Book Review // Speed of Life by Carol Weston

Book Review // Speed of Life by Carol WestonSpeed of Life by Carol Weston
Published by Sourcebooks on April 1st 2017
Rating: three-half-stars
Genres: Young Adult, Family, Stepfamilies, Girls & Women
Pages: 352
Buy: Hardback/Paperback
Find on Goodreads

Sofia lost her mother eight months ago, and her friends were 100% there for her. Now it's a new year and they're ready for Sofia to move on.
Problem is, Sofia can't bounce back, can't recharge like a cellphone. She decides to write Dear Kate, an advice columnist for Fifteen Magazine, and is surprised to receive a fast reply. Soon the two are exchanging emails, and Sofia opens up and spills all, including a few worries that are totally embarrassing. Turns out even advice columnists don't have all the answers, and one day Sofia learns a secret that flips her world upside down.
SPEED OF LIFE is the heartbreaking, heartwarming story of a girl who thinks her life is over when really it's just beginning. It's a novel about love, family, grief, and growing up.
"A wonderful book that takes us from loss to laughter." —Richard Peck, author of The Best Manand Newbery Gold Medalist A Year Down Yonder
"You won't want to put it down. But my advice is slow down and savor this delightful book, full of cari�o, funny and heartfelt, and (spoiler alert) not just for teens." —Julia Alvarez, author of In the Time of the Butterflies and Return to Sender

Speed of Life is one of those books you have to read to really understand – and anyone who’s ever lost someone can absolutely understand how Sofia is feeling. This is a heart-breaking read, but it’s hopeful too. It’s all about letting time pass, letting time do its thing, to help you heal after a loss. Luckily, I’ve never lost someone really, really close to me. I’ve had people die that I’ve known, but never someone so close to me that it feels like my hearts been ripped out of my chest and for that I am so grateful. It was awful to see Sofia so sad, to know she was the one to find her mother (I properly teared up because that must just be the worst thing in the world) and to see Sofia struggle with her grief and see her and her dad muddle through was heart-warming and heart-breaking.

The entire concept of Sofia writing letters to Dear Kate, the somewhat-mythical advice columnist lauded by girls everywhere was amazing and I liked how personal Kate’s responses were – rather than regular stock replies. Everyone needs a Dear Kate in their life. And when the two worlds merged – when Sofia realised Kate was the new woman in her dads life was so, so interesting. I liked that Sofia wasn’t entirely against Kate, that she saw how Kate was helping her dad and went along with it, even though it hurt her. It was a big, brave decision because it would have been SO easy for Sofia to throw a tantrum and put a spanner in the works. I loved her for that.

I really liked Speed of Life. It’s not a happy read by any means, but it is a story that offers a bit of hope where otherwise there feels like there’s none. Where grief doesn’t have to be something that swallows you, even if it feels like you’ll never escape and as the months passed, it was like Sofia was a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis. This is one of the most poignant books I’ve ever read and needs to be read by all the teens the world over, because it’s such an important read.


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