Genre: YA Literature
Synopsis: Sofia Wolfe just wants her mom back. She died almost a year ago from an unexpected aneurysm. Her friends want her to be happy again, but Sofia can’t just recharge like a battery. So, she reaches out to somebody totally confidential: Dear Kate, a woman who specializes in helping young girls with all of their questions about boys, bodies, and beauty. What else could she possibly do when her dad starts dating somebody?
Review: I am thoroughly impressed by this book. This is another book that came into my life at the right time–the main character is grieving, she’s in a transitioning period in her life, and she feels a little bit lost. Even with the help of her dad and best friend, she still can’t seem to get control of her life. She makes it through, of course, but not without a little bit of trouble along the way!
I’m always impressed when books are inclusive. Sofia is half Spanish, ergo, she’s in AP Spanish and often has to translate for her abuelo. Her best friend is half Asian, and she’s upset that all the teachers seem to think she’s supposed to be good at math. Families are happily divorced, unhappily divorced, and coming together once more. Adolescence is a period of constant change for everybody, and it gets even worse when Life Problems get in the way. Besides, how do you deal with divorces, wondering about your sexuality, or death when you’re already going through so much?
Weston helps answer these questions in a way that is enthusiastic, engaging, and energetic. Speed of Life is the type of book that does a good job with foreshadowing but still keeps you guessing. It’s the type of book where really bad things happen, but really incredible things happen, too. It’s the type of book where sometimes you’re saying “aww,” and other times “oh god no.” It’s simply a pleasurable book.
I am glad to have gone through Sofia’s grieving with her, to see where she progressed, regressed, and kept marching forward. This is the kind of book that I would buy for my adolescent child, if I had one.