Today, for my 2013 Recap, I’d not only reposting two reviews. Today, I’m also here to tell of how I was introduced to the world of verse novels.
These two novels by Sonya Sones, instead of being written in prose, are written in verse. This was a new form of writing for me. To be honest, I read Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse years ago in school, but I’d forgotten about these type of novels until this year.
I’ve since bought all of Sones novels (expect the newest…hint hint, Christmas is coming soon 😉 ), and have enjoyed what I’ve read from those as well, so far. I’m also currently on the lookout for more verse novels to add to my TBR pile. I have some by Ellen Hopkins and a few other authors, but I’m always up for more suggestions. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments 🙂
If you’re a fan of YA romances, but are hesitant about trying one written in verse, this two book series might be one to check out. I’d recommend them.
What My Mother Doesn’t Know
“My name is Sophie.
This book is about me.
the heart-stoppingly riveting story
of my first love.
And also of my second.
And, okay, my third love, too.
It’s not that I’m boy crazy.
It’s just that even though
I’m almost fifteen
and my body
and my heart
just don’t seem to be able to agree
on anything.” (description from Goodreads)
What really struck a chord with me in this book is that it’s a free-verse novel. I feel that Sones’ decision to write this novel in verse instead of prose makes it stand out from other young adult novels that might deal with similar characters and situations.
Because of the nature of poetry, there was a certain lack of depth to the story. With that in mind, there was also a much deeper depth to the story than what could be found just through reading this as if it were prose. The poems that make up What My Mother Doesn’t Know range in what they convey. Some are a full scene in Sophie’s day. Others create a full scene with a series of poems, where each might be a bit shorter and focus on one thought. Weaved together in a mixture of lengths and subjects, they create a beautiful patchwork view into who Sophie’s character is.
I really enjoyed the voice in this books as well. Sophie is a 15-year-old girl who is trying to sort out her heart, deal with an abnormal home-life and even touches on the prejudices of her being Jewish. While I’m not, nor have I ever been, a 15-year-old girl, I found her believable and was able to sympathize with her. At times I wanted to reach into the book and give her a good slap, but she’s learning how to go through life and to sort things out for herself.
I’m happy that I went along on this little journey with Sophie figuring out what love is, who she really is, and ultimately a journey about growing up for a teen who could represent many teens in one way or another.
You can purchase a copy of What My Mother Doesn’t Know from:
What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know
“My name is Robin.
This book is about me.
It tells the story of what happens
when after almost 15 pathetic years of loserdom,
the girl of my dreams finally falls for me.
That seems like it would be
a good thing, right?
Only it turns out to be
a lot more complicated than that
Because I’m not gonna lie to you –
there are naked women involved.
Four of them, to be exact.
Though not in the way you might think.
Don’t get me wrong — my girlfriend’s amazing.
But the way things have been going lately,
I’m starting to believe that the only thing worse
than not getting what you want,
is getting it.” (description from Goodreads)
Again, Sonya Sones brings a great novel in the form of poetry. What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is the sequel to Sones’ free-verse novel What My Mother Doesn’t Know, and was a great addition to the first book.
It was a little weird going from book one to this book because of the POV switch from Sophie as the narrator to it being told by Robin, but in time I grew to like him, as well. I feel that Sones was able to capture the mindset of a teenage male accurately, and that’s part of the success of this book. While I didn’t like his voice all the time or some of the decisions made in the story, I feel that Robin did things how even I would have at that age.
The way Sones uses poetry to tell a story, rather than prose, is what makes her writing so enjoyable to me. There might be a lack of word count, but there’s just as much depth to what the sparse pages hold for the reader. I also liked how there were a few poem/chapters that were “concrete poems,” which used words to create a picture instead of just having the words describe the subject.
I continue to be pleased with Sones’ work and can’t wait to see what else she has written.
Want to read this book? You can grab a copy from:
About the Author:
Sonya Sones is an American poet and author. She has written four young adult novels in verse, as well as a novel in verse for adults and a picture book.
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