Friday, May 12, 2017

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

  • THE BOOK
    • Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
    • Published March 28, 2017
    • Other works by author include Fire and Water, Vinyl Demand, What's Up with Jody Barton?, and the Lottie Biggs series.

  • THE PREMISE
    • Sophie remembers moving to Brussels, Belgium, from England when she is about 5 years old. When she is 14 she discovers something that causes her to start questioning and seeking answers about who she really is.
    • Her dad is a car mechanic and her mom is a recluse who never leaves their apartment or learns to speak the Belgian language. Sophie also has a younger brother named Hercule who was born in Belgium unlike Sophie who was born in England like her parents.
    • The book is written in a different way than most books. Sophie is the narrator and she uses different words for things throughout the entire book.
      • People are pigeons.
      • Mom and dad are mambo and don (or donny). Parents are parsnips. Man is maniac. Friends are freckles. Names are noodles.
      • Face is fax, voice is vortex, head is helix, ears are eels, mouth is mush, hand is hashtag, teacher is torturer, litchen is kindle, and on and on.
      • It is very similar --- only in the way language is used! --- to A Clockwork Orange. This is a book for middle schoolers, however, so I imagine this might be a more challenging book for those grade levels.
        • For me it was fairly easy to discern the meanings from context. By the end of the book you are fairly fluent in Sophie's lingo. But I can see how this would irritate some readers.
        • The character explains why the word substitutions are made by the very end of the book.
          • I must admit, at first I thought the book was about a girl who had some sort of developmentally delayed issue or was on the spectrum who just used language differently. That would have been fine but she was neither of those things.
    • The story jumps about in chronology as Sophie pieces together the past with the present.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • I liked the story and was anxious to find out the big secret that her parents were trying to hide. It's a doozy. 
    • I thought the ending was abrupt. 
      • By the end of the book the family's circumstances have changed drastically and which seems to leave the family with absolutely no means of financial support. 
      • Sophie's best friend Comet, who has major troubles in her own family, is given short shrift.
      • And Sophie makes a new friend along the way who's story could use some fleshing out.
      • I have to wonder if there will be a sequel addressing these issues.
      • Spoilers are located in the next bullet point in white text so they are invisible unless you highlight them with your cursor or finger:
        • Sophie's dad, a gambling addict with large debts and with her mom's encouragement, helped two criminals rob an armored car, netting millions of pounds. The two criminals left the dad with just enough money, a few thousand pounds, to buy a mechanic business in Brussels. At the end of the book he turns himself in and will go to prison for years. The agoraphobic mother decides she better leave the apartment after all, so she can buy groceries. The end.
    • I'd definitely read a sequel.
    • Recommended for middle schoolers and others who enjoy young adult books.
    • ★ ★ ★

1 comment:

  1. "Her mom is a recluse who never leaves their apartment or learns to speak the Belgian language" French, German, Dutch?; too may choices for a stranger. The white text did not reveal the reason for the word substitutions.

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