Thursday, April 3, 2008

Review: One of those hideous books where the mother dies

One of those hideous books where the mother dies by Sonya Sones
4 stars

Reasons for reading: I enjoyed her What My Mother Doesn't Know a few years ago, Numbers Challenge, Triple 8 Challenge

Summary (from Booklist): "After the death of her mother, high-schooler Ruby is sent from Boston to L.A. to live with the father she has never met: "He's such a scumbag / that he divorced my mother / before I was even born." The "scumbag" is Whip Logan, a famous movie actor, but Ruby is too angry to be impressed; at the airport she wonders whether to "ask him for his autograph, / or kick him in the balls." Sones' latest free-verse novel follows Ruby through her first few months in her new home, a mansion where her every desire is granted--except what she longs for most: her best friend, her boyfriend, and of course, her mother."

My thoughts: I'm usually not a verse-novel gal, but Sones is a really good writer. The poems make it really seem like you're right in Ruby's head, feeling such deep grief and anger, and they definitely resonate the way poetry should. But there's humour, as well, such as Airplane Lunch:





I liked that Ruby loves to read and that she doesn't want her life to be like one of those hideous books: "I love to read,/ but I can't stand books like that./And I flat out refuse/to have one of those lives/that I wouldn't even want/to read about." I hate those hideous books, too!

This one loses a star only because the truth about Ruby's dad and some of the other events (I won't spoil it) are predictable. But even that doesn't detract much from the greatness of the book, which is a well done cross between a (non-hideous) teen angst book and a fish-out-of-water story.

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