Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen (Mini-Review)

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“The daughter of successful Taiwanese immigrants, Sophia Young has always spoken her mind, and in Silicon Valley, that turns out to be her greatest asset—especially when she’s often the only woman in a room. As companies like Apple, Google, Tesla, and Oracle are beginning to revolutionize the world, Sophia lucks into a job that puts her directly in the path of Scott Kraft, the eccentric founder of a groundbreaking software company and CEO of an animated film studio that is transforming the art.

As Scott’s right hand woman, the incorrigibly outspoken Sophia is in the eye of the storm—a thrilling and terrifying position that challenges her, threatens her relationships and even her health, yet ultimately teaches her how to take charge of her own future. But when engineer and inventor Andre Stark hires her to run investor relations, Sophia starts to question whether the big paycheck and high-status career are worth living in a boys-club gone bad.

Sharp, dramatic, and full of insider dish, Sophia of Silicon Valley is an engrossing story of a professional woman storming the corridors of geek power and—and the price of living in the shadows of its eccentric maestros.”

-Synopsis from Goodreads


I really, really wanted to like this book. Sadly, it became a DNF (did not finish) for me at 100 pages in.

What interested me in this book is that it is set in Silicon Valley which happens to be a setting I enjoy reading about. I think this is partly due to my love of San Francisco and partly due to my fascination with the inner workings of start-ups, a la Theranos. There always, perhaps unsurprisingly, seems to be more lurking beneath the surface than meets the eye and that’s what I love to read about. And let’s be honest, I was also drawn in by how cute the cover is, too.

Unfortunately, the narrative style of this book made it kind of drag on in a way that was not interesting to me. The story starts with Sophia in the present, and then promptly goes back to her four years prior and begins a full recap of her life. This would normally be fine, except it goes on for over one hundred pages.

I would have liked to have seen Sophia in the present, with small vignettes peeking into her past at appropriate times, rather than this giant shift. I think that Sophia was probably going to be a likable character, but all we get to see, for a huge chunk of the story, is her navigating her early post-college life which is nothing short of a hot mess. Not to mention, it’s told in a way that just wasn’t appealing to me. At this point I checked out a couple spoiler-reviews on Goodreads and determined that based on how the rest of the book was going to go, it was probably just not for me.

Because of all that, I unfortunately just couldn’t bring myself to finish reading. Especially not when I have a stack of books on my nightstand that I am hoping to get to before the end of the year.

Has anyone else read this book? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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