Genre: Contemporary / Magical Realism
Synopsis: Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.
Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.
200words (or less) review: The Theory of Everything is such a unique book and tempted me from the moment I heard about it. A young girl with her own shaman panda guide called Walt? It was too perfect to pass up.
Not only is Sophie Sophia a brilliant narrator but Kari Luna’s debut is packed full of wonderful characters. I don’t often come across a story where I care about everyone, from Finny (who I wish had been my friend in school), Walt and Peyton to Sophie’s mother. I wasn’t expecting to sympathise with Sophie’s mother to the extent I did. It’s really easy to judge but the further into the story I got the more I understood her actions.
There is a lot about The Theory of Everything I loved, the characters as I’ve mentioned but also the way the story is set out. Sophie’s trips/episode are fantastical but have a sweetness to them, like happy dream sequences. I did not understand why there had to be a love interest, personally I don’t think the Sophie’s story needed it.
The Theory of Everything is a heart-warming adventure with amazing characters and a wise panda to guide you – definitely worth reading.