The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers

9:00 AM

Title: The Worst Thing She Ever Did
Author: Alice Kuipers
Release Date: May 10, 2010 (trade paperback)
Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Pages: 224
Source: Borrowed from Library

Overall: 4.5 Stars

All Sophie wants is to forget what happened last summer. But that’s not easy when people keep asking if she’s okay, and her mother locks herself behind closed doors for hours at a time. And now her best friend, Abigail, cares more about parties and boys than hanging out with Sophie.

Lost in memories of the life she once had -- before that terrible day -- Sophie retreats into herself. But it’s only so long before she must confront the tragedy of her past so she can face the future. 

My Thoughts: 
The Worst Thing She Ever Did really took me by surprise. Based on the plot description alone, I knew I would probably enjoy it, but I had no inkling just how much I would come to enjoy reading the novel. Emotional and absolutely heartbreaking at times, it was a novel that pulled me in from the very first page and I simply couldn’t put it down… finishing the novel in a mere couple of hours.

Sophie was just like any other teen when one awful day in London, a terrible event suddenly rips away her older sister Emily. But Emily was more than just Sophie’s big older sister- she lost her closest confidante, her best friend, and someone she could always count on to be there for her. Struggling in the aftermath with a mother who barely leaves their home anymore, Sophie just wants to forget what happened that day… but the more she tries, the more she fails and Sophie only wishes she could go back in time to when she was happy again.

The novel is written in journal form, but Sophie narrates in a way that easily allows you to feel her grief and how normalcy is just something she doesn’t know anymore. She feels guilt for what happened that day with her sister, and it’s slowly tearing her apart, making her grow distant and draw away from her close childhood friend Abigail who’s unable to relate to what her friend is going through. With the arrival of Canadian student, Rosa-Leigh, who’s just arrived in England with her family, Sophie is introduced to poetry and slowly, we do see the potential for Sophie to heal… but it won’t be an easy road.

As the novel progresses, we steadily learn through Sophie’s memories about Emily and it’s not until near the end that readers learn how she dies… and when I did, tears began to fall and I couldn’t stop crying. Alice Kuipers did a wonderful job building up to the moment, slowly cluing in the readers with little pieces of the puzzle that finally click into place by the end.  

The novel also explored the relationship between a mother and daughter grieving for a loved one as life carried on around them… but it also showed that you have to be strong to find the courage to keep moving forward. 

The Worst Thing She Ever Did may have left me in tears, but it also left me with an appreciation for someone who I sometimes take for granted… my own sister. 

*The Worst Thing She Ever Did is nominated for the 2011 White Pine Award.*  

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  1. Great review, Liz! This book sounds really interesting, I'll have to put it on my 'To read' list.

  2. Great review,now I want to read it.
    I think I'm going to make it my mission to read more books about sisters in the 2011.

    Thanks for putting this book in my radar.

  3. No problem guys! I mean, the two weren't perfect sisters by any means- it was realistic.

    The only comparison I can draw right now for writing style is Courtney Summers. Contemporary with flawed characters who are just dealing with the obstacles that life throws at them. :)

  4. I don't think I've ever heard about this but it looks amazing. I have to read it! Great Review

  5. there is 210 pages actually

  6. Anonymous You're probably right! Most times, I tend to use the amount of page numbers that a publisher uses and they tend to go a bit over, including the acknowledgments pages and such. :)

  7. WOW!amazing review on the book, thank you so much, i read the book right after reading this and just wanted to say how amazing i thought it was, i honestly could realte in so many ways with Sophie. Thanks =)