Friday, May 11, 2012

Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti

Edition: Softcover, 308Publisher: Simon Pulse|Release Date: 2004|Genre: Contemporary fiction, love, family, friendship|
|Overall Rating: 5/5|
|More Books by Author: The Secret Life of Prince Charming, Wild Roses, The Queen of Everything, The Nature of Jade, Stay, The Six Rules of Maybe, The Fortune's of Indigo Sky, & The Story of Us (2012)

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...

Once again Caletti has created a vividly adventurous (and humorous) home-spun coming of age story. My first Caletti novel was The Secret Life of Prince Charming and oh the characters! It's the same with Honey, Baby, Sweetheart. The characters are jewels...and the story is so familiar yet so enjoyable.
Ruby McQueen doesn't hang out with boys. She's a good girl, has one girlfriend, a love-sick insecure librarian mother, a little brother, and a chewing machine of a dog. Typical family, typical girl falls for the bad boy next door. Or is it?
I love how Caletti takes a stereotype plot like this and whips it around into a heartwarming story about something completely different–something that makes you sad when the last page turns. Ruby was naturally a keep-to-yourself type. When she suddenly catches the eye of the motorcyle-ridin' bad boy, Travis, Ruby unleashes her alter-ego that has been hiding inside her. Suddenly things starts turning upside-down. Does Ruby really like Travis or does she just like the thrill of the wind rushing against her skin as they zoom down the highway. When Ruby and her family become invovled in a complicated mission to help Lillian, an elderly woman and fellow book-club member, unite with her true love, Ruby gets a lesson in more than just love. Sometimes, adventure is way more exciting.

I love the characters–Miz June, Ann Bee, Harold (he's a hoot), Peach, Lillian, Chip Jr., Ruby, Ann, and even the guy in the whale van. They're so normal, they're people you know...but yet throw them together and you get an unforgettable journey of strength, love, friendship, and breaking away. The humorous yet serious advice the seniors give Ruby is uplifting and inspiring. Highly, highly recommend. If you're a Deb Caletti fan already–what are you waiting for!? Ages 13+

Read More Great Books Like This:
Ten Miles Past Normal by Francis O'Roark Dowell, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Faithful by Janet Fox, After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy, The Ruby Notebook by Laura Resau, A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian, Girlfriend Material by Melissa Kantor

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