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on November 10, 2004
'One of those hidious books where the mother dies', by Sonya Sones is one of the most amazing and touching book I have ever read. Ms. Sones manages to weave poetry and grace through the lines of fifteen year old Ruby's tragic story.

The plot: Meet Ruby. This is what happens when her mother dies, and she is dragged three thousand miles away 'in this gigantic silver bullet with wings.*' She is heading towards her father, Whip Logan, who she has never met, becuase he was too busy winning oscars to come visit her even once.

Inside Cover: 'My name is Ruby. This book is about me. It tells the deeply hideous story of what happens when my mother dies and I'm dragged three thousand miles away from my georgeous boyfriend,Ray, to live in L.A, with my father, who I've never met because he's such a scumbag that he divorced my mom before I was born.

The only way I've ever seen him is in the movies since he's this mega-famous actor who's been to busy trying to win Oscars to even visit me once in fifteen years.

Everyone loves my father. Everyone but me.*'

Ruby is very upset about having to live with her father, as you can see, and obviously has some trouble warming up to him. But you can feel that. You can feel her hate rising up in you. You can feel the tears rolling down your cheeks as she tells her story. You can feel the joy rising up in you when she finally warms up to his father. You can feel Ruby. That s why I loved this book so much. TRUE FEELING.

This book is rare. Books like this dont come along often, so read it! Pick it up. At least try it. If you do, then I've achived my goal, so good luck and happy reading!

*from the book
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on June 21, 2004
I was attracted to this book by it's brilliant title, and I read it right there in the bookstore. I was a little put off at first by the poetry-like style, but quickly got into it. The fact that the language was so spare was very effective. In a way, I would have liked a bit more detail, character development, an ending that wasn't quite so obvious (though the title makes it clear that it will be) and so forth, but that would have made it a very different book. Definately a good book for a teen or pre-teen girl, or anyone who is interested in reading a fairly quick book written in an unconventional style.
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on September 17, 2004
I loved ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES. Both the plot and the poetry were as good as Sonya Sones's previous book, STOP PRETENDING, and it was easy to forget the disappointment of the boring book in between, WHAT MY MOTHER DOESN'T KNOW.

The story starts on an airplane, as 15-year-old Ruby flies from the East Coast to Beverly Hills, California, to meet her father for the first time. Her mother has just died, and Ruby isn't too happy to be meeting a man who has acted in tons of movies yet hasn't found the time to even send her a birthday card. She decides to be as horrible to him as possible.

As is Sones's trademark, the story is told in verse, and poems focus on the trials and tribulations of being 15 and living with a man you've never met, the serious --- "and I didn't have Mom's hand to hold,/ my heart flung itself into my throat" and the not-so-serious --- "Oh./ My./ God.// I just got a ticket for crossing the street." Unlike some poetry, it's extremely important to read the titles of each of these poems, as they usually serve as the poem's first line.

Ruby's father, Whip Logan, is a Tom Cruise-type character who lives next door to Cameron Diaz. She goes to school with the children of celebrities and swears that Brad Pitt was in line behind her at the store. However, Ruby is so sad and angry about having to leave her beloved Aunt Duffy, her best friend Lizzie, and her boyfriend Ray behind that she can't enjoy any of this. She's appalled by the classes her school offers --- "I just had to choose/ between signing up for// Dream Interpretation Through the Ages,/ Introduction to Transcendental Meditation,/ or The Films of Steven Spielberg" and the only fun she has is talking with her father's assistant, Max.

ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES is richly filled with great poetry, name-dropping, and e-mails to and from Ruby and her friends. As the year goes on, Ruby and her father learn to understand each other, with a few surprises along the way. This is a great read!

--- Reviewed by Hannah Gómez (
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on April 30, 2004
My mom just bought me this book for my birthday, and even though I had a big history test to study for, I started reading it. I couldn't put it down! It only took me a couple hours to read, and I loved every second of it. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. It is unbelievable! I don't like tragic books, and despite the title, this book isn't sad at all. It's actually pretty humorous. I've decided that it's one of my favorite books (it's not better than the Grapes of Wrath, but they are too different to make an honest comparison). I don't normally cry when I read books, but I was definitely choked up toward the end of this masterpiece. If you love stories about the rich and famous, or about teenagers, or about California, or stories that are just really interesting and amusing to read, than this book is for you! My friends are all beggining me to borrow it because I can't stop talking about it. Harry Potter: watch out! Ruby is about to knock you out! I can't possibly reccommend a better book. I hope I have gushed enough about it that you can understand how truly great it is! READ IT! You will be forever thankful that I told you to do so.
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on October 23, 2004
First to catch my attention with it's unique title, then to read who the author was...I decided this was the book I was going to buy. I ended up reading it in a matter of 2's one of those books that you don't want to put down until the very last word. It was predictable, but in a good way, and some parts were quite unpredictable, which made a great story even better. Sonya Sones is a very good writer, I also own " What my Mother Doesn't Know" and I've read it a total of 10- 15 times. "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" is truly a must-read.
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on December 8, 2013
This book, "One of those Hideous books where the mother dies" by Sonya Sones is a beautifully put together book that has a mix of many emotions in it. This book is manly about this girl who is 15 years old and how she copes with her mother's death. She has to go live with her father when she dies but she doesn’t like her father at all. Her name is Ruby and the only way she's seen her father in fifteen years is on a big TV screen since he's a famous actor. She is hurt and she had to leave her best friend and her boyfriend back at home and move to her father's house in L.A. She is very angry at her father, and he tries everything to try to make her feel at home. He gives her a huge room, and buys her a bunch of new cloths. Ruby goes to this huge L.A school that has a bunch of "weird" kids in it. I liked the writing style of this book a lot. I loved the way you felt like you were really in Ruby's head and experiencing what she was. Sonya Sones did a really great job at explaining what Ruby was thinking and why she was thinking that. I found this book very interesting because it made me want to read more and more, and it made me wonder what Ruby was going to do next. One thing I learned while reading this book is what it is like living in L.A. I can't imagine living near all these celebrities. Then going to school with all there children. Poor Ruby is stuck in this world that she doesn't want to be in, and all she wants is to go home and be with her best friend and boyfriend. The only way she stays in contact with them is e-mail. Ruby has an interesting way of dealing with her emotions. She likes to push people away, because she feels like she's alone. It's very interesting reading about how she deals with her emotions and what she' going to do next. This book definitely shocked me at some parts and it reeled me in from the very start. It made me want to keep reading. There are also many twists in the story that shocked me. I would recommend this book to mostly teenager girls, or really anyone looking for a good read. If you read this book, it with suck you in from the very beginning. It also makes me want to read more of Sonya Sones's books.
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on February 9, 2014
This was another great verse novel from Sonya Sones. This is the fourth of Sones’ books I’ve read, and I can say I haven’t been disappointed yet.

I was a bit surprised with where the story went on this one. I was thinking it was going to be more of a romance focus, but instead there was more of a focus on Ruby healing after her mother’s death and other major life changes. It was this and some other minor themes that really made the story stick for me. The characters and their actions were very realistic, especially Sones’ younger characters. This author is a great at writing a teenager’s point of view and voice effectively.

I always enjoy the way Sones can work a well-developed plot, characters, and conflict into her verse. The limited word count allows for each line to be to the point and, at times, more thought-provoking than a normal prose novel could. If this were written in prose I don’t think it’d have held as much enjoyment, for me. Though, I have a feeling if this author were to write prose novels, I’d be just as eager to read them.
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on November 8, 2015
This book captured the best details in life. "You chose" ruby is a great character, you can relate to her in so many ways. I absolutely connected to this book. Sonya wrote this book in a very special and fun way. It was a definite page turner!
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on August 8, 2007
Formula: Write your novel in verse on pages with lots of open, white space, so that your book reads quickly. Have an engaging, first-person point of view (15-year-old Ruby, let's call her). Give it a catchy title (makes up for its length). Spice it with themes of death (Mom) and divorce (Dad, whom Ruby must now live with). Clash east coast (Ruby, from Boston) with left coast (Dad, named "Whip" Logan, from LA). Add beautiful people (kids of Lakewood High School) and famous movie stars (all of Whip's neighbors and friends). For dessert, throw in a little "gotcha" surprise at the end.

What Sonya Sones has cooked up here (and, no doubt, in her other books) is a sure-fire winner for middle and high school-aged girls. If the girl is a reluctant reader, all the better, but avid readers will embrace it, too, as a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure. Ruby's voice is THAT winning. Ruby does her best to hold on to her Massachusetts best friend, Liz, as well as her old boyfriend, Ray, but you know how that goes. She also goes through the usual turmoil, anger, stubbornness, that awaits any kid foisted on the parent who left her long ago. Poor Whip will have to pay for his past transgressions, no matter HOW much money he has (oh, he's a famous movie star, too).

Slow to make friends with the weird stereotypes floating around La-La Land High, Ruby at least can identify with Whip's "personal trainer," Max, who befriends her and becomes a lifesaver as she goes through some choppy seas between getting to know Dad and trying to fit in at the new high school.

As for the style, well, most of the "verse" is just paragraphs redesigned into lines and stanzas but, credit where it's due, Sones DOES come up with some poetic language and surely knows her stuff when it comes to how a teenage girl thinks. Funny, quick, and even a little sad at times (like when Ruby e-mails her poor, dead mother for advice and succor), ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES scores a 4 with me but no doubt a 5 from its target audience (so the heck with me!) because this author knows of whom (and for whom) she writes. All young girls should check out a Sonya Sones book -- they might just end up checking out every Sonya Sones book they can find.
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on July 11, 2013
This book was refreshingly enjoyable. A perfect mix of humor, drama, and romance. A regular page turner (yee-haw).I would highly recommend you read it. Especially if your between the ages of 10 and100 :)
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