In response to my peers book review on What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonja Sones.
Main Character of the novel: Sophie.
While reviewing the novel What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonja Sones, my peer talked about how she enjoyed how dialog was not overused throughout the book and I completely agree. I found that Sones was clever with her dialog usage throughout the novel. It was not overused, and when it was used throughout the book, it enhanced the story. Though the dialog was not used specifically for important information, it still kept me thoroughly engaged. When it came to the allegory, my peer and I had the same notion: to accept others how they are and to not judge people on their looks. Either good or bad, someone’s appearance can be misleading, which is a topic explored throughout the novel. Before he is introduced as an important character, Murphy is described as being extremely ugly, having no friends, and being harshly bullied. Sophie is a bystander to the bullying until she gets to know Murphy and, ironically, falls in love with him- because of his personality- not his looks- describing him as her “Mr. Right-and-a-half”. My peer also explained how she liked the fact the book was written as if it was Sophie’s journal. I agreed with this statement to an extent however I believe that the story and events were told from Sophie’s mind. It was not Sophie writing her thoughts down, but her expressing them to the reader through her thoughts and observations. Because of the perspective the book was written, I thought Sones did a masterful job embodying and portraying what it feels like to be a teenage girl. I empathized with Sophie throughout the novel but more specifically on her notions, thoughts and constant worries about her peers and friends opinions of her. I think every teenager can relate to the dismal struggle to feel accepted in todays judgmental society.
Skating alone / Round and around, / my thoughts tie themselves / into knots in my head. Sonja Sones’ writing style is one that is very engaging and enjoyable to read, but rare to find in novels. Her writing is poetry but one that is so eloquently written that it does not feel like mere poetry or writing, but manifests everything a teenage girl would actually think and feel- in fact if I didn’t know who wrote the book, I would have assumed a teenage girl had written it! The short, quick and concise wordage Sones uses articulates an abundance of emotions, sometimes discreetly and sometimes with the intention of drawing attention. In her simplistic and elegant writing, Sonya Sones’ does not purely describe the setting, she shows you. Her words are deft, astute, carefully chosen, and flawlessly strewn together. When Sophie describes her dark, dreary, and pernicious basement, you can see it clear as day and feel all of the emotions the main character feels towards that setting. The minor characters in the novel can epitomise how shallow and superficial society can be. At times, characters such as Rachel and Grace use cruel and obscure words to describe Murphy, whom they do not even know. Their clouded judgment of Murphy along with their obsession with boys made them seem unappealing and superficial. Because of multiple minor characters like Rachel and Grace, the minor characters slightly diminished my love for the book. Overall I thought the What My Mother Doesn’t Know was touching, very engaging, and a wonderful short read. I would recommend this book to any teenage girl who’s looking for a good book!