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One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies Paperback – October 25, 2005
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The sassy title tells readers right away that this book is NOT like one of those hideous books where the mother dies, even if fifteen-year-old Ruby's mom has recently succumbed to cancer. Sonya Sones has made a reputation for engrossing and emotionally valid verse novels with her two previous books, Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy and What My Mother Doesn't Know, and here she has the good sense to avoid the platitudes of the tearjerker, focusing not on the melodrama of death but on the grieving process of a feisty teen--sometimes even with humor.
Ruby has turned her grief into anger at her father: because he divorced her mother before she was born, because she has had to leave her best friend Lizzie and her boyfriend Ray to come to Los Angeles to live with him, and because he is Whip Logan, a very famous and rich movie star. She turns a cold shoulder to all his gentle and persistent attempts to relate to her, sneers at the glamour of his Beverly Hills mansion and famous friends, and spends most of her time writing desperate emails to Lizzie and Ray, and her dead mother, from her Dream Bedroom. The friendship of Max, Whip's live-in assistant/personal trainer, is some comfort, and Ruby has a harder and harder time keeping her sneer as Whip ups the ante, from rides in his classic vintage cars, to shopping trips for anything she wants, to weekends in Las Vegas and Catalina and a party where Eminem is the guest of honor. But an earthquake leads to a surprising revelation that changes everything for Ruby, in an enormously satisfying ending. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–In one- to two-page breezy poetic prose-style entries, 15-year-old Ruby Milliken describes her flight from Boston to California and her gradual adjustment to life with her estranged movie-star father following her mother's death. E-mails to her best friend, her boyfriend, and her mother ("in heaven") and outpourings of her innermost thoughts display her overwhelming unhappiness and feelings of isolation, loss, and grief ("…most days,/I wander around Lakewood feeling invisible./Like I'm just a speck of dust/floating in the air/that can only be seen/when a shaft of light hits it"). Ruby's affable personality is evident in her humorous quips and clever wordplays. Her depth of character is revealed through her honest admissions, poignant revelations, and sensitive insights. This is not just another one of those gimmicky novels written in poetry. It's solid and well written, and Sones has a lot to say about the importance of carefully assessing people and situations and about opening the door to one's own happiness. Despite several predictable particulars of plot, Ruby's story is gripping, enjoyable, and memorable.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Ruby is a fifteen-year-old who has very recently lost her mother to disease, and is now going to live with her famous father in what she calls, in one of many great but not so flattering nicknames, Hell-A.
This move uproots her from everything she knows; her family, her friends, and her first love. And she's never even met her father. She's just a little bit angry.
Yet, she copes, she meets people and learns to care about them. She finds a very strange sort of closure with her mother's death in the end, and even ends up thinking of her own new home as Coolifornia.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching her figure out her new life. The author gives you enough information, even in this diary format, to let you in on the important things in Ruby's life before even Ruby figures them out. And how on earth does she channel a fifteen year old girl's voice? I don't know, but Ms. Sones does a marvelous job.
Now, if I could only find some non-pulp adult literature that could figure out how to tell a story as well as this "juvie" did...
Most recent customer reviews
I think it's one of my favorites now.