I am a closet-soppy [Book Review]

SOPPY is Philippa Rice’s collection of comics and illustrations based on real-life moments with her boyfriend. From grocery shopping to silly arguments and snuggling in front of the television, SOPPY captures the universal experience of sharing a life together, and celebrates the beauty of finding romance all around us.

I don’t know how I guessed that I would like this book/graphic novel/comic. I had never heard of Philippa Rice before (sorry) and nobody that knows me would describe me as a romantic. I have quite a cold exterior.

You can’t truly call Soppy a graphic novel. It really is more a collection of comics, of small skits of a young couple’s life together. The red-black-white colour scheme works so well for me, and I love the way that Philippa and Luke are portrayed, from their messy studies to the way she cocoons herself in a blanket (I do that too) and even their clothing and socks!

Soppy made me smile. I would catch myself inspecting the comic strips and just unexpectedly breaking into a smile. Because it’s cute. And soppy. Not the treacle-type that makes you cringe. Just the kind that I guess you only understand when you understand it – if that makes any sense.

Click for Rice’s tumblr

I spend most of my weekends with GeekBoy. Sometimes we sit all day and study quietly together, or he plays Starcraft while I read, or we listen to an audiobook together. We don’t talk much but I can’t explain how close we feel nonetheless. Or how can I explain the warmth it gives me when he gets me a care package when I’m sick or preparing for exams. Or that time in second year that I hadn’t studied in ages and he bought me a notebook and sat me down, telling me I wasn’t going to move till I studied a chapter.

It’s just soppy I guess, and it’s my favourite kind.

I suppose this isn’t for everybody. There are plenty examples of the webcomic online (Rice’s site is here), so I’d suggest having a look before reading it, but I adored it. This is the kind of romantic that I am – not the one that fawns over hunky fictional boys and grand romantic gestures.

Disclaimer: I received and eARC via NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.


  1. harveylisam says:

    That sounds so lovely. 🙂 It also sounds like something I would love to read, but not now because I’m too single haha.

    1. “Too single” – that is the funniest expression I’ve heard in a long time.

  2. Great review 🙂 I think I’d like this, even though usually I’m all over hunky fictional boys and grand romantic gestures like in the movies or on telly, lol.

    1. Thanks 🙂 Glad you like it – let me know if you read it!

  3. Lady_Guru says:

    And so I find myself in the same position you were in not too long ago: accepted into Stellenbosch Medical School but on the other hand I have also recently secured a scholarship for chartered accountancy. Its no secret that medschool is ridiculously expensive and bursaries are few and far in between; and since my love for medicine is fairly new, I find myself torn between following the “dream” and making the sensible decision. Any words of advice for a prospective Matie?

    1. Hi Thembe! It is such a difficult decision and ultimately only you can make it. Congratulations on your bursary for CA, by the way! I know one has to work very hard to get it.
      I’m not going to lie: financially, my life would have been a lot easier had I taken that law bursary. I am currently in more than 260k debt, and that doesn’t even include the bursary I got from the W.Cape (they do offer the smallest bursaries of all the provinces, unfortunately).
      Whenever I struggle with a decision, I take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Then I write all the pros and cons of each choice on each side and weigh them up. That might be a good idea for you to do.
      Not everything can be weighed up though. As much as money is important (and I won’t deny it: it IS important), happiness is important too. What are the chances that you will be happy in the different jobs? What are the chances that you will be unhappy?
      Lastly, remember that there is always a chance that you work a few years and then decide that you are bored or unhappy. What are your options with said degree to do something else? For example, with MBChB you can also go teach or work in public health/politics. There is also the option to go back into business. I don’t know much about CA, but I do know that there are a wide variety of options to go into too. You just have to investigate them and decide which is more attractive.

      Another question I like asking myself is this: If I make one decision today, and in a few years I meet someone who made the other decision, will I be saddened/jealous? For example, I don’t feel sad when I meet a friend who studied law. I love hearing about their work, and I am happy for them, yet I don’t feel jealous about what they are doing. Would I have been jealous of my medical friends had I studied Law? I don’t know. Perhaps?

      I know I haven’t given a concrete answer, but I do hope that I have given you some things to think about. Best of luck with your decision, and feel free to let me know what you end up deciding! If you have further questions I will do my best to answer them.

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