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A 14-year-old girl’s journey through love, lost and found

“What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones; 259 pages; Simon and Schuster; $17

Follow Sophie on her journey through love, lost and found. Whether it’s in the smoldering eyes of Dylan, or the amazing forearms of her mystery man, Sophie’s experiences provide a backdrop to this charming and witty read.

“What My Mother Doesn’t Know” captures the essence of being 14 and falling in and out of love. Sophie relates her adventures in free verse and the book takes on the persona of Sophie’s diary or even just her thoughts.



Although this book is probably more appropriately suited for the female population, guys could benefit from this uninhibited look into the monthly “rebooting (of the) female reproductive system.”

Sophie’s adventures include her two cohorts, Rachel and Grace, best friends since third grade.



Sophie’s relationships with her mother and father add flavor, while those with boys supply the sting of reality. Sophie struggles with how “what (her) mother doesn’t know, (supposedly) won’t hurt her,” while her father struggles with showing affection towards his daughter.

Sophie’s obsession with boys and love can be seen as a result of her troubles at home. But her pursuits are clever and sweet to read about and she quickly becomes a very likable character.

An easy read as well as a quick one, “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” is also a fun read. Sonya Sones gives Sophie a spirited and witty personality that breathes life into her character. Whether it is chatting with her “cyber soul mate,” Chaz, or turning winter break in her home town into an opportunity to play tourist, Sophie’s journeys are truly a joy to read about.

Adolescent girls everywhere could identify with the trials and triumphs of Sophie. Her experiences and thoughts are so accurately portrayed that she becomes real in the eyes of the reader. Sonya Sones gives Sophie charisma, humor, and a touch of dramatic flair.

When she meets one of her boyfriends, Dylan, she describes it like this: “And he had such smoldery dark eyes/that I felt like I’d been zapped/smack into the middle/of some R-rated movie/and everyone else in the car/was just going to fade away/and this guy and I/were going to start making out/right then and there/without ever having said/one word to each other.”

“What My Mother Doesn’t Know” is an endearing account of a 14-year-old girl and her experiences with life and love. Though it may have the typical heartwarming end as well, it’s a nice, light read for anyone who needs a distraction.

The free verse presentation makes each page roll by so easily that readers may find it difficult to put the book down. Sonya Sones has created a wonderfully crafted version of life as a teenage girl.


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