Monday 21 September 2015

Sophie Someone, Hayley Long

Pages: 258
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 3rd September 2015
Edition: UK signed proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Lottie Biggs is (Not) Mad, Lottie Biggs is (Not) Desperate, Lottie Biggs is (Not) Tragic, What’s Up With Jodie Barton?, Downside Up, Being a Girl

Some stories are hard to tell. Even to your very best friend.

And some words are hard to get out of your mouth.
Because they spell out secrets that are too huge to be spoken out loud. But if you bottle them up, you might burst.

So here’s Sophie’s story. Told the only way she dares tell it.

Sophie and her family moved to Belgium when she was only four years old, but she's never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally she can unlock the mystery of who she really is. This a story about identity and confusion – and feeling so utterly freaked out that you just can't put it into words. But it's also about hope, and the belief that, somehow, everything will work out okay.

I didn’t really know what to expect from Sophie Someone, but I got a clever, unique novel about family, friendship and the belief that everything will be okay.

The only way Sophie can bring herself to tell her story is to do it in her own language. It was a little strange at first, but I soon got into the rhythm of it and didn’t notice it as much. Some of the words are obvious: ‘heater’ for ‘heart’, ‘noodle’ for ‘name’, ‘pigeon’ for ‘person’, and though some are a little harder to grasp, if you don’t work it out the first time, it’ll click the second or third time in a new sentence.

Sophie’s unique way of telling a story extended beyond her code and into the layout, sizing and positioning of text. I love it when author’s play with the text in that way. It adds an extra level of personality and playfulness to the voice and it’s not featured enough in my opinion!                                                                                                                                        Underneath Sophie’s code is a story steeped in mystery. From the very beginning it became obvious that whatever had happened for Sophie’s parents to move them from England to Brussels and change their identities. I had no idea what was it was and I loved the way Sophie drip-fed the information as past her put it together and puzzled over the actions of her parents and the inconsistencies they’ve given her. The effects extended far beyond Sophie, however. Sophie’s mum had her life turned upside down by the move to Brussels and the pressure of keeping the secret from her family and event those on the street has given her extreme agoraphobia among other things.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie Someone. It’s full of mystery and it’ll warm your heater.

Thanks to Hot Key Books for the review copy.


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