Sonya Sones' What My Mother Doesn’t Know is an adolescent novel written entirely in poetry from the perspective of ninth-grader Sophie Stein. Sophie recounts meeting an amazing boy, Dylan, a few months ago. Getting a ride home from a party in a crowded car, she had to sit on his lap; they introduced themselves, and the relationship took off from there. Dylan is tall with curly blond hair, and she is immediately infatuated with him. They eventually start hanging out and dating; in the initial phase of their relationship, they can’t stop kissing and making out. Dylan occasionally puts pressure on her to go further physically but Sophie puts a stop to it, wanting the moment to be just right. As time passes, Sophie starts to become irritated with Dylan; she feels smothered and realizes that maybe they really do not have very much in common other than their mutual physical attraction. In the meantime, Sophie occasionally thinks about a rather nerdy boy she knows from art class named Murphy. He is not very attractive and is a complete social outcast; in fact, when anyone does something nerdy or mean, people at her school say, “Stop being such a Murphy.” Sophie finds herself fantasizing about how she would like to kiss Murphy out of pity; as she comes out of the daydream, she is startled and disturbed that she would be thinking such thoughts about a total nerd.

As her relationship with Dylan becomes more irritating, Sophie meets someone online who calls himself Chaz. Every night at ten they meet online and have great conversations. Her online “soul connection” to Chaz makes her wonder if she had met Dylan online, and didn’t have the benefit of his good looks, if she would actually like him. When Dylan tells her that he loves her, she can’t say it back to him. Instead, Murphy randomly pops into her head. She wonders if Murphy has ever been told by a girl that he is loved. Realizing that she does not really care for Dylan anymore, she breaks up with him; down in the dumps, Sophie turns to her online relationship with Chaz for consolation. However, he soon reveals that he likes to do dirty things in the library while he is online. In a remarkably mature and wise move, Sophie immediately cuts off communication with Chaz and changes her email address so that he cannot ever talk to her again.

Her schools hosts a Halloween costume dance; Sophie wants to get a nice black dress and go as a beatnik poet, but her mother forces her to buy a hideous dress covered in...

(The entire section is 1014 words.)