Publication Date: May 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
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'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 my story. Told the only way I dare tell it.'
Sophie Nieuwenleven is sort of English and sort of Belgian. Sophie and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five years old, but she's fourteen now and has never been quite sure why they left England in the first place. Then, one day, Sophie makes a startling discovery. Finally Sophie can unlock the mystery of who she really is. This is 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 OK.
I received a copy of this novel from Hot Key Books publishers in exchange for a full and honest review. I had previously read Hayley Long's novel Being A Girl and so was looking forward to reading more novels by her. This was the first novel I read after finishing my 3rd year exams and not having much time to read for the past couple of months and honestly I was kinda disappointed.
Sophie Someone tells the story of a young teenage girl called Sophie who discovers that her parents have been keeping one of the biggest secrets from her her entire life, one big enough to call into question everything she thinks she knows about her life so far and about her family.
The story is told from Sophie's perspective which provides for interesting reading as Sophie has a very unique narrator voice. Sophie uses her own words which she uses interchangeably in place of English words. Most of these words are bird related terms for example pigeons is used to mean peoples and worms is used to mean words. This can be jarring when you first read the novel and definitely takes some time to get used to when you pick the book back up after having left it down for a while but once you get into the mind of Sophie it can become easier to follow. Sophie also has a very clear cut, black / white view of the world and what is right and wrong which reflects her age and morality.
The characters in the novel were enjoyable and the novel had a very diverse cast of men and women of all ages, races, cultures and many languages represented in the novel. I found the characters to be interesting especially Sophie's mother and their neighbor Madame Wong. I also enjoyed reading about Sophie's friendships with her best friend Comet and her new found friend Angelika.
The novel felt somewhat flat for me. The plot felt slow and even in parts where you could feel the plot may start to take off and get quite exciting now, it still did not. I didn't feel any hook to grip me to the story. I thought the novel did a good job of portraying teenage emotions and mindset while also portraying other issues such as agoraphobia in Sophie smother but apart from that I didn't feel gripped to the story and came away feeling a little meh? I feel the pacing was far too slow for the novel and would probably be enjoyed more as a middle grade ish novel.
Unfortunately this novel was just okay for me, not terrible and not brilliant just meh. The novel didn't stay in my head after reading and was not a memorable read. I didn't feel very invested in the characters who could have been explored more. Although I have to say what a beautiful cover it has such vibrant orange!