Meet Sophie. She sees herself as the too-tall "Mount Everest of teenage girls," who, along with her friends, often suffers from "lackonookie disease." She's dating smoky, sexy Dylan, covertly chatting online with "cybersoul"-mate Chaz, and secretly nursing a crush on sweet, geeky Murphy. Her two best friends are closer to her than sisters, and she "hates hating" her soap opera-addicted mom, wishing "she would show half as much interest in my life as she does in Luke and Laura's." In other words, Sophie is a typical teenage girl. What is not so typical is how author Sonia Sones records all of Sophie's thoughts in a freewheeling verse that is such a naked outpouring of inner longing, most readers will blush in embarrassed recognition of their own remembered or current teenage desires. Sones gently leads both the reader and Sophie towards an understanding of the difference between love and lust as Sophie slowly comes to realize that Dylan's outsides are no match for Murphy's insides. Autobiographical of Sones, perhaps? The author claims it isn't so, and she's probably right. With her frank manner, lusty thoughts, and hidden insecurities, Sophie reflects many teenage girls, past and present. No woman will be able to read this heartfelt verse novel and not find a bit of herself in Sophie's secret, sexy thoughts. Sones's decadent, almost shamefully delicious collection of angst poems is a loving and amazingly accurate tribute to adolescent girlhood. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert
From Publishers Weekly
*Starred Review* Drawing on the recognizable cadences of teenage speech, Sones (Stop Pretending) poignantly captures the tingle and heartache of being young and boy-crazy. The author keenly portrays ninth-grader Sophie's trajectory of lusty crushes and disillusionment whether she is gazing at Dylan's "smoldery dark eyes" or dancing with a mystery man to music that "is slow/ and/ saxophony." Best friends Rachel and Grace provide anchoring friendships for Sophie as she navigates her home life as an only child with a distant father and a soap opera-devotee mother whose "shrieking whips around inside me/ like a tornado." Some images of adolescent changes carry a more contemporary cachet, "I got my period I prefer/ to think of it as/ rebooting my ovarian operating system," others are consciously clichd, "my molehills/ have turned into mountains/ overnight" this just makes Sophie seem that much more familiar. With its separate free verse poems woven into a fluid and coherent narrative with a satisfying ending, Sophie's honest and earthy story feels destined to captivate a young female audience, avid and reluctant readers alike. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.