Review: Sophie Someone

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual Rating: 3.5

Alright, alright. So the only thing anyone has been saying about this book is that the language is hard to understand, and I totally get where they’re coming from. For example:

We live in a big old hovel at the foot of the hill. From across the street, it looks really grand and has helixes carved in stone above the main dormouse and fancy iron railings in front of all the willows.

In this sentence, you can probably surmise that “hovel” is “house”, “helixes” is “heads”, “dormouse” is “door”, and “willows” is “windows”. I agree – it does seem quite bizarre. But personally I had absolutely no trouble reading through all 256 pages in two hours.

Sophie Someone, in essence, is a book about Sophie Nieuwenleven, a fourteen-year-old girl who moved from England to Belgium years ago, and still doesn’t know why. But one day, she learns something shocking – she doesn’t have a birth certificate. And things spiral from there as Sophie decides to embark on a little journey of her own to figure out who she really is.

One thing that probably stood out to me the most was how unique the voice was. This was definitely due to the language, but it did also make the book seem more middle grade than young adult (which is what most people have been shelving this as on Goodreads). Because of the language style, Sophie definitely seemed much younger than she actually was – I kept getting the vibe that it was a little na├»ve child speaking, not a fourteen-year-old who would’ve already known more about the world.

It was a little difficult to connect with the characters. I’m honestly not sure if it’s the writing style, because like I said, I had no problem reading though it. Still, the plot itself wasn’t really surprising or anything, and I do feel like the style might’ve been a little distracting. I had actually expected the words (or shall I say, “worms”) to become more and more normal as Sophie’s character developed, but the language was consistently bizarre the entire way through, which might’ve also contributed to a homogenous voice.

Despite my issues with the book, I feel as though I’m opposite of a lot of readers – the writing style was what I loved the most. I wish that the plot and characters worked a little better for me, but the book was still so creative and different, a breath of fresh air from the typical novel. Personally, though, I’m someone with a crazy imagination, and my thoughts often jump around and spiral out of control. That may contribute to my ease in reading this book – I’m not sure. But anyways, overall it was an interesting read and to be honest I’d love to read something else like it.

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