Number of Pages: 308
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 4, 2004
“It is summer in the Northwest town of Nine Mile Falls, and sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen, ordinarily dubbed The Quiet Girl, finds herself hanging out with gorgeous, rich, thrill-seeking Travis Becker. But Ruby is in over her head, and finds she is risking more and more when she’s with him.
In an effort to keep Ruby occupied, Ruby’s mother Ann drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs. When it is discovered that one of the group’s own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. But for Ruby, this mission turns out to be much more than just a road trip….”
I have read several of Deb Caletti’s novels, and they have all been enjoyable. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart was no exception. Even though my feelings about this novel are mixed, the positive aspects definitely outweigh the negative ones.
Let’s start off with the good things about this novel. First, this book was unique in the fact that it wasn’t your average YA romance story. My prediction of what the story would be like and what it actually turned out to be are totally different, which really surprised me (but in a good way!). My favorite part of this book was not Ruby (the main character) or even the romance- it was the Casserole Queens. The Casserole Queens were the old people who were part of the book club that Ruby’ mother ran. They were funny and witty and added a bit more brightness to the story. Without them this book wouldn’t have been nearly as good. Another positive aspect of this novel is Deb Caletti’s writing style, which I absolutely love and am very jealous of. Sher puts so much detail into describing every place and person mentioned that you really feel as though you are there with the characters, experiencing what they are going through. Her stories are like vacuums- they suck you right in. And for some reason, you can’t help but stay awhile.
Conversely, there were some negative aspects of this novel that I feel like I should mention. To start, the story felt as though it could have been split into two separate books. The first half of this book focused on Ruby relationship with Travis Becker as well as her mother’s relationship problems. The second half of this book focused almost solely on the Casserole Queens. And even though Travis and Ruby’s father were mentioned here and there in the second half, it still felt like I was reading two totally different books. If the connection between the two plot lines hadn’t been so loose, then it would have been perfectly fine. Furthermore, I didn’t like how the book ended. Ruby’s thing with Travis was rushed and very abrupt, and there wasn’t really any follow-up. When I turned the last page I felt very unsatisfied, like a whole chapter was missing from the story. I don’t mind open endings, but this one was too vague for my liking.
Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. Deb Caletti is a really great writer, even though the plot of this story had some flaws.
My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5 smileys.
Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes.