Some of the girls at school think that Sophie has everything. She is pretty, popular, and has a innate sense of style. What they don't know is that she spends every evening wondering, in fear, what her drunken mother might do next. After an especially bad episode, Sophie's mother goes on a business trip and Sophie's aunt comes to look after her. For the first time in years she is not worrying about her mother. She thinks her life will be perfect but it isn't. She is trying to juggle having her first boyfriend, a wavering relationship with her best friend (who is also a boy) and dealing with another friend's jealousy. Most of all she is dreading what will happen when her mother returns.
I read this book because one of the other librarians read it and wondered if it belonged in the YA section instead of the children's section. It is a bit gritty. Sayre's description of Sophie's difficult relationship with her alcoholic mother is painfully realistic. Also, Sophie, although only 13, gets caught up in some kissing sessions with her first boyfriend, whom she isn't really sure that she even "like" likes that much. Still, I think I will leave it in the children's section. I have personally known kids as young as Sophie who become the "responsible" ones who take care of troubled parents. One of them might be glad to read a story like this one, that is full of hope that there are people out there who might be willing and able to help them. This is a companion novel to Sayre's novel "Husky" which I haven't read yet. This one was good enough that I want to go back and read that. (222 p.)