Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 14 and up
# of pages: 291
RAC Book: Yes
In this sequel to What My Mother Doesn’t Know we find out what happened when Sophie went to sit with Robin instead of her friends. Instead of supporting her new relationship with the school outcast, her friends and everyone else choose to cast out Sophie as well. Since this book is told from Robin’s perspective we find out just how difficult it is to be a social outcast. His name is even used as an insult toward others. Even though he tries to be cool with the teasing and cruel jokes, this story makes it very clear how much it hurts him not to fit in anywhere.
As Robin is a gifted art student he is invited to audit a Harvard art class and finds himself immersed in an environment where he is not treated as a freak, but instead as a person. He finds these classes as an escape from daily life because as bad as it was being an outcast, it feels worse now that he has made Sophie one too. Sophie refuses to give in, however, and insists that everything will be all right, but at times things at school get so bad that neither one of them seem to believe that.
What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is an interesting story because we pick up with a new character telling the story. We see the relationship through a boy’s eyes, which changes the perspective quite a bit. Bullying is a strong theme in this book and while the students can be extremely cruel at times it never seems unrealistic. High school students can be capable of anything if the circumstances align. Students who enjoyed the first book will enjoy seeing how the relationship continues, but hopefully they will also take notice of how bullying effects those on the receiving end and not be so tolerant of what they see, hear, or actually do.