Cover image for One of those hideous books where the mother dies
Title:
One of those hideous books where the mother dies
Author:
Sones, Sonya.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
268 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Ruby Milliken leaves her best friend, her boyfriend, her aunt, and her mother's grave in Boston and reluctantly flies to Los Angeles to live with her father, a famous movie star who divorced her mother before Ruby was born. 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 gorgeous boyfriend, Ray, to live in L.A. with my father, who I've never even met because he's such a scumbag that he divorced my mom before I was born. The only way I've ever even seen him is in the movies, since he's this mega-famous actor who's been way too busy trying to win Oscars to even visit me once in fifteen years. Everyone loves my father. Everyone but me.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
820 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.1 5.0 78317.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.3 9 Quiz: 36366 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780689858208
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

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 gorgeous boyfriend, Ray, to live in L.A. with my father, who I've never even met because he's such a scumbag that he divorced my mom before I was born.
The only way I've ever even seen him is in the movies, since he's this mega-famous actor who's been way too busy trying to win Oscars to even visit me once in fifteen years.
Everyone loves my father.
Everyone but me.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-12. 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. Sones' novel is an unusual combination of over-the-top Hollywood fairy tale and sharp, honest story about overcoming grief. Teens may predict the novel's surprises long before Ruby discovers them, including a revelation about Whip's sexuality, and, as in every fairy tale, many things are too good to be true--especially Whip's eager devotion and celebrity. It's Ruby's first-person voice--acrimonious, raw, and very funny--that pulls everything together, whether she is writing e-mails to her deceased mother, attending Dream Analysis class at a private L.A. high school, or finally learning to accept her father and embrace a new life. A satisfying, moving novel that will be a winner for both eager and reluctant readers. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

PW called this story of a 15-year-old who must move from Boston to L.A. after her mother's untimely death a "winning portrayal of a teenage girl's loves and losses." Ages 12-up. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

American Airlines Flight 161 I'm not that depressed, considering that this gigantic silver bullet with wings is blasting me away from my whole entire life, away from Lizzie Brody, my best friend in the world, away from Ray Johnston, my first real boyfriend. Not that depressed, considering I've been kidnapped by this monstrous steel pterodactyl and it's flying me all the way to L.A. to live with my father who I've never even met because he's such a scumbag that he divorced my mother before I was even born. I'd say I'm doing reasonably well, considering I'm being dragged three thousand miles away from all my friends and my school and my aunt Duffy and the house I've lived in ever since I was born, three thousand miles away from my mother, and my mother's grave, where she lies in a cold wooden box under six feet of dirt, just beginning to rot. I'm not that depressed considering that I'm trapped on this jumbo poison dart shooting me away from everything I love, and there's this real weird guy sitting in the seat right behind mine, who keeps picking his nose and eating it. Depressed? Who? Me? Aunt Duffy Drove Me to the Airport And there was a second there when I actually considered getting down on my hands and knees and begging her not to put me on this plane, begging her not to send me away, pleading with her to let me stay in Boston and live with her instead. But Duffy's so nice that I knew she'd say yes and I knew that that would make me feel like crawling under a boulder, because her apartment just has this one microscopic bedroom and now that she's finally got herself a new boyfriend, the last thing she needs is to have her fifteen-year-old niece permanently camped out in her living room, which is barely even big enough to fit her couch. So I contained my urge to grovel. My Mother Hated Flying Especially after September 11th. She used to squeeze my hand so hard during takeoffs and landings that she'd cut off my circulation. She'd screw her eyes closed and whisper this silly prayer someone taught her once.Something about manifold divine blessingsbeing unto the plane or the universeor some hippie-dippy thing like that. And if there was even a teensy bit of turbulence -- forget it. She'd start apologizing to me for every mean thing she'd ever said or done or even thought about doing. This morning, when the plane was lurching down the runway and I didn't have Mom's hand to hold, my heart flung itself up into my throat. And for a minute there, I couldn't even breathe. I didn't know how much I depended on being depended on by her. Peach Fuzz When the flight attendant leans in to ask me if I'd like something to drink, and the sun splashes across her face, I notice all these tiny little blond hairs on her cheeks, and tears rush into my eyes. My mother had them, too. I used to tease her about them. Called it her peach fuzz. It used to make her laugh. If I could reach out and stroke those little hairs on the flight attendant's face, without totally freaking her out, I'd close my eyes and I'd do it right now. I'd touch my mother's cheek one more time. Maybe You're Wondering About It But that's just tough. Because I'm not even going to go in to how she died. Let's just say she knew that she was sick, that she felt it burrowing, felt it gnawing at her insides. But the doctors wouldn't listen. And when they finally found it, there was nothing they could do. Nothing she could do. Nothing I could do. Nothing. Let's just say she wasted away into a toothpick, and leave it at that, okay? That after a while she was just a shadow lying there on her bed. Oh. And I guess we can say that I was holding her hand when it finally happened. I Love to Read But my life better not turn out to be like one of those hideous books where the mother dies and so the girl has to go live with her absentee father and he turns out to be an alcoholic heroin addict who brutally beats her and sexually molests her thereby causing her to become a bulimic ax murderer. 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. And Speaking of Fathers As soon as I was old enough to notice that I didn't have one, I started asking questions. Like, "Where's my daddy?" And, "How come Lizzie has a daddy, but I don't?" Mom's face would sort of slam shut and all she'd say was, "He divorced me before you were born." If it wasn't for my aunt Duffy I'd never have even found out who my father was . Copyrights & (c) 2004 by Sonya Sones Excerpted from One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.