Definitely No Dawson Naiveté Here | The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark  The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, by Anna North (2015)


The Facts:

  • Release date next week, May 19th, 2015!
  • This is Anna North’s second novel, with her first America Pacifica published in 2011.
  • Get it? Dawson?



Sophie is a girl who is a little bit different, and has the intense desire, or need rather, to make movies. This story chronicles her life as she gets her start by making a documentary in which she follows around some dude who goes to her college. The novel continues on for several years after, until the end, of which is given away in the title.


Non-Spoiler Review:

I’m going to be honest here (as always), and tell you I just kept seeing this cover around, everywhere, staring at me. So finally I got curious, as to WHO is this Sophie Stark?

Sophie is a young woman, who is quite different from everyone else, and really seems to just not care – about herself, about her future, about other people, really about anything except making movies. She is utterly and completely herself, to a fault sometimes, and also doesn’t always seem all that in tune with reality. She is certainly one of the more complex, and interesting characters I’ve read about in awhile.

The story is told in various perspectives from people in Sophie’s life, including her brother, a girl in one of her films, or simply a more casual acquaintance for just a brief time. The character of Sophie is fleshed out with all these different versions of her, and who she was to each individual. And yet, we are never given a chapter from Sophie’s own point of view, which actually I kind of liked… I think… sort of.

To be honest, this was just an okay book for me. The writing was good, and it held my interest while reading it, but definitely has not stood the test of time. I finished this not even two weeks ago, and can already hardly remember it. Sophie was a great character, but in the end I didn’t feel very attached to her, and had very little understanding of the motivations and desires driving her decisions. There wasn’t enough depth or emotion to REALLY suck me in, nor leave a lasting impression. I say, read it, or not, and you’ll be fine either way.

I’ll leave you with Anna North’s words about her character, Sophie:

I sort of feel like Sophie is driven less by obsession than by curiosity. Like, she doesn’t totally understand the emotional world that most people live in, and she’s sort of investigating it, and them, through her movies.


Rating:     [3/5 stars]


Looking For More:

  • I can’t seem to find the blog page I’m looking for, so I’ll just link to Amber’s @ Shelf Notes Goodreads review here, where she also admits to being pulled in by the cover to start.
  • For a more glowing review, see Matthew’s here.


Have you read this? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


| The Life and Death of Sophie Stark | Blue Rider Press | 2015 | e-ARC | NetGalley |



5 thoughts on “Definitely No Dawson Naiveté Here | The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

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