Title: Lost for Words
Author: Alice Kuipers
ISBN: 9780061429224
Pages: 210 pages
Publisher/Date: HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, c2010.

Mum pushed open the door and asked if we could talk. I was surprised, but so awkward with her, I didn’t know what to say. “What?”
She said, “Are you all right, Sophie?”
“Why?” I said. If I even feel normal for a minute, she wants to ruin it. Anxiety bubbled up in my stomach like acid, so I had to take a slow breath.
She said, “You can talk to me.”
“I don’t want to talk. Not to you. Not to anyone. I’m fine. I’ve got loads of homework, so . . . ”
She sighed heavily, ad after a long UNCOMFORTABLE pause she left. I lay on the bed for ages trying not to think about anything. I fell asleep in my school uniform. I peeled my clothes off in the middle of the night because I was in a cold sweat. Maybe I’ve got a virus. (78-79)

Sophie wants to forget everything that’s happened since that day where her whole life changed. She doesn’t want to talk about it, especially with her therapist. She avoids her mother at all costs, since her mother really can’t do anything and doesn’t know how to respond to Sophie’s withdrawl. She doesn’t fault her friend Abigail from distancing herself from Sophie, since Sophie doesn’t know what to do either. When new girl Rosa-Leigh enters into Sophie’s life, it might just return to normal, but her past continues to haunt her until she can find a way to express and come to terms with her grief.

I know this is going to sound cliche, but I’m lost for words about Lost for Words. I was never completely drawn into Sophie’s character and didn’t really care what happened to her at the end of the book. The intriguing part of the book was finding out what happened in the past, before the novel started, and maybe if that information had been presented in a different fashion, I would have been more engaged. The cause of Sophie’s withdrawl and grief is what I will remember from this book, because there were a lot of avenues that could have been more fully flushed out and never were. Because Sophie’s past is a mystery for half the book, I felt removed from her emotions, which were a big part of the story.

Personally, if you’re looking for a character who expresses her grief through writing, I would probably recommend The Sky is Everywhere instead. This book is a lackluster story that drags after the big reveal.

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