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Lost for Words Hardcover – May 11, 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 8 Up—Sophie, 16, begins her second semester of high school feeling isolated and out of sync with her fellow British classmates. After witnessing the death of her older sister in a train bombing, she finds school pointless, her mother useless, and her friends a waste of time. Sophie begins to skip classes and leave early from parties only to become absorbed in memories of Emily. She is helped by a new student from Canada, who challenges her to write poetry, read books, and attend poetry slams. Despite anxiety attacks and overwhelming feelings of guilt, Sophie eventually saves herself through her journal entries and her words. The entire book is a series of journal entries as the protagonist describes life without her sister. Kuipers allows readers to gauge Sophie's feelings through her innermost thoughts and reactions to daily events. The teen's vocabulary and diction make the novel an easy read, great for reluctant or struggling readers. Touching and realistic.—Mary-Brook J. Todd, The Ensworth School, Nashville, TN
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“This novel is gorgeous, heart-ripping, important.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) (Starred Review))

“Kuipers artfully manages to make Sophie’s tale achingly real and yet still hopeful. Her distinct, first–person voice and quirky details shine through the dark tragedy, giving familiar themes a fresh take.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Touching and realistic.” (School Library Journal)

“The emotional portraits of Sophie and those around her ring true.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

“Kuipers’s...delicately details the complexities of the grief process.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061429228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061429224
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,443,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Sophie Baxter has a lot going on in her life, and it all started the day her sister was killed in a London bombing. Instead of finding an outlet, Sophie bottles up all of her feelings and holds onto them with the fierceness of a vice grip. It's only a matter of time before she can't handle the knowledge of the horrors she has endured, and she will explode. Her therapist gives her a notebook to begin writing down anything that will help her to cope, and this becomes her only outlet.

Lost For Words is written in journal entry form, and at first I thought this was going to be a big problem for me. I've never really been a big fan of reading books written to be like a journal, but in this case, it was the reason for it's success. I also thought that the short sentences would put a damper on my liking for this novel, but it only gave it more depth and feeling, as though a sixteen-year-old girl was truly pouring her heart out onto the pages.

I personally felt like I was prying into someone's private life when I started reading into the story. Sophie clearly didn't want anyone to know her dilemma, and wanted nothing more than to just forget. With her, we learn about how such a tragedy can take a toll on a whole family, and even the friends supporting it. You could literally feel how much Sophie wanted to turn back the tables and have everything be the way it used to.

The one thing that really got me in this book, was Sophie's feelings toward her sister. She was so heartbroken by her loss that nothing else mattered to her, not even her own life. It makes you think of what you may possibly be taking for granted. I have two younger sisters, and a little brother, and reading about Sophie's loss made me weep for her.
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Format: Hardcover
LOST FOR WORDS is the latest novel by Alice Kupiers.

Told in diary format, LOST FOR WORDS is Sophie's attempt to forget what happened last summer.

When I first picked up the book, I didn't know what the event was that Sophie alludes to at the beginning of the story. None of the synopsis I read had given any indication what Sophie was trying to run away from. But because I loved LIFE ON THE REFRIGERATOR DOOR so much, I wasn't that concerned about being in the dark from the first page.

Ms. Kupiers unfolds the story at just the right pace to keep the reader anticipating what will happen next, while at the same time frustrating the reader to give you more details NOW!

As the story unfolds, Sophie slowly reveals the events of the previous summer with her shoe laces, the train, her sister, Emily, and the aftermath. Her friends don't know how to reach Sophie, Sophie and her mother have a strained relationship, and Sophie herself is unwilling to open up to anyone, including her therapist. It's through her diary entries that the reader comes to know what's going on in her mind, and her inability to cope with what she experienced the previous summer.

LOST FOR WORDS is a tragic novel, but deeply moving and relevant in these unstable times. Though the novel takes place in England, the events can and have happened in other places around the world. Once I started the book, I didn't want to put it down.

If I have any negative comments on the story, it would be purely cosmetic. The book is also being published in Canada and the United Kingdom under the title of THE WORST THING SHE EVER DID. Not only does that title make more sense to the story, the cover artwork on that edition ties in much better. But that being said, Ms. Kupiers is definitely an author I'm going to keep an eye on. This is the second book by her that I consider a winner.

Reviewed by: Jaglvr
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Format: Hardcover
This was a truly griping story of a young girl who is trying to deal with the unbearable grief of losing her sister. Sophie is completely devastated, and her therapist tells her to keep a journal, which is what this book is. Every day Sophie goes through life trying to forget the fact that her sister is dead. Her mother walks around in a daze and barely talks to her. It's been a year spent in a house that is completely quiet.

Sophie's love for her sister was completely touching. I felt for her through every page, any little thing that reminded her of her sister brought a fresh wave of pain that was heart breaking. Sophie's best friend is pulling away from her and hanging out with other girls because she just doesn't know how to reach Sophie. Around this time, and new girl, Rosa-Leigh, shows up, and her and Sophie become fast friends. Rosa-Leigh was probably my favorite character in this story. She's from a huge family, and she's completely sympathetic to Sophie's pain, but she's also very blunt in telling her when she's acting like a snot to other people!

My main complaint with this book is that the author didn't tell us what actually happened to Sophie's sister until almost the very end of the book. I think it was supposed to be a big dramatic reveal after all the little hints brought up throughout the book, but to me it just ended up being very frustrating.

Overall, I was touched and invested in the story from beginning to end, and I definitely recommend it to all of you YA book lovers that enjoy an emotional tale!
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