May 20, 2010

Lost for Words by Alice Kuipers

Words can fail you. They seem to be in a permanent state of failure for Sophie. She finds herself having severe panic attacks, distancing herself from her friends, turning her back on the only family she has left, and just generally withdrawing in on herself. What could possibly have caused this transformation? An awful, horror that Sophie can't bring herself to talk about with anyone.

So instead of talking Sophie takes refuge in the written word. At the suggestion of her therapist, who is making absolutely no progress with Sophie or her condition, the London teen picks up her notebook and writes whatever comes to her. There are some entries like a diary, there are some reflecting on her recent past, and there are some poems.

As her relationships with those who were once close to her are deteriorating, Sophie manages to make a new friend with a recently-arrived Canadian. Rosa-Leigh helps Sophie work through her issues and deal with the complicated mess that is the remains of Sophie's life. The future can't be much more bleak than the past, can it?

What a novel! It truly did read like a diary, with some entries being much more interesting than others and still more that you can find yourself having thought about before. This book had a very interesting part to it being that you start off the novel in the dark about "the tragedy." It is such an integral part of the storyline and the reason behind Sophie's actions that it absolutely ate me up not knowing what it was. Yet the way that the clues are dropped, the attempt to piece them together, and then the revelation were SO worth the wait!!

While I did not fancy Sophie that much as a person, even taking in to consideration her troubles, she was miles above her friends and pseudo-boyfriend. Her friends (other than Rosa-Leigh) were so self-absorbed and despicable that I really wanted to smack them! The pseudo-boyfriend was such a skeez (not to mention an uncompleted plotline) that I just skimmed the parts that contained his pathetic existence. Sophie's mother was quite likable and understanding, definitely more so than my mother would have been in the same situation.

While I did like this book, I felt that it could have been better executed. The diary-ness of it really got old after a while and I kind of wish there had been a little more poetry sprinkled throughout it. As a whole, the story was very compelling and breath-taking; filled with unimaginable heartache and toil, but the writing felt wonky most of the time. Now some of what I don't prefer may be intentional to give it the "written by a teen" feel; it just lacked for me. If you like a good thinking/puzzle book, then this will work well for you.

This book was provided by Around the World Tours.


Andrea said...

Great review!
I think I would get tired of the diary format though. I am intrigued by her secret.

Erika said...

hi there! found you on the hop, and i am absolutely in love with your blog. i'm a new follower! looking forward to reading more of your posts :D

Jan von Harz said...

Loved the review. The premise sounds a lot like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I do like diary format so I will definitely check it out.

I am glad I hopped over from the hop. I am now a follower.