Blurb: Middle school is all about fitting in. It’s about not standing out. After all, kids can be cruel.
Sophie Devereaux doesn’t fit in. She and her two best friends, Marissa and Michelle, are seen as misfits. Things only get worse when Sophie runs afoul of Alexis, the most popular girl in school.
Ayden Saunders doesn’t fit in. Tragedies in his life have caused him to retreat into the shadows, where he watches his classmates from afar and fantasizes about being a superhero.
When Ayden overhears a plot to ruin Sophie’s life, he knows he can no longer sit on the sidelines. The two of them soon discover, to their amazement, that life is not about fitting in, it’s about being true to who you are.
What I like: Sophie’s Different was such a fantastic end to the trilogy. It tied up all the storylines for the majority of characters that we met in Joshua’s Island with a few heart-breaking twists along the way.
Sophie and Ayden are such warm characters. They’re the sort of people I would have wanted to hang around with at school. The story is very easy to follow and there’s enough explanation in there for you not to have read the first two books in the trilogy – though you should! Joshua’s Island and Ethan’s Secret are a must read! All three are heart-warming stories that show the goodness in young people. Faith in humanity restored!
One of the most important themes throughout the James Madison trilogy is that of bullying. We see things from the perspective of the bully, but Hodges makes it clear that there are certain circumstances in young people lives that turn them to becoming a bully. We see that they are often victims themselves, though their actions are never excused. It’s a good message for young people to reach out to those that may need their help, bullies or victims.
The last chapter was a bit predictable, but it’s probably the only time that I’m happy for a book to have ended like that. I really wanted Sophie to be happy, as she totally deserves it! We need more Sophie’s in this world.
What I don’t like: I did find the middle of the book a little slow. It was great to see all of the character’s relationships growing stronger and to see some of them coming out of their shells, but a little more action in the middle would have made the book a solid 5 stars for me. It picked up towards the end again though, culminating in a fantastic ending.
Overall, Sophie’s Different was a fantastic book that should be read by all young people who might be going through a tough time at school. You never know, it might help!
Until the next time,
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