While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbor Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they'll sit together on Sophie's front porch swing and escape from their troubles, if just for awhile. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation near, will their friendship become something...more?
Sophie & Carter is a little gem of a story that I'm thrilled to have discovered.
I have been reading quite a few "issue" books (Every You, Every Me, You Against Me) that were wonderful but left me in a dark place for days after reading.
Sophie & Carter deals with prostitution, domestic violence, mental illness and a few other things thrown in for good measure but I could not have been happier while reading this one.
Both Sophie and Carter have suffered through years of abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents. Since they are neighbors, they have witnessed each others suffering over the years. They pretend not to know each other at school (it helps them keep their home life & troubles separate from their school life where they can be normal) but every night they meet on Sophie's front porch swing to talk about their day.
They have come to rely on each other for support and while Sophie knows she's in love with Carter, he's just coming to the realization of how much she means to him.
Told in alternating points of view we get to see how difficult life has been for each of them but also see the joy they bring to each other.
Sophie is just a delight to know. She's taking care of her brothers & sisters, lovingly nicknamed "the littles", all alone. She is one brave girl. During her POV's I felt like I was sitting at her kitchen table having a cup of coffee chatting about her story. I want to be her BFF.
Carter is swoon worthy as a boy who is unbelievably patient, kind and loyal despite his background.
This is a very short book so I don't want to spoil too much. Chelsea Fine has packed a lot of history and emotion into a little space. Despite the subject matter, Sophie & Carter is also a story filled with heart and hope. Seriously guys - check this one out! You won't be disappointed and it only took me about 3 hours to read.
Rating: 4 out 4 BIG story wrapped in a little package.
Book trailer for Sophie & Carter: