Today I'm participating in a blog tour for Speed of Life organized by Smith Publicity.
First about the book
Sofia wonders if 14 might be the worst possible age to lose your mom. Talking with her dad about puberty and s-e-x is super-awkward (even though he is a gynecologist). And when she wants to talk about her mom, her friends don't know what to say and her dad gets sad.
When Sofia discovers Dear Kate, an advice columnist from Fifteen magazine, she’s grateful to have someone to confide in about everything from crushes to mourning—someone who is completely, wonderfully anonymous. It feels ideal—until Sofia’s dad introduces her to his new girlfriend, Katherine Baird, a.k.a., Dear Kate…
About the Author
Carol Weston has been the Dear Carol advice columnist at Girls’ Life since 1994. Her sixteen books include Ava and Pip, Ava and Taco Cat, Ava XOX, The Diary of Melanie Martin, and Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You, which came out in a dozen languages. Weston has been featured in The New York Times, The TODAY show, The View, Parenting, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen and elsewhere. A summa cum laude Yale grad, Carol has an MA in Spanish from Middlebury. She lives in Manhattan.
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I first started this book. I was familar with Weston's Ava and Pip books. That was actually a bit of a problem because I went into the book subconsciously expecting a book for that same age group. It's not! That's not a bad thing at all!!!!! It just threw me for a minute.
Once my brain got that this book was for a bit older group of kids (the main character is 14), I really settled in and enjoyed the story. We learn right away the Sofia's mother passed away. It was difficult to read about her finding her mom, but it helped me understand Sofia so much better. I could understand she was grieving, but after that scene I understood the layers of her grief better. This is, of course, an important part of the story, but I liked that it went beyond that. And it was going beyond that really made this story more realistic and relatable. Now I know that many students won't be able to relate to losing a parent like Sofia did but they can relate to having a parent date, and they can relate to all the emotions Sofia goes through dealing with everything - especially at the age of 14.
I also wanted to comment on the diversity in the book. I loved what it brought to the story, and I love that it was important to the richness of the characters but not their only factor. This gave the book another place where readers could connect. Many readers will be able to see themselves in Sofia's family.
There was one small scene that stuck with me and reminded me of the importance of how books can show the reader other ways of thinking. Sofia and her friend Kiki were talking about a dollhouse they played with and how at first they stuck all the furniture in one room because that's what they knew from living in apartments. Sofia says they coudn't fathom spreading out to the other floors. As someone who as always lived in a house I wouldn't never thought that. The scene stuck with me because it reminded me that not everyone sees the world as I do! And I think that's what this book does well. It reminds the readers of the way we see things differently but also how alike we are.
Final thought: Well done. Much for a reader to relate to!
Yes I would put this in the library. I might touch base with the 5th graders checking it out just because it does talk about a few mature things.
I am able to giveaway one copy of the book.
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Must be at least 13.
US resident only.