cover image Speed of Life

Speed of Life

Carol Weston. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-5449-0

Weston (the Ava and Pip series) carefully explores grief, blended families, and first love as she follows 14-year-old Sofia Wolfe, whose mother died of a sudden aneurysm. With her mother gone, Sofia is facing the difficult realization that life goes on: “You can’t mourn forever. When you’re alive you have to live.” After Kate Baird, who writes the “Dear Kate” advice column for Fifteen magazine, visits her school, Sofia begins an email correspondence with her; complications arise when Sofia learns that Kate is the mystery woman her father has been dating. After she and her father move in with Kate and her teenage daughter, Alexa, Sofia must decide whether she will leave her Upper West Side private school for public school and pursue a relationship with Sam, Alexa’s ex. Each chapter represents a month, and readers spend a year with Sofia as Weston believably chronicles her transition from middle school to high school. Sofia’s growth—amid unexpected interest from boys, her first relationship, new additions to her family, and grief—is both relatable and moving. Ages 11–14. [em]Agent: Susan Ginsberg, Writers House. (Apr.) [/em]