Ruby's mother has seemingly abandoned her, and after a valiant attempt at living on her own in a roach-infested flat, she is found out and promptly delivered to her only known family, Jamie and Cora. *trumpets* Sexy, blonde, star-athlete, most-popular-kid-in-school, runs-6.2-miles-every-Friday neighbor, who happens to be swimming laps in his pool at 1:30 am, sees Ruby hopping her fence, and covers for her when she is inevitably caught by her sister's husband. On top of that, it seems Jamie and Cora have arranged for Nate to be her personal ride to school! In the first part of the novel, we are led to believe that Cora is awkward, cold, and ultimately put out about Ruby's presence in her "perfect life." Jamie plays peacemaker, interacting with Ruby and trying to amp up her enthusiasm about making new friends, attending his alma mater (a.k.a. rich kid school where a burnout like Ruby DEF won't fit in omg), and potentially attending college. When presented with what could be considered a "clean slate" Ruby proceeds to be a complete asshole, often grumbling about every fucking thing. On top of that Cora isn't much better than Ruby. After having a decently traumatizing conversation with Cora about Ruby's entire fucking life being a lie, she spirals out of control for a brief moment. YOUR SISTER DOESN'T NEED YOUR SHIT RUBY!!" Like whoa boy. OF COURSE SHE DOESN'T THINK ANYONE WORRIES ABOUT HER YOU STUPID FUCK, SHE HAS NO EXPERIENCE WITH NORMAL FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS. In fact, Cora tells Ruby that if she wants Jamie to talk to her again, she'll have to be the one to make the first move. So whatever, now Cora and Ruby aren't enemies anymore. Another aspect of this story I hated is this hyper focus on the key Ruby wears around her neck. So much so that Ruby's employer, Harriet, starts making replicas of the necklace to sell in her jewelry store. This gets so out of hand that the fucking newspaper is doing a story about Harriet's key necklaces. Like what the fuck is wrong with this town? Unless you're making key necklaces that look like this: I just don't see how it'll be considered newsworthy. It was jolting to me because it felt like Ruby just "got better" immediately. Like, after a couple months with Jamie and Cora she's just alright now? She cares about her grades and not getting in trouble and says "fuck you" easily to all her old burnout friends all because now she lives in a rich suburb?
The unfortunate thing about Sarah Dessens books is that if you summarize them, you realize they are not very original. So farand Ive read six books from herIve noticed a few, one of them being that she likes to include businesses. You learn some things about management when you read her books and I love that.
In this story we meet: Ruby who is trying to find, and come to terms with a new life away from her 'loving' but negligent mother.
The thing about Sarah Dessen's books are that it isn't always about the romance. When Ruby lived with her rich sister, she didn't know what she was missing out on, she had a new family, who were willing to provide her with whatever she needs and money for new clothes. The first day of high school was the worst, but if Jamie were there, he would make everyone feel welcomed. Nate and Gervais's relationship was also really nice to read. Cora and Ruby's relationship is something I wish I could have with my sister, we don't get along at all.. The thing that I like about Sarah Dessen's books is how you could connect with the characters. Whenever I come across something the character says that I agree on, I scream "I KNOW RIGHT," and forget that I am in class... From all the books I have read by Sarah Dessen so far, I feel like this one is the saddest one by far. The worst thing you can do if you miss or need someone is let them know it.
In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed there, regardless." Seventeen-year old Ruby has been living on her own for the past two months since her mother left. Things were different when Ruby's sister Cora still lived at home, she sort of made it her job to care for Ruby and protect her from their mother. However, Cora's been gone for ten years, left when she went off to college, and Ruby's heard little from her since. You can't help but love him, he takes Ruby in with no questions or judgments made, always looking for the good, first, in people. While, The Truth About Forever and Just Listen, are my favorite Sarah Dessen novels, this one is very good, too.
Dumping the key is in no way symbolic nor is it realistic. -Ruby knows better than to sit back and wait instead of getting up and helping. I mean, Just Listen, you knew it was going to be Annabel and Owen, but when it happened, you were still super over the stars excited. Reggie and Harriet, Cora being pregnant, Nate and Ruby, and it's all just...oh yeah. (And you KNOW how much I hate to say that, because I absolutely LOVE Sarah.
I loved Ruby's character development. I absolutely loved how the relationship between Ruby and her sister, Cora took the front seat while the romance was a smaller subplot. I really do love this book but there was something missing (I don't know what) and so I give it 4.5 stars, not 5. I would definitely recommend this and I will definitely be reading more of Sarah Dessen's books.
I've heard quite a few good things about her so I was fairly willing to give her books a try even though I don't typically read teen fiction. WIth her new life Ruby faces all sorts of challenges. I had a few problems with Nate (the male star of the novel) and Ruby, but nothing that couldn't be overlooked. Maybe it was character depth for Ruby or Nate, or just the whole plot confusion thing that got to me, or the swearing (which by the way is fairly predominant)....