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What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know Paperback – December 16, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—This sequel to What My Mother Doesn't Know (S & S, 2001) stands completely on its own. Robin's life at Cambridge High School is miserable. The arty outsider's last name becomes the pejorative slang of the school—as in, "Don't be such a Murphy." His lot improves, however, when popular Sophie becomes his girlfriend despite the detriment to her reputation. Better still, the freshman is invited to audit an art class at Harvard. It is his homecoming; for once, he is the comedian rather than the butt of jokes. One of the college freshmen even shows some romantic interest in him. Written as a novel in verse, this title is a fast-paced, page-turning romp that gives authentic voice to male youth even when it is painfully truthful.—Leah Krippner, Harlem High School, Machesney Park, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In What My Mother Doesn't Know (2001), 14-year-old Sophie, a Cambridge, Massachusetts, teen, describes her surprise when she is drawn to Robin, the school-appointed loser who makes her laugh. In this sequel, Robin picks up the narrative in rapid-fire, first-person free verse as he describes their school's reaction to the relationship: "They're gawking at us / like Sophie's Beauty and I'm the Beast." Sophie compares the two to outlaws: "It's just you and me against the world." But after Sophie's friends dump her, Robin feels guilty for the "random acts of unkindness" she endures: "Sophie may feel like an outlaw, / but thanks to yours truly, / what she really is / is an outcast." A talented artist, Robin finds escape in a Harvard drawing class, where a new friendship threatens his closeness with Sophie. The story of a thrilling and faltering first love may be familiar, but Robin's believable voice is distinctive, and Sones uses her spare words (and a few drawings) to expert effect. From bad puns to breathless accounts of locking lips to anguished worries about losing Sophie, Robin reinforces the picture of an awkward, likable, intelligent, and realistically flawed young man. Many teens will see themselves, and they'll cheer when Sophie and Robin thwart the bullies and reclaim their social standing. Like Sones' other titles, this is a great choice for reluctant and avid readers alike. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (December 16, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689876033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689876035
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,476,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The lure of the kindle daily deal price and the promise of a short read were enough to get me to hit buy know with 1-click this morning. I laughed out loud numerous times and enjoyed the whole book. I think it took me less than 2 hours to read it. I don't pretend to understand the male adolescent psyche but this cracked me up! I loved the voice! I didn't read the first book but I don't think my enjoyment of the second was in any way hampered. The regular price to ME would have been too steep for a 2 hour read, but for what I paid it was an amazing buy. Loved the flowing writing. I thought the images were vibrant and engaging. Nice afternoon break from the stress of the day.
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Format: Hardcover
Sonya Sones, well-known for her novels in verse, has written a sequel to What My Mother Doesn't Know. The sequel continues to follow the unlikely relationship between Robin and Sophie.

Robin Murphy is still amazed that the beautiful and popular Sophie Stein is actually his girlfriend. They are getting closer by the minute. Their great conversations are turning into some equally great make-out sessions, and Robin's mind is spinning 24/7.

Now that their relationship is out in the open, Robin and Sophie are noticing the reactions of those around them. Sophie's best-friends-forever are stopping her to question her sanity. They are openly asking her why she's spending time with a dweeb like Robin. All it seems to do is further cement their feelings for one another.

Adding an extra boost of confidence for Robin is the invitation to audit a college drawing class at Harvard. How many high school freshmen get a chance to sit in on a college-level art class? Robin is nervous as he enters the classroom the first night. His nervousness goes off the charts when he discovers the figures he'll be drawing are real, live, nude models. Concentrate on drawing when there's a gorgeous, naked woman mere feet in front of him?

Unaware of Robin's actual age, the college students admire his drawing skill and begin to involve him in their after class plans. These new friends and their honest acceptance are great confidence builders for Robin. But after each college class, he must return to the high school scene and reality the following day.

Fun, fast, and full of surprises, Sonya Sones has another hit with WHAT MY GIRLFRIEND DOESN'T KNOW. If you liked the first book, be ready for a long waiting list at your local library when word gets out about this one.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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A Kid's Review on June 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is just as good as What My Mother Doesn't Know, if not better. (Don't read this without reading WMMDK, it'll make sense, but it won't be nearly as good) This book is from Robin/Murphy's point of view, and its really sweet. You should get it!
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By Allyson on June 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book was amazing.
I got it out of the library this morning and I already finished it.
It's a quick read. all in poems.
but it's so powerful.
I was just left with this uplifted happy feeling when I finished.
but it is not a fairy tale kind of book, it's a real story & you must go read it.

like now.

and get What My Mother Doesn't Know while you're at it.
they have the same characters.
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Format: Hardcover
I was waiting for this book ever since I heard Sonya Sones was making a sequel to What My Mother Doesn't Know. When i read it, couldn't put it down. Hearing Murphy's side of the story made feel for him. This book is a great read and I encourage anyone to read it. You'll finish it in one reading, and it'll make you crave for more. I still want to know what happens afterwards.
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Format: Hardcover
"Whirling around in the spot where my heart used to be. All I want to do is run away, run as far away from here as I can get. But I force my legs to carry me toward Sophie instead. A second later, when we're standing face to face. and I'm looking into those heartbreakingly blue eyes of hers, I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Sophie saw everything." This passage is found in Sonya Sones novel called "What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know", a realistic fictional novel that is hard to put down. This story is about a boy named Robin Murphy who lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the cold winter based in present day. Robin has an amazing girlfriend named Sophie Stein and you could say they were starting to really love each other. But there was a problem. Sophie came from popularity and beauty and Robin was a joke to everyone, that's how he got his nickname Murphy. Once the kids at school started seeing that Sophie and Robin were together everyone started to treat her different. Her friends left her and her popularity went down the drain. Robin knew this was all his fault but didn't get why people looked down on him as if he were nothing. But once Robin starts an art class at Harvard and sees that he is just like any other student and that people liked him maybe this college life could actually work out for him. But what happens when the life your trying to hide takes a turn to reality? I think the theme of this novel is Murphy vs. Robin's life. I think this is the theme because the novel is mostly about how both of the lives he is living changes him as a person and who he really becomes in the end. I thought "What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know", was a novel that showed real courage and appreciation for someone special to you. I thought that was shown on page 13 of this novel.Read more ›
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