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Honey, Baby, Sweetheart Hardcover – May 4, 2004

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 900L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; First Edition edition (May 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689867654
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689867651
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 5.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,994,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ultimately rewarding, this novel about a high school girl who steps out of her role as "The Quiet Girl" for a summer of "passion and adventure... the stuff of the books at the Nine Mile Library where my mother works," shares both the strengths and pitfalls of Caletti's The Queen of Everything. When Ruby gets involved with handsome, motorcycle-riding and rich Travis, she likes that he sees her as fearless. But he is also dangerous, and spellbound Ruby gradually gets sucked into first reckless and then criminal acts. In a concerted effort to help Ruby break away from Travis, her librarian mother, who has just endured a betrayal of her own, begins overseeing Ruby's schedule and takes her to the book club she facilitates for feisty senior citizens, the Casserole Queens—which leads to a whole other story line involving one of their members, a stroke victim who may or may not have been the lover of a famous author. There is a lot of plot, often requiring the audience's leaps of faith over not especially believable moments, and Caletti's prose, laden with strikingly apt comparisons, can make this book feel dense. Even so, so much here is uncommonly vivid, especially the exchanges among Ruby, her mother and her younger brother. Readers who stay with it will find thoughtful and authentically inspiring messages about trusting in themselves enough to insist on a love that means more than being someone's "honey, baby, sweetheart." Ages 12-up. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–During the summer of her junior year, shy, quiet Ruby McQueen falls in love with the rich boy down the block. After their first motorcycle ride, Travis gives her a beautiful gold chain, and she wears it everywhere. Only later, while on a date with him, does she learn where he gets his gifts–he breaks into houses and steals jewelry. Ruby struggles with her conflicted feelings for him. Her parents are separated and hardly stellar examples when it comes to relationships. By spending time with the Casserole Queens (her librarian mother's senior-citizen book group) and listening to their life stories, the teen and her mother finally discover the role models that they've been lacking. Readers will immediately fall for Ruby with her humor and her wry way of looking at the world. Their hearts will break as she makes bad decision after bad decision, and they'll cheer as she comes to some important realizations, with the help of the Casserole Queens. Young adults will see themselves in Ruby and, like her, have some laughs along the road to wisdom. A story full of heart, fun, and energy.–Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

First of all, a confession. I am a literary addict. I read endlessly, voraciously. In lieu of a book, I will read cereal boxes (Cap'N Crunch breakfast jokes, Special K Heart Smart facts), shampoo bottles, pamphlets in doctors' offices about kidney stones and allergies (neither of which I have), and even those self exam charts with the little arrows going around in circles. My books are multiplying, becoming furniture themselves - end tables, nightstands. On one wall, I have a bookshelf, minus the shelf. I get restless, even sad, when I leave a fictional world I love and am not yet immersed in another. The highest compliment I've gotten about one of my books was from a reader who said she read slower as she approached its end, rationed out the remaining pages because she couldn't bear for it to be finished. Oh, joy. I knew just what she meant.

I was happily hooked at a young age. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and was one of those quiet kids carting home a stack of books. Was? Still am. My mother says there were several years where they never saw me; they just shoved reading material and food under my door (not true, but pretty close). My parents said I'd mess up my eyes reading at night in the back of the car. They were probably right.

Writing, too, was part of my life since I was six or seven. I would get an idea, then bolt off to write it down. A hippie teacher of mine gave encouragement. "Groovy," he'd scrawl, and I had a sense I was on to something. After we moved to the Seattle area when I was twelve, I continued writing - short stories, bad poetry, and later, lyrics.

Being a writer was the only thing I ever wanted to be, but I didn't have the courage to study creative writing in college. I pictured rooms full of people wearing berets and dressed in all black, talking about Turgenev, which sounded a lot like the noise that escaped my throat whenever I was in one of those courses where they asked you to read your work aloud. I worried I wouldn't have the talent, since I didn't own a beret and never wanted one. So I studied journalism. I worked on the radio station, reading the news. What I learned more than anything was that I wasn't a journalist. I earned my B.A. degree from the University of Washington, got married, won the Nobel prize (just seeing if you were still awake) and did PR work. I got serious about fiction writing after my children were born. I didn't want to be one of those people who talked about their dream but never did anything about it. That seemed sad. I worried I would end up sitting alone at the counter at Denny's eating pie and smoking cigarettes, and I've never even smoked. So I made a decision. I would write and keep writing, at least until I was published. No giving up, no going back. I would have the determination and persistence of a dog with a knotted sock.

I read everything on the craft, studied, took notes, wrote and wrote, until finally, finally my fifth book, QUEEN Of EVERYTHING, was published. I would say I'm self-taught, but it isn't true - all my years as a reader, all of those authors I read, taught me. From Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to Tess of the D'Urbervilles. From Encyclopedia Brown to The World According to Garp. Books are what inspire me to write, and to write better. I believe in their power. Books teach empathy and define our lives and times. Writers are our truth tellers, and I strive for honesty in my writing. I want my readers to recognize their own experiences and to see our shared humanity in my work - our mistakes, our triumphs, our pain, those small moments of rightness. I want my readers to miss my characters when the book is set down. If my reader says, "Oh yes, that's just how it is. I know - that's how I feel, too," then I've done my job. I've given what I can to my fellow addict, and maybe, just maybe, I've added a piece to her nightstand.

Customer Reviews

Not a thing to do with the story or even the characters.
I found myself getting bored and didn't really want to finish it, because you can tell by the way the author writes that everything will be let go in the end.
Chelsie Lacny
Highly recommended, especially for fans of That Summer by Sarah Dessen.
Little Willow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen thinks her dreams have come true when handsome, wealthy and mysterious biker Travis Becker starts paying attention to her and giving her mind-blowing kisses. At the same time, her sometimes-father pays a visit and Ruby barely recognizes her usually competent librarian mother as she caters to his whims. Ruby doesn't understand why people love where it doesn't make sense, until it happens to her. While she sorts out these feelings, she becomes involved in helping a senior book club member find her long lost love. HONEY, BABY, SWEETHEART is about finding yourself and compassion for others.
Ruby and her brother's pain at seeing their mother hurt over and over again in the same way by their father is also a nice parallel to the mistakes Ruby makes with Travis. When Travis turns out to be someone other than Prince Charming, she finds that it's not so easy to make logical judgments and walk away, even when it would be the right thing to do. Ruby's mother reminds her that she is only human herself, and at least they can support each other.
Everyone has made dating mistakes, and readers will easily relate to Ruby. Deb Caletti, author of THE QUEEN OF EVERYTHING, once again comes through with a believable teen narrator. While the pace is slow at times and readers will be yelling at Ruby not to make some of the choices she does, the subplot involving the book club and Ruby's relationship with her mother makes this book unique and worthwhile.
--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Adrien Merliss on March 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
It is a good book. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart is about the one thing everyone can, on some level, relate to--love. Love is important and effective, no matter how old or a young a person is.

The message of the book is that everyone has a story. No one is ever how you perceive them. They have a past. They have secrets. They have a life that you don't know about. Elder people aren't just old. They became that way. Therefore, they were once young and experienced much of the same that we do today. They had an adventure. Life's an adventure.

I did like the book. I was able to relate to it on several levels. There were times, though, when I felt as if the writing was lagging. It started to slow down. Other than that, it was great.

"We are all a volume on the shelf of the Nine Mile Falls Library, a story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands."--Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, page 301
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Megan R. on June 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the characters in Deb Caletti's first book, "The Queen of Everything" and was not disappointed that the characters in "Honey, Baby, Sweetheart" where even more tender and amusing.
Ruby is a 16 year old who most teens can either relate to or admire. Caletti has a way of getting into her characters feelings and expressing them so well that I felt as if I knew them before...especially the Casserole Queens who reminded me of some of my mother's aunts! I love the Casserole Queens! Ruby, Chip Jr. and Mom's relationship with them is so funny and sweet. I admit that I cried more than once while reading this book! I often laughed out loud too! I like how Deb Caletti describes things. She makes it easy to visualize each scene.
I like the message that I got out of the book...there is more to life than boys!

I think that this is a book for all ages...older people will love it as much as I did. It would make a fun movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gia Peralta on January 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Usually, a book has one main story, but in this book there are two stories connected by one girl. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart, by Deb Caletti, is a National Book Award Finalist. It is about a young girl named Ruby McQueen who falls in love with "bad boy-daredevil" Travis. When things between them start to go downhill due to Travis' juvenile behavior, Ruby is forced to leave the boy she loves. The story then collides with the hunt for the husband of her mother's friend. Very old in years, she is kept at home by her two daughters, but longs to find her husband once again. The search for her husband is successful, but ends tragically. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart is a book would recommend for young adults. As a girl, I feel that this book would be enjoyed more so by girls than boys. The plot is hard to follow at times, and it surprises the reader when Travis, a main character, suddenly disappears so fast. The end of the book is stops at a completely different place than where it started, and almost made me feel like things were left unfinished. This is not to say the book was not worthwhile. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it, but it is not my favorite book of all time.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on May 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mrs. Caletti did a wonderful job with this book. her characters are wonderfully developed and real. the plot is new and engaging. my favorite character was Poe the dog.
i promise you that when you turn the last page, there will be an unparalleled feeling of joy and happiness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thats What She Read on June 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book changed my life. This book changed my life. (Once more, with feeling: ) THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE. I think it should be required reading for anyone with ovaries, regardless of age. I'm going to butcher the story by trying to one-liner it, but it's basically a good girl falls for a bad boy arc, with so many phenomenal character sketches and side plot lines. The main character's mom runs a book group for the elderly, and those characters do amazing things throughout it, including the scene that made me put the book down because I was crying too hard. She deals a lot, in a perfectly developed but still subtle way, with expectations put on girls vs expectations on boys, even as kids-that boys get to be adventurous and how it's supposed to be enough for the girls to settle for having the boy and not having the adventure. "Boys get mountains, girls just get boys." Every word of this novel is perfect. National book award finalist, as well.
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