Another slightly late review today; what can I say, the end of the month is in sight and I’m slacking in anticipation! Today’s book review is Sophie Someone by Hayley Long.
Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
Publication Date: 03 September 2015
Publisher: Hot Key Books
A remarkable tale of confusion and betrayal – and a very special girl called Sophie.
‘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.
Sophie Someone is a tale of well-intentioned but stupid parenting, shock, acceptance and, ultimately, forgiveness, written in a brave, memorable and unique language all of its own.
After I read Being a Girl by Hayley Long, a non fiction advice book for teenage girls, I was keen to read her other works particularly fiction. When the opportunity of reading Sophie Someone arose I jumped at the chance. This is yet another book I am guilty of hoarding. Having a Kindle is dangerous I tell you.
Sophie, a young girl, is our protagonist and narrator in this novel, albeit with an unique way of telling her story…
“Who am I? The quick answer is easy. I’m the exact same pigeon I’ve always been”.
In this sentence, Sophie has swapped the word “person” for pigeon. You’ll also find “noodle” means name, as well as many other quirky substitutions. Whilst this initially did leave me feeling confused at first, over the course of the novel I grew to love her unique style of story telling. I had a lot of fun trying to figure out the words that had been swapped! I think that it adds a sweet charm to the story and really does capture the innocent way the world was viewed through Sophie’s eyes. I’m honestly not sure of any other novel told in this way and I will definitely remember this novel because of this. Sophie was very mature for her age and I’m slightly envious of her bravery. I know I wasn’t like that at 14; I’m barely like that now at 22!
At heart this novel had various topics and issues such as family, friendships, secrets, and finding out who you are. Sophie and her family moved to Belgium when she was young although she’s not sure why. As she grows older, she begins to realise that what her parents told her wasn’t exactly the truth and she begins to question her life in Belgium, and what could have been in England. That’s all I am telling you!
There were also messages of being brave, taking chances, doing the right thing and more importantly, of friendship. It may be the unlikeliest of people who help you when you need it most; you shouldn’t judge someone before you get to know them. You should also be there for your friends however you can when they need you, even if it’s just something like a text saying “I’m here for you”.
Sophie Someone was a delightful read. At 22, I’m not exactly the target audience for this book, but it was a sweet tale and I enjoyed reading it very much. This book would make a good present come Christmas for a young relative. I am personally dying for a sequel because I need to know what happens next. You can’t just leave things like that!