Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers

Release date (Australia): 1 May 2010
Rating: 8/10

Sixteen-year-old Sophie is convinced her life is OK now, if only she could just be allowed to move on from what happened last summer. Sure, her mother is crazy and all of her friends treat her as if she’s made of glass, but she’s FINE. She just wishes she could forget about Emily. When her therapist – whom her mum makes her go and see – suggests she keep a diary, Sophie realises that the panic attacks she’s suffering from might, in fact, be a sign that she’s actually not OK, at least not yet. Gradually, though, with the help of the new girl at school, and, eventually, her mother, Sophie finds strength in herself and those around her. And as she allows herself to remember, she also begins to forgive.

I am currently taking forever to read the book I’m currently reading, even though it is brilliant, but I just have been really busy. So I thought I’d do an update on a book I read earlier this year because I thought it was wonderful. (As a side note, this book is called Lost For Words in the United States.)

Written in diary format, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea, but in this case I think it really suits the story and the character of Sophie. At times a typical teenager, feeling like she has no one to confide in and no one that understands what she is going through, she is also dealing with a tragedy that no human being should have the endure. The details of this are pointedly left hazy with small hints given as the book progresses. I find this technique sometimes frustrating in books, but in The Worst Thing She Ever Did I think it works incredibly well and you get to ‘know’ Sophie before you know exactly what has happened to her and her family.

Love, sisterhood, friendship, family, post-traumatic stress disorder, death, and panic attacks are all dealt with in this story with eloquence and beauty. But it’s not all gloom and doom, with enough light-heartedness of other aspects of the story to prevent it from being depressing. I think it’s an important read and well worth the sometimes heart-wrenching content. Without giving anything away, it’s a book that I found moving and beautiful and touched on an event close to my heart.

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