Ruby, where is your mother?
Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.
That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Man. This book had the potential, synopsis-wise, to be my favorite Dessen book by far. Ruby had exactly the right character–the character, the stubbornness, the scarring, that I feel that Remy should have embodied. Ruby’s story was tragic. I’m beginning to realize that Dessen’s more tragic stories tend to appeal to me more. The synopsis of her other books just annoy me.
This turned out to be the most boring book that I’ve ever read by this author, which is unusual because normally–she’s pretty good with keeping that soft, slow, comfortable contemporary pace going.
You know, when I read HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT–especially the ending–I was amazed. And after I read it, I just stared off into space, unable to do anything else, for a pretty long time. And while the ending didn’t necessarily seem wrong to me, and while I actually liked it a lot, I couldn’t help feeling like I wanted things to be slightly different.
I realize now, seeing the ending of this book, that I didn’t fully appreciate Natalie Standiford’s genius when it came to not changing that ending.
Up until the ending, and despite the pacing, I actually did like this book. Most of it had the potential to become my favorite Dessen book, it was just that end half that really got me. I do have to say that I appreciate Ruby’s journey though, and her character was great for this book.
Like some of Dessen’s earlier novels, this book doesn’t embody the romance theme as much–but that’s fine. My expectations were a little thrown off because of my experiences with Dessen’s earlier books, but I guess not. A fairly good read, but the first of Dessen’s novels that I recommend you proceed with caution. 2 stars.
to read the full version of this review, click here.
pg count for the hardback: 422
to see the rest of my Sarah Dessen reviews, search for the tag those dessen books though.
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