Title: One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies
Author: Sonya Sones
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 27, 2004
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 272 pages
Opening Sentence: “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.”
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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 megafamous 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.
I went into One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones biasedly because I’ve read and liked other novels by Sonya Sones before. As far as novels-in-verse go, her books are short, sweet, to the point, and surprisingly thorough in their low page numbers. One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies is no exception. It was a wonderful book.
One of the first things I noticed when I started this novel was how sarcastic and witty the main character, Ruby, was. Sarcastic characters always walk a fine line between funny and annoying. As a reader, I loved Ruby’s brand of sarcasm. The girl had just lost her mom and her home, so it was easy to forgive her even when she did say something annoying. Not to say she annoyed me. She didn’t… but I can see how people in the story might have been irritated at the least. She was your typical difficult teenager going through some tough times. I feel like her character development didn’t really go anywhere until almost the end of the book, which is a bummer because I would have liked to read a little bit more about things looking up. Oh, well. It was worth it anyway.
One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies was a very character-driven novel with an interesting story to tell. The story, in fact, had the opportunity to be very dark, but with Ruby’s sense of humor and some other interesting characters everything balanced out and made this novel a wonderful blend of light and heavy. There’s a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of coming to terms with things, and a bit of snark. This book is short, so I would definitely read it again and recommend it to everyone else. In a nutshell: short, sweet, and totally worth the time.