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…
Even though this book deals with harsh topics, there is still a sense of childish-ness and young discovery. I ended up loving Sofia’s character, despite the occasional flaws like a bit of naivety. These moments only serve to make her character that much more developed, and I loved her for it. She doesn’t instantly get over her family’s tragedy, and the journey to healing is very well represented, coming from someone who went through a similar situation.
You’ve gotta admit, Sofia’s situation is a bit of a pickle. The person who was once an anonymous comfort is now a real life person she can interact with, and it can be difficult to deal with that, no matter who you are. There are so many topics that a girl her age needs help with, and without her mom to guide her, Sofia is at a bit of a loss.
I loved reading in this writing style, Weston has a beautiful voice in her prose. There is such a broad range of characters the simply bring her story to vivid life, matching the equally brilliant (and lovely!) cover. I was hanging on every word, and even though I am several years past this age, I still loved it and found myself enthralled.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
Carol Weston (born September 11, 1956) is an American writer. The author of sixteen books, both fiction and non-fiction, she has been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist at Girls’ Life since the magazine’s first issue in 1994. Her newest book is Speed of Life, which received starred reviews in Kirkus, Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal and Booklist. The New York Times Book Review called it “perceptive, funny and moving.”  About Ava and Pip (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky 2014), the New York Times Book Review said, “This is a book about sisterhood, but also a love letter to language.” Also in this series: Ava and Taco Cat (2015) and AVA XOX (2016).
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