Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
A summer romance headed for heartbreak turns into a mother-daughter road trip in the name of true love in this story of love, loss, and redemption from Printz Honor medal winner and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti.
It is summer in the northwest town of Nine Mile Falls, and Ruby McQueen—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, risking more and more when she’s with him.
In an effort to keep Ruby occupied and mend her own broken heart, her mother, Ann, drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs for seniors. At first, Ruby can’t imagine a more boring way to spend an afternoon, but she is soon charmed by the women she’s spending time with. And when the group discovers one of their own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby ditch their respective obsessions to spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. They’re in search of a happy ending…but for who?
This lyrical, multigenerational story of love, loss, and redemption speaks to everyone who has ever been in love—and lived to tell the tale.
Ultimately rewarding, this novel about a high school girl who steps out of her role as "The Quiet Girl" for a summer of "passion and adventure... the stuff of the books at the Nine Mile Library where my mother works," shares both the strengths and pitfalls of Caletti's The Queen of Everything. When Ruby gets involved with handsome, motorcycle-riding and rich Travis, she likes that he sees her as fearless. But he is also dangerous, and spellbound Ruby gradually gets sucked into first reckless and then criminal acts. In a concerted effort to help Ruby break away from Travis, her librarian mother, who has just endured a betrayal of her own, begins overseeing Ruby's schedule and takes her to the book club she facilitates for feisty senior citizens, the Casserole Queens which leads to a whole other story line involving one of their members, a stroke victim who may or may not have been the lover of a famous author. There is a lot of plot, often requiring the audience's leaps of faith over not especially believable moments, and Caletti's prose, laden with strikingly apt comparisons, can make this book feel dense. Even so, so much here is uncommonly vivid, especially the exchanges among Ruby, her mother and her younger brother. Readers who stay with it will find thoughtful and authentically inspiring messages about trusting in themselves enough to insist on a love that means more than being someone's "honey, baby, sweetheart." Ages 12-up.
An awesome book
I loved this book I read it about four years ago and I've re read it about five or six times