You Don’t Know Me – Sophia Bennett

“It’s funny how fifteen minutes can change your life.
Sometimes people ask me: would you do it again, knowing what happened? I’ve thought about it a lot and I suppose the answer is yes, despite everything. Fifteen minutes can be golden, they’re all you need to make something beautiful, or save someone from disaster.”

When Sasha’s phone is stolen and a video of Sasha and her friends appears on the submissions for Killer Act, the online music competition hosted by leading social network Interface the girls are shocked and embarrassed. However it appears people like their video, their style and their voices and wow, they make it to the audition stages. However whilst there the girls are told one of them must go and it’s up to Sasha to let her best friend Rose, the person she loves and who has always been there for her, that she should go and the entire thing is broadcast for the world to see. Suddenly everyone is talking about Sasha, Jodie and Nell, but most of all they are talking about how mean they were to Rose. This is fame, and it sucks.

***

Following on from her 2012 title, The Look, I knew I was to expect something amazing from Sophia Bennett and my oh my did I get it. Much like with The Look, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy You Don’t Know Me from the blurb, but I knew I wanted to give it a go, and again like with The Look, You Don’t Know Me blew me away.

The story is something special, it tackles to way Sasha views herself and others around her, it tackles how she, Rose, Jodie and Nell are viewed before and after the events of the competition and focuses a lot on different types of bullying, including the sort you inflict on yourself by persuading yourself you deserve what people are saying about you. Mixed in with all this is family relationships, grief, love, body image and fame. There’s a varsity of things that Sophia Bennett has included in the story and she’s hit the nail on the head with them all.

The story is so powerful, you expect to hate Sasha for what she does to Rose and yet you find yourself feeling sorry for her because of what happens after and how people start treating her for it. The reality is that Sasha was being incredible naive and quite ignorant to people’s thoughts and feelings when she asked Rose if she was ok to leave the band. Sasha didn’t understand what Rose was thinking because she never had to think about the same things… Yet from someone who did, and still even now does, I completely related to Rose and how she was feeling. It was heartbreaking but in a way I loved that Sasha was so ignorant towards this as it proved that she genuinely didn’t care, that she loved Rose no matter what and that, really, is how it should be.

The inclusion of song lyrics in the book made me love it even more than I thought was possible. I love music in general and whilst I stick to the more alternative stuff and tend not to listen to chart stuff I do enjoy a variety of genres and liked that not everything in the book was One Direction. The use of Manic Pixie Dream Girls as the band name was genius and I also loved Call of Duty, I can imagine there are a few teen bands out there who have adopted that name.

I really can’t rave enough about You Don’t Know Me. It’s powerful, magical and beautiful, it shows true friendship and first love and girls finding out who they want to be, even if it is the hard way. The writing works amazingly well and the dialogue between the characters is just fantastic, although her dad wasn’t around a lot and was a bit selfish, I actually really loved the phone call between Sasha and him when Sasha was really down, it added something special to the book.

You Don’t Know Me was published on May 2nd by Chicken House. My copy was sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

For more info please visit:
Amazon | Goodreads | Author Website 
  • I’m so glad you enjoyed this as much as I did!

  • *high fives* I reviewed this book today too! I’m glad you loved it 🙂

    ..The song lyrics included in the book sort of inspired me. I used to write poetry when things were terrible for me in the past and it all sort of stopped. It never really occurred to me to try writing it again…

  • I’ve seen some really good reviews of this recently! I think it’s something my sister would like, yeah? Might have to treat her to it

    Cait x

  • I read this a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it so I’m glad to see that you did too, Raimy. 🙂