I featured this book as my Want Books pick back in July. I can’t remember where I first found out about this book but I know that it was Holly’s review that REALLY made me want to pick it up. I hunted for a copy in all the local bookstores and sadly, they didn’t have stocks of it. Lo and behold, I found a used copy in good condition in Book Sale. Yay for lucky finds!
Here’s the summary from Deb Caletti’s website:
Ruby McQueen is a sixteen-year-old high school student with the name, she thinks, of a rodeo cowgirl porn star, or, maybe worse, a Texas beauty queen runner-up. Ruby, ordinarily dubbed the Quiet Girl, finds herself hanging out with gorgeous, rich, thrill-seeking Travis Becker. With Travis, Ruby can be someone she’s never been before: Fearless. Powerful. But Ruby is in over her head, and finds herself risking more and more…
Based on the summary above, you’d think that this is just a contemporary YA novel with a love story. While the romance is a huge aspect of the novel, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart contains much more. This is a story about a teenage girl finding herself. She believes she’s in love with a bad boy when in fact, she’s more in love with the idea of falling in love. I could totally relate to Ruby even though she’s known as The Quiet Girl and I’ve never been the shy type. In fact, I’m the opposite because I’m outgoing and really talkative. But Ruby’s experiences in this book are universal. I also enjoyed reading about the secondary characters. Ruby’s relationship with her librarian mother is pretty interesting and I like her closeness to her offbeat brother. The Casserole Queens, the book club for old people that Ruby’s mother handles, also has a fascinating set of members. Each geriatric person has a unique personality and they’re all so quirky. From time to time, they also spout out some sort of wisdom, probably the kind that comes with old age. The road trip orchestrated by the Casserole Queens is one of the highlights of the book. Old people rock!
There are so many good lines in this book, I wanted to pause every time I found one so I could mark it. Good thing Goodreads has a feature where you can add your favorite quotes in a book. Here’s one of my favorites:
“A man’s identity is complete through action, a woman’s, when she has a man. Through him. We fall off our high heels into the narrow crevasse of what it means to be female. Let me tell you. You fall in love and you think you’re finding yourself. But too often you’re looking inside him for you, and that’s a fact. There’s only one place you can find yourself.” She patted her chest.
This quote goes out to all my single girl friends out there! I know I keep saying this about well-written YA books that I discover nowadays but I really wish I could have read this when I was a teenager. It’s a beautiful book that tackles a topic that probably every teenager has experienced – how you try to change yourself because of other people. I know I went through that phase. This doesn’t mean that the book doesn’t have its share of humor because it does. Ruby is pretty funny and I found myself chuckling in certain scenes of the book. Plus like I mentioned earlier, the book has a great set of characters. I even liked the guy who owns the whale van even though he had such a small role in the book! I highly recommend this one and I hope more people get to read it. This is the first Deb Caletti book that I’ve read but if her other books are as good as this, then I’m excited to read the rest of them.