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What My Mother Doesn't Know Paperback – February 1, 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 clich‚d, "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.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689855532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689855535
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
There have been a lot of books written in verse lately. Sonya Sones was one of the first, and still the best. Her first book, STOP PRETENDING: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy was a deep, sad and moving book. WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW is a little different --- it's just as good, just not nearly as sad.

Sophie is 15 and as interested in boys as the rest of us. She finally gets asked out by Dylan, the boy of her dreams, and totally knows it's true love. But then she starts noticing weirdness. Like she's taller than him, he actually watches the movie on their dates, and he doesn't want her telling his parents she's Jewish. Sophie doesn't feel right about Dylan, but she also likes him and doesn't want to end it. In an attempt to find something else, Sophie begins an online romance, and I won't even tell you how that turns out! Let's just say it gives her the push she needs to move on from Dylan to...Murph.

But liking Murph turns out to be a whole lot harder than liking Dylan. To put it bluntly, Murph is a total dork --- he's so uncool that people say, "Don't be such a Murph," when they mean "Don't be such a geek." So why is Sophie thinking of him every minute? And how is she going tell her friends that she likes the biggest loser in school? Deep down she knows that if she doesn't come clean with her feelings for Murph she'll be as bad as everyone else who makes fun of him --- but still, it won't be easy.

WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW is an honest and heartbreaking book about a girl being true to herself, trusting her friends, and having the strength to love what makes her heart happy. Sones's lovely poems are so good that I'd say she must be a poet first and a storyteller second --- except that her story is also that good!
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Format: Paperback
This is the story of Sophie, who is a typical teenage girl. She is on the path to finding her true love, but it's not as easy as it seems. First there's Lou, who drools, then sexy Dylan, then her "cybersoulmate," Chaz. But then, at the Halloween dance, she finds someone she connects with, but he's masked. She makes it her personal mission to find her masked man. When she does, she is shocked, but not as repelled as she first thinks. This book is told entirely in free verse, and is a quick read, but is very realistic about the power of peer pressure, and very touching.
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Format: Hardcover
Wow, "what my mom doesn't know" is among one of the TOP books I read recently. It tells the story of Sophie, a 15 years old girl. Through Sonya Sones, I was able to see the life and struggles of a teenage girl such as, fights with her mother, her appearances, and her love life, which I also found parts of me inside of Sophie as a 16 years old. As the story progresses, I felt as if I was living through the experiences also. It's mainly because of the format that the book is written in. Sonya Sones tells the mind and feelings of Sophie through direct, bold and honest poems. With so little words she describes the important moments clearly and perfectly but yet the words she chose were also so powerful. You would honestly have to read it yourself to understand what I really mean. I finished this book in no time, because the author really knows how to let me keep flipping onto the next page, wanting to find out what happens next. Aniways, enough said, this is a really sweet and touching story of a teenage girl whom I believe all of us would discover little pieces of ourselves from her, no matter past or future.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does a very good job of expressing all of the emotions of teenage love. "What My Mother Doesn't Know" is a novel of short verses, all written by the point of view of a 14-year-old named Sophie. In the book she tells about her first 3 loves. In this coming-of-age novel, Sophie learns the difference betweeen lust and love, and also learns that you can't always trust people, even if you think you love them. The poems are really well written. This book flows; I finished it in 2 hours. Make sure when you start reading this one you have plenty of time, because you won't want to stop. I think anybody who has ever either been in love or thought they have been in love can relate to most of this book, no matter what age you are or what experiences you have had. I really suggest that anyone reads this book, whether you normally like to read or not; you'll like this book.
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A Kid's Review on June 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I adore this book! My friends and I make references to it all the time and it's great for reluctant readers. Sophie says, "I'm not boy-crazy. It's just that my mind and my heart and my body don't agree." So true!

First, she meets Dylan in a carpool going home from a party. At first he's just her friend's big sister's best friend's little brother. Then he turns into a boyfriend, good to share kisses and secrets with.

Second, there's Chaz. An online cyber soul mate, as they call him, Sophie enjoys talking to him but feels guilty because she thinks she likes him but she is dating Dylan. While that is not the cause, Sophie breaks up with Dylan. They are uneasy around each other for the rest of the book.

Then Sophie stops talking to Chaz when she find out what he likes to do in libraries.

And before you know it, it's Halloween. Sophie wears an ugly rose-covered dress to Rachel's house, where she changes into a much cooler black dress to go to a dance in as a beatnik. At the dance, she thinks the drummer is playing only to her and then a girl kisses him "so hard on the mouth it looked like it would hurt" at the end of the song. She also suspects recurring love for Dylan as she watches him play guitar.

Then comes the most exciting part of the book, Sophie's slow dance with a masked man. He makes her feel like he is her soul mate and that he knows her every inner thought. She says she wants to dance with him all night, "and then kiss."

So of course she goes about looking for her masked man. Rachel says she is in love with his essence. Grace says she's in love with his body parts. Sophie says she's in love with the essence of his body parts, hee hee.

Then Winter Break comes and her friends skip town.
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