Ruby thinks she’ll be fine when her mother walks out on her, especially since it’s only a few months until she turns 18 anyway. Her plans to fend for herself and live in the small yellow house are foiled though when the dryer breaks down and the landlord find a clothesline in the middle of the kitchen.
Life as she knew it changes that day, when it is decided that custody of Ruby goes to Cora, her sister who left Ruby and her mother when Ruby was eight. Not only is it a shock to see Cora, but to also have to move into Cora’s upper class lifestyle. Unlike the small yellow house that Ruby was living in, Cora and her husband Jamie live in a prestigious gated neighborhood and have a lifestyle that is completely foreign to everything Ruby knows.
Not really trusting this new life, Ruby plots an escape her first night at Cora and Jamie’s. Her plans are once again foiled when she tries to hop over the fence by the rambunctious barking of Roscoe, Jamie’s dog. The barking prompts not only Jamie to come and look over by the fence, but also a “Hello” from the other side of the fence. The voice belongs to Nate, a very cute guy who just happens to be Ruby’s age. Needless to say Ruby’s escape doesn’t happen and she is forced to continue life with Cora and Jamie.
Despite the new lifestyle, new school, and new problems, Ruby’s life starts to look up. With Nate’s infectious optimistic attitude and the truth about her and Cora’s relationship, Ruby starts to uncover the true person she is and the person she wants to be.
First of all I have to ask myself why I let this book sit on my shelf for so long! Sarah Dessen has truly done it again and created one heck of a book. I loved the whole premise of the book, where Ruby really had to discover her true self in an environment that was so foreign to her.
The character development was absolutely brilliant. I came to know Ruby better and better as each page turned, and by the end of the book I felt like she was a great friend of mine. Not only was Ruby fully developed, all the supporting characters were as well. Whether it was Nate, Cora, Jamie, or even Gervais, the annoying kid who was part of Ruby’s carpool, each character had a story that was shared. It was also really neat how elements and characters from other Dessen books popped up throughout the story!
Overall I completely loved this book and it has definitely become one of my favorite books. Ruby’s sarcastic attitude, the emotion built into the story, and just the effect the book had on the reader, makes this book easily one of the best I’ve read this year.