Author: Sophie Lucido Johnson
Publish Date: March 22, 2022
Publisher: HarperOne (imprint of HarperCollins)
Catalog ID: ISBN: 978-0063040700
Author website: https://www.sophielucidojohnson.com/
Additional info: Body Image, self-harm (cutting), anxiety, depression, disordered eating, trauma, memoir, mental health, puberty, sex, childbirth; if triggering, then seek a mental health provider or use the mental health crisis helpline by calling 988 (U.S. and Canada) or 999 (U.K.).
by Soph Myers-Kelley
Dear Sophie, Love Sophie is in many ways too relatable to my own life (and I loved every minute of it). Sophie Lucido Johnson, author of previous graphic memoir Many Love: A Memoir of Polyamory and Finding Love(s) and Audible book Love Without Sex: Stories on the Spectrum of Modern Relationships, gets vulnerable as she responds to real diary entries from her middle and high school self. Through joyfully simple drawings with thick lines and bold colors, Johnson brings you to the world of her teen self, when she’s figuring out crushes and love, weight and disordered eating, attraction, purpose, right and wrong, career, mental health, family, and historical events. Older Sophie, now with more life experience under her belt, can comfort, surprise, and relate to her younger self through her written letters sent back in time.
The book highlights Johnson as a deeply empathetic, emotionally in-tune, justice-focused person who is constantly seeking right action in a world that can be overwhelming and require so much of women. She shares her experience with pansexuality, finding love and marriage, veganism, anti-racism workshops and books, and her battle with her weight and size. Her perspectives change throughout the book writing process- even improving on and lovingly revising her initial responses to young Sophie’s problems with restrictive eating and size-obsession. Her candidness about her past cutting (at the time of writing she had gone two years without cutting herself), why she did it, and how it helped with her overwhelming feelings was refreshing and (hopefully) validating for the many people who have also feel the need to cut themselves in order to survive what feels unsurvivable.
One thing that I found special about Johnson’s work is she recommends a rich list of books to encourage you, the reader, on your own healing journey. Whether it’s somatic practice, therapy, feeling your feelings physically, and writing to another part of herself she calls her “monster” (very akin to parts work in therapy), many people who are unlearning trauma, healing their ancestral line, and waking up their spirit will find this memoir relatable.
Another thing I enjoyed was Sophie’s last few sections aimed more at the reader than her childhood self. Sophie writes to her future self about how even though she has experienced more and can in many ways help and console her childhood self, she is still dealing with the same issues past Sophie felt and might still have a way to go. She has questions for her future self and still seeks ways to grow and heal. At first, I judged Johnson for her sharing of wisdom and guidance that perhaps isn’t so final and may need some more maturing like she says. Then I realized that I was projecting, that I too have a long way to go in order to heal and grow, and that’s very much okay. And look! Here already, I am starting to do the healing work that Johnson is encouraging and modeling in her memoir. And if that’s not worth checking out this book, I don’t know what is.
Soph Myers-Kelley is a medical librarian, herbalist, and activist living in North Carolina. They can be contacted at https://www.smyerskelley.com/ and followed at https://www.instagram.com/sophmyerskelley/