom visits and chats-through-the-window with friends as long as she can.
- All First Person Narrators Write Like Novelists: Lampshaded throughout the book, usually by pointing out “PSAT words”. The lampshading even snuck into some dialogue:
Victoria paused and I could tell she was trying not to smile. "Did you just say frolic?"
(Audrey) "Is it not a word?"
"Who the hell says 'frolic'?"
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Blissfully averted. Neither James nor Evan are particularly “bad”, and the one bad boy Simon only caught her attention because she thought he was nice at first.
- Jonah, for that matter, is also not a bad boy, but he and Victoria are getting along swimmingly.
- Apologetic Attacker: Audrey describes her experience with Taekwondo as ending poorly both because she gets giggle fits when she has to be serious (which happens a lot in martial arts) and because her mom was always apologising to the attack dummies.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Audrey's reasons for breaking up with Evan can be summarised as "He smokes too much pot, he's always 'practicing' or 'gigging, and he says 'gigging'".
- Attention Whore: What everybody perceives Audrey to be, though she definitely subverts the trope in the finale where she goes off script on live TV and spills the beans on what actually happened.
- Then there's Sharon, who is constantly inserting herself in Audrey's way wherever she can for a shot at soaking up some of her fame.
- Bathroom Stall Graffiti: Stick figures labelled “Audrey” and “Simon” depicted in sexual positions along with the phrase “Audry sucks dik” (no, those aren’t typos).
- The Bechdel Test: Passes with flying colours. While the females do talk about boys (they’re teenagers), they also talk about reality TV, the entertainment industry and music. In fact they probably talk more about music than anything else in the novel, which makes sense given the author’s obsession with it.
- Beta Couple: Victoria and Jonah
- Betty and Veronica: Without meaning to, Audrey ends up as the Betty to Sharon's Veronica twice. She wins both times.
- The media also makes Audrey the Archie to the various guys she hooks up with (Evan vs Simon, Simon vs James, James vs Evan) despite the fact there's actually no triangle overlap.
- Beware the Honest Ones: MTV probably regrets getting Audrey on live, national TV.
- Be Yourself: Amy’s advice just before Audrey goes on live, national TV is to “be herself”, even though she’s handing Audrey some cue cards that rehash words of hers that were already twisted by somebody else. Audrey takes the advice to heart.
- Birds of a Feather: Her and James are both huge music nuts, going so far as to spend a night cuddling while throwing pennies at her collage wall and naming songs from every band the coin hit.
- Burger Fool: How Audrey introduces her day job. And it is hilarious.
Okay. I've been trying to avoid this part, but it's not a secret anymore. It's true. I work at an ice cream shop - excuse me, "shoppe" - at the mall. That in itself is not so bad, except for three things: 1) I hate the mall; 2) I hate all the customers; and 3) I'm forced to wear a bright pink hat and T-shirt and say... are you ready for this?
- Cats Are Mean: Subverted with Bendomolena. Granted, the cat's sheer apathy for all things living means she doesn't really have any capacity to be nice either. Just indifferent.
- Cannot Talk to Women: James, at first, who comments that the store needs “more butter pecan” when Audrey first tried to make conversation with him.
- Celeb Crush: Audrey’s initial interest in Simon Lolita is this.
- When Audrey asks James “What took him so long [to ask her out]?” James says Audrey was intimidating, and this was probably exasperated by her sudden ascension to fame.
- Celebrity Is Overrated: Pretty much the entire point of the novel (though to be fair, Audrey feels she didn’t do anything to deserve the fame).
- Compliment Fishing: Sharon tries this with Evan and James. A lot.
- Cry Into Chest: Okay, it’s described as his shoulder, but still.
- Crowd Chant: Two words. You can probably guess them.
- Determinator: The Do-Gooders, who continued their show even after the ceiling of their gig collapsed.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in a British Accent: Audrey’s initial opinion of Simon.
- Face of the Band: Invoked in universe - It's implied that Evan (being the singer) is the face associated with their name. Plus, Simon (singer of The Lolitas) is the one that gets Audrey tangled in her second media scandal.
- Fiery Redhead: James, after he gets over his social awkwardness.
- Fifteen Minutes of Fame: This could safely be renamed “15 Minutes of Fame: The Novel”. It's hinted that Evan, the songwriter of "Audrey, Wait!" may not actually stick at 15 minutes since he's genuinely passionate about performing, but Audrey herself definitely embodies this trope (especially considering she didn't do anything).
- The First Cut Is the Deepest: Probably not helped by the fact that her Break Up Song is world renown.
- First-Person Smartass: Used to entertaining effect.
- The Friend Nobody Likes / Cloudcuckoolander: Tizzy. Subverted in that Tizzy is the one to comfort Audrey when she's feeling completely alone by giving her a late Christmas gift, but zig zagged when the gift turns out to be a shirt that says "I liked you better before you sold out" causing Audrey to burst into tears. Anyone's guess as to whether Tizzy intended for that or not.
- Garage Band: It’s described that most people in her school are in a band of some kind, though most of them are crap.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Both James and Jonah are described as dorks in the books, yet they’re the successful romantic leads.
- Grass Is Greener: Not with countries, but lifestyles. Victoria is somewhat jealous of Audrey's unsolicited fame and Audrey is jealous of Victoria's anonymity.
- Holding Hands: James likes it. Evan didn’t.
- I Just Want to Be Normal
- Inherently Funny Words: The Slogan for Audrey's job. Just try saying "Scooper Dooper" without cracking a dumb grin.
- Jerkass: Simon. He was only interested in Audrey at first because kissing her would increase his own publicity... even though he admits he did kinda like her later on. He's still portrayed as a villain despite this.
- Let's Just Be Friends: Only took the author 3 pages to bring it up for Evan and Audrey.
- Life of the Party: In The Lolitas back stage after party, it's Audrey that gets everybody dancing when she puts on a playlist. This also contributes to Simon's interest in her.
- Love Epiphany: “Love” might be a bit strong, but James has his during Audrey’s first shift at work after he tells her it’s against the rules to change the radio station, but she goes ahead and does it anyway (and sings along with every song for hours). Audrey has hers when he helps her out of her meltdown after hearing “Audrey, Wait!” on said radio later on.
- Love Triangle: Audrey has a brief one with Simon versus James.
- Audrey also ends up in two with Sharon over Evan and, later, James. Both choose Audrey.
- Moment Killer: Always the bloody customers at Scooper Dooper.
- Muse Abuse: One of the unintended side effects of Evan's fame is that the song that got him famous is slandering Audrey. They publicly resolve the issue on national TV at the end of the book.
- This was Simon's game plan the whole time.
- Nervous Wreck: Audrey starts off like this when Simon approaches her. She works out of it.
- Also later on, when she's going on national TV. Subverted in that she's not nervous during the show, but feels like puking after (though that's probably for a different reason).
- Nice Guys Finish Last: Inverted. The nice guys are the ones with the relationships by the end of the book.
- Noodle Incident: Audrey’s father’s pumpkin carving incident. Lampshaded by Victoria when she sees him carving a pumpkin.
Victoria: I thought you weren’t allowed near pumpkins anymore?* Not Listening to Me, Are You?: This lovely exchange between Audrey and Evan.
"Hey," I said casually. "Bendomolena's on fire."
"Cool. So yeah, Jon wants to do a drum solo and we were like, 'Dude, no!'"
- Oh Crap: The scene where Victoria realises Evan's going to perform the at-the-time-unknown Break Up Song. It Got Worse when the school, the local town and eventually half the known world loves it.
- One Head Taller: James, natch.
- Oral Fixation Fixation: Audrey repeatedly comments on the oral hygiene of her romantic interests (or lack thereof in the case of Simon).
- Playing Sick: Victoria refuses to do this for fear of its impact on her GPA.
- Poor Communication Kills: If Evan had been more insistent on getting Audrey to wait by saying something other than “Audrey, Wait!” the whole story never would have happened.
- Poster Gallery Bedroom: Audrey dedicates an entire wall of her room to her band/music collage. It even becomes and important plot point later on when she and James are cuddling.
- Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Audrey’s interview with MTV.
- Repeat What You Just Said: When Victoria informs Audrey of the reality TV offer.
- Romance-Inducing Smudge: An inevitable outcome of the two romantic leads working at an ice cream shoppe.
- Shipper on Deck: Victoria and Jonah both egg Audrey on to start something with James, and are beside themselves with glee when she finally does.
- Testing the Love Interest: James claims that he doesn’t want to pick the movies because he always feels like the girls are testing him when they ask him to do this.
- Think Nothing of It: Audrey tries from the very beginning to play down her supposed “contribution” to ‘’The Song.’’
- Trade Your Passion for Glory: Evan and his band avert this by dropping their old label which was planning to screw them and start over with a new label that would actually enable their ambitions.
- Twitchy Eye: Tizzy, and how!
I swear to God, her eyes were going in two different directions by this point.
- Understanding Boyfriend: James is extremely patient with Audrey as she copes with her fame problem.
- Jonah for Victoria
- Unwanted Harem: Sharon is this for both Evan and James, who only want to date Audrey.
- Wasn't That Fun?: James’ and Audrey’s first date, despite being a disaster by most people’s standards, ends quite well with both of them agreeing the chaos was rather interesting.
- When It All Began: When Evan performed The Song.