Sophie Someone by Hayley Long
Author: Hayley Long
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Release Date: March 28, 2017 (first published September 3, 2015)
Goodreads Synopsis: 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. She and her family came to live in Belgium when she was only four or five, but she’s fourteen now and has never been sure why they left England in the first place. She loves her international school, adores her friend Comet, and is protective of her little brother, Hercule. But it’s hard to feel carefree when her mom never leaves the apartment — ordering groceries online and blasting music in her room — and her dad has a dead-end job as a car mechanic. Then one day Sophie makes a startling discovery, a discovery that unlocks the mystery of who she really is. This is a novel about identity and confusion and about feeling so utterly freaked out that you can’t put it into words. But it’s also about hope. And trust. And the belief that, somehow, everything will be OK. Sophie Someone is a tale of good intentions, bad choices, and betrayal — and ultimately, a compelling story of forgiveness.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: Sophie Someone was one of those reads that started off pretty complicated. With its own secret language, it gave the reader more to think about and for many the reason why it was placed on their DNF list. It was a bit of a mind bender in the beginning, but once I picked up on the meanings, it was a lot easier to move along the pages. Even though I caught on very quickly and it wasn’t much of a hassle, I don’t think I would read another book like it. I was not kept interested because of that one aspect of the novel, more because of the story within it.
Sophie is a charismatic young lady that has created her own way of speaking. She knows little about her family history, mostly because her dad has made sure to keep it from her. Her life is flipped upside down one day when her mom decides they must move away without telling anyone what they are doing and why. All she is told is they are going to new beginnings and hopefully her dad will follow suit. In this moment of her life, everything changes and secrets begin to pile high even more than before.
There are things her dad is hiding, but even so Sophie lets it go without question because she adores him. The stories he tells her, the meaning behind their last name Nieuwenleven and an all around father who wants to be there for her and her brother Hercule. With all of this taking the lead, she has little time to question why they were uprooted from their previous residence or more so why her mother is always jumpy and watchful of their every move.
She soon comes to make a friend in Comet, who she loves and adores with all her heart. Later she becomes a vital part in helping Sophie find out the truth of her family’s situation, when she discovers hidden realities while searching the internet. At first doubting if anything should be done about it, she turns to Comet who makes sure she is thinking with a rational mind and then decides it is best for Sophie to finally get to the bottom of all that is surrounding them.
What lays behind all of it is pain and heartache. Facts that will make all of her existence a lie and in doing so causing her to think of her name as only Sophie Someone. She will confront both her parents and re-evaluate where this leaves them and her in the process. As everything goes downhill, Sophie will have to make a choice whether she will stay in the aftermath of it all or walk away for good. A hard decision for a young girl who has had to cope with everything in her own way.
Although I wasn’t the biggest fan of Sophie’s personal language, I very much enjoyed this read. There was depth and honest family moments. Her character kept me coming back for more, and that little brother of hers was just so likable. His love for all things Doctor Who, made it that much better. Except the part where he uses his sonic screwdriver to jam it into the toaster, that is another crazy part of this story for another time.
***I received this copy from Candlewick Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***