Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursdays with Macky • A Little Something More

Sophie & Carter book cover
Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: July 25, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || e-book

Next-door neighbors Sophie Hartman and Carter Jax grow up witnessing the shameful secrets of each of their families and, amidst the heartache, form an unspoken bond of friendship. But events during their senior year of high school will change both of them forever. As their lives unravel, Sophie and Carter rely on one another for strength, encouragement and hope…and begin to realize their feelings for each other might just be deeper than friendship….


Sophie & Carter by Chelsea Fine is worth losing my man-card over. Contrary to popular belief, the fact that I do not have a uterus… and do not now, nor shall/have I ever find/found men attractive (women are just so much cuter) actually means, I posses said man-card. However loving this story to bits… well… take the damn card already.

I mean come on! My personal weakness for stories is the coming of age story that blends nicely with the “significant other next door” genre. Toss in some magic and quests and epic love and you have the books I’ve been trying to write all these years.

There is no magic or sorcery, or quests of the mystical kind in Sophie & Carter, but the stakes are just as high. Extreme family drama set to an idyllic (that’s my word for the month) YA contemporary fictional world with a very clear emphasis on the love story.

The Good

I apparently really love first person POV’s. The fun twist to this story however is each chapter alternates POV’s between Sophie and Carter. It’s a nifty little thing how they both analyse their lives, past and present and take a stand for the future

It is oh so easy reading. Very very light. No differential calculus. This isn’t inception. And for that I am very much thankful. (my brain has been on hiatus for a few years now so any book, movie or game that’s “complicated” or “Requires” analytical thinking gets passed over with extreme prejudice… but it’s just a phase… I think…).

Is it fluffy? I wouldn’t be able to properly define fluff if it drove a bus and ran me over. But I’m pretty sure there’s quite a lot of fluff in this. It’s like asking a man to distinguish olive drab and teal. To most men it’s just green. Mostly. So yeah. YA romance equals fluff central. But here’s the kicker: Overall, I got warm fuzzy butterflies reading this.

*looks forlornly at the empty slot in wallet where man-card used to be and sighs*

No really. I did. They’re next door neighbors since childhood! That’s the first and primary relationship they have. And as the drama of their lives unfold, that dynamic of caring about each other from opposite sides of the fence becomes the foundation for the new levels of their relationship. Good good good stuff…

The "What now?"

As far as reality goes, their home situations are real enough. And by real I mean people in real life go through the stuff they go through. The only thing that kinda threw me off is that with the kind of lives Sophie and Carter lived… and in the neighbourhood they lived in… you wouldn’t expect them to have turned out to be that kind of functional. I mean, they’re a couple of socially functional, unselfish teens living in domestic hell. The kind of maturity Sophie and Carter show in the book puts a lot of people I know (i.e. people older than them) to shame. They’re highschool seniors. But they’re local domestic heroes. You wonder why I love this book! I mean, I love teenaged superheroes!

But theirs is the power of love. The kind that conquers all. So yeah. This book? Fluffy.

Ok Granted: this is the kind of book you’re gonna want to keep reading and not put down. The curveball for me is how in a world full of selfish, immature people, you’ve got a couple of high school seniors acting like they’re 35. Thrust in their shoes and with their issues, I don’t know if I’d have turned out as awesome as they did. But hey, that’s what makes Sophie and Carter two of a kind. And this is just me over thinking everything.

One last thing: Carter Jax. Yes. That is his name. Remember when I said Super Heroes? I mean, as far as (not so) secret identity names go, that’s a really cool name. His mom is Mrs. Jax for heaven’s sakes. Why do I write about him in the “What now?” column? Well apart from his name (which is a cool comic book name or a steamy romance novel name)… I guess he’s just too cool. (this is me envying HIS man-card).

The guy is strong. Like really buff. Strong and deeply sensitive. Very warrior poet in a William Wallace (that’s Braveheart to you) kind of way.

And just get a load of the way he takes care of his mother… AND Sophie. I honestly don’t know any men like that. I mean, the boys I hangout with are pretty upstanding citizens. The kind of guys you wouldn’t shoot on instinct if they chummed up to your sister… but Carter Jax (from this man’s perspective) is just way too perfect.

And I say that in this context: Say I was going for a girl. Me and my music loving, sensitive artist routine (this is theoretical honey, and by honey, I mean she who runs this blog)… and Carter Jax comes up to that girl and says, “hey… I was wondering if we could maybe go out for some coffee…”. I would probably totally lose. Unless I whip out my guitar and start singing or something. And even then that’s no guarantee. I’d look like a demented busker while Carter Jax walks away with the girl fawning at his side.

So yeah. I’m a bit threatened by the chisled features, the tortured past and the uber-sensitive. Yes. Carter Jax makes uber-sensitive a noun. And you can’t say his name without the last name unless you’re Sophie. Or his friend. Which he awesomely has few of.

Guy makes me feel I should work out more. Or actually work out. So yeah. This is just male ego talking. And phantom pains from man-card loss. I love them as a pair. But Sophie’s a believable character. I actually know some girls who are like Sophie. But Carter? Ladies, read the book and swoon. This guy’s the dream. When I grow up I will be Carter Jax. Or not. But you get the picture.

The Awesome

And now Sophie. It is safe to say that I love her. I hold no candle to Carter Jax, but this girl is just about all too easy to fall in love with. Unlike Tessa, (in my review for Before I Die from last Thursday)… Sophie is my type. The maternal instincts, big heart, strong and yet oh so vulnerable… same tortured past but it smudges her not… I’m male. I’m biased. I love Sophie. I love how she cares. I love how she tries. I love how she’s always on the brink of losing it but she knows how to stay strong both on her own… and by relying on Carter. The brilliant mix of vulnerability and independence… So yes. Absolutely. She rocks. Anyone who’s ever carried the weight of their family on their shoulders ought to take a good look at Sophie’s life and either feel blessed or feel like you’re not alone. She’s a trooper. She’s a hero. She and Carter deserve each other.

Perfect boy notwithstanding, this is a story of true love set in modern day times. The kind of love that married couples have to learn. Love that won’t quit. Love that’s rooted in sacrifice and not convenience. Love that puts other’s concerns over their own so when things get rough they don’t split up because the relationship is “just not them” anymore.

Given a choice, I would not trade my home situation for either of theirs. But they have something that we’ve all wanted. Something real. Something that’s meant to last. Something that is virtually indestructible because it’s rooted in years and years of history.

They’ve fought, bled, died, and resurrected together time and time again. They are amazingly strong when they’re apart. But together, they’re invincible. And their love is even stronger by far.

There’s nobody like Sophie & Carter. So this one’s for you two… and the littles. And Mrs. Jax too. Blue skies and new begginings. Love you both.

6 comments:

  1. thanks Giselle! glad you liked it. :D i lost my man card over this book so it's nice to know the review was appreciated. haha

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  2. Hi Dixie! that's really sweet of you to say that! thanks! :D it's an easy read. short book too. fluffy. haha

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  3. you are hilarious...and now i really want to read this book. so thanks for that!

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  4. This was such a cute review! I really want to read this one!

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  5. I remember reading this review a while ago and thinking "But Alexa...you don't have a man card. Why are you concerned about losing it?" Obviously that was a very blonde moment on my part! Macky, 1)you are hilarious 2)Sophie and Carter are amazing people and 3) I am so happy you loved this book as much as I did! I guess I never realized how cool and yes, very comic-booky Carter's name was!

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  6. Hey Katelyn... Right? Right? Carter Jax is a comic booky. Glad you liked the review. :D I just wish i could be this snarky with all my reviews. :P

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