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Thursday, December 29, 2011

One of Those Ho-Hum Reads Where I Don't Love It or Hate It

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Ruby Miliken's mother dies, the 15-year-old has no choice but to move to L.A. to live with her father. She wants nothing to do with the man who abandoned her pregnant mother to pursue an acting career, even if it has made him into a well-known movie star. Despite his money and influence, Whip Logan's never made one attempt to contact his only daughter, so why should Ruby go out of her way to get to know him? Two can play this game.
Living in a mega-mansion in Southern California is so different from everything about her former life in Boston that Ruby can hardly stand it. She misses her BFF Lizzie and worries that her boyfriend back in Massachusetts will forget all about her. Her father's trying so hard to be her buddy that she feels suffocated. It's all so overwhelming and the only person Ruby really wants to confide in is her mom.

As Ruby settles into her new life as a celebrity's daughter, she'll learn a few lessons about her father, her mother and herself. While she's beginning to understand the truth about her past, she'll have to grapple with the reality of the present in order to decide who Ruby Milliken really is and where she truly belongs.

One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones is an angsty novel-in-verse narrated by a spunky girl with a broken heart. Delving into Ruby's thoughts, expressed through bits of poetry as well as emails to her best friend and letters to her dead mother, makes this sympathetic character really come alive. The story did skimp a bit on details that were needed to make the setting more realistic. I never felt grounded in Ruby's new world, which, now that I think about it, could be a clever storytelling device. Or it could just be because of the skimpy details. Whatever. At any rate, between that unsettled feeling, a predictable plotline, and the fact that Ruby could never see what was right in front of her made this book a little disappointing for me. In the end, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. So, another ho-hum read, although I have to say I really do dig the title.

(Readalikes: Reminded me a lot of Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay and a little of Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor)

Grade: C

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), sexual innuendo/content and references to illegal drug use
To the FTC, with love: Another library fine find


  1. It does sound ho-hum, but when you said "Novel in verse," I thought that sounds like a redeeming quality. It wouldn't be a hard read.

  2. I am currently reading one of those neither love nor hate ho hum books too. I know exactly what you mean :)


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