One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published:   October 25th 2005
Paperback, 272 pages
Challenges: 100 Books in 2011

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.

Ruby is torn away from the only home she has ever known when her mother dies and she is forced to go live with her father, a father she has never met before, a father that is famous, a father she doesn’t want to have anything to do with.  Now Ruby is a world that is completely opposite from her home, surrounded by sun and palm trees and all that is Hollywood – everything Ruby is not. 

Through verse, Sonya Sones has created a beautiful story of girl finding her own way to deal with her mother’s death and the life she no longer has, only to find something different and unexpected.  Ruby’s character and emotions are very real; you can literally feel sadness and even anger:

“…But I don’t cry.
I never do anymore.
Not since Mom.
I guess I must have used up
my entire lifetime supply of tears
on the night she died.”
Ruby uses coping mechanisms, that we all use, to help, including anger and my favorite, comedy.  She is confronted smack dab in the face that her mother is gone forever, and the she is not with a father she doesn’t know.  Adding that he is famous doesn’t help her much.  

While exploring Ruby’s growth and emotions, Sonya Sones brilliantly brings up social issues without throwing them in your face:  sex and sexuality.  While she brings them up she does so in a way as making them normal, something that we all encounter and accept every day.  Despite what the tone of the title of this book might be telling you, One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies is a gem and a must read.

My Rating:

You can find Sonya Sones at her WebPage