SPEED OF LIFE by Carol Weston, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, April 4, 2017, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 11-14)
Being a teenager is hard enough without losing a parent. But things are about to get even more complicated for the lead character in Carol Weston’s Speed of Life.
Sofia’s mom died eight months ago. And at the time, her friends where right there for her. Eight months is a long time, though, and her friends are ready to move on. Sofia, on the other hand, can’t just flip a switch and be all right.
On a whim, Sofia writes to Dear Kate, an advice columnist for Fifteen Magazine. Sofia doesn’t expect a reply, so she’s surprised to receive a quick response. Soon the two are exchanging emails and Sofia shares things she only would have shared with her mother before. In Kate, she finds a friend beyond the friendly advice.
But what happens when a friend turns out to be the person who is tearing your world apart?
Speed of Life is a “girl” book. There’s no other way to put it. I remember thinking, “there’s no way I’d ever hand this to a boy,” while reading it. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think that’s one of the book’s strengths. But it is something to keep in mind.
Speed of Life is not overly flashy. The characters authentic with author Carol Weston steering clear of the overly dramatic teenage behavior characterized in Hollywood. At the heart of the book is Sofia, and she is immediately honest and likeable. Kate, too, is interesting, and her advice is good enough to have real-world applications for readers.
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