You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett
|You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: I can barely bring myself to say anything about this for fear of spoiling it - but you really should read it now! Probably the book of the year so far. Sophia Bennett popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: May 2013|
|Publisher: Chicken House|
|External links: Author's website|
I have a similar problem here as I did when reviewing two of my other all-time favourites, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Pantomime by Laura Lam. Part of me wants to write lots about how brilliant a book this is, but part of me is glad I went into it without much of an idea what was going to happen as I think the unpredictability really added to the book.
So, the bare bones. There are four girls in a band. There's a TV talent show, and the chance to progress, just not as a quartet. There's a difficult decision to be made.
And there's one of the best YA contemporary stories I've read in years, exploring media manipulation, cyber-bullying, body image, romance, friendship, making choices, and doing it all with incredible heart and a wonderful cast of characters. Narrator Sasha is outstandingly portrayed, with Sophia Bennett bringing her vividly to life, flaws and all, but the other girls in the group are all very realistic as well, as are their schoolmates and the various people involved in the talent show. I also really liked the way that Bennett dealt with the fall-out from the decision made and both the positive and negative effects of social networking.
As for the climax - I'm not quite sure if this is my favourite book of the hundred or so I've read this year - although it's certainly in the top three - but it's got hands-down the best ending, with only Firewallers by Simon Packham really coming close to it. It was so perfect that I wished I was fit and coordinated enough to be able to turn cartwheels, as it seemed to be pretty much the only appropriate response to such a wonderful conclusion. (Although since I finished reading it on a crowded train, perhaps fellow passengers had a lucky escape there!)
Huge recommendation as a likely contender for book of the year for me.
Geek Girl by Holly Smale is another brilliant look at a teen becoming a celebrity, while Drummer Girl by Bridget Tyler is also a fabulous story about a musical talent show and the perils one group face when they get involved in it.
Sophia Bennett was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
You can read more book reviews or buy You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett at Amazon.com.
You Don't Know Me by Sophia Bennett is in the Top Ten Teen Books of 2013.
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