Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: 2 April 2009
Ruby Cooper likes to expect the worst. That way, she's never disappointed.
Abandoned by her mother and forced to leave the house she calls home, Ruby is facing too many changes. Her lonely world has been transformed into a life of luxury by her long lost sister, but all Ruby wants to do is leave - she can make it on her own. Even Nate, the gorgeous boy-next-door can't seem to change her mind. Will Ruby realize first impressions don't always count? And that sometimes, people can surprise you, so it's ok to let the closest ones in . . .
As you may have seen me say before, I am trying to read all of Sarah Dessen's books, working through in the order they came out and this was the next on my list.
I started this one earlier in the week then had to stop 60 pages in to read a review book, my fingers were itching to get back into this and I finally got to today. I managed to read another 70 pages in my lunch break then sat down with it when I got home. When I stopped for dinner I was about half-way. I then sat down this evening thinking I would read for just one more hour, but in the end I sat there for 2 and a half hours and finished the book. I kept thinking 'just one more chapter, then I'll put it down' but I just couldn't step away. I was hooked in. It's now five minutes past eleven at night and I am writing this review.
Ruby is used to moving round and to disappointment, then her mum walks out and leaves her alone, she tries to make it on her own, but it doesn't last. She is then sent to live with her sister who she hasn't seen in 10 years. Her sister is now married and rather rich, living in a posh suburb. Ruby has to adapt to her new life, new school and learn to let people in again.
I really liked Ruby, she was really guarded and she felt really vulnerable to me, I wanted to give her a hug and tell her it would be ok. But she doesn't whine, she gets on with it and takes everything in her stride. It's great that throughout the story you can see her grow and adapt. It's like she's growing up before your eyes. She becomes like a friend or sister that you're watching out for her.
I also really enjoyed the developing relationship with Nate her neighbor and all their issues. This book does cover some serious issues from drugs and drink, social services/abandonment and also child abuse, but it does it in a very tactful and thoughtful way.
I find Sarah Dessen's writing to be really captivating, truthful and open, she doesn't shy away from topics and makes her characters feel so real. They come alive on the page. She is a master story-teller for sure.
The fact I couldn't put this book down shows just how good it was, I can't get enough and am going straight to the library's website to request the next book. :D