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Review of ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES by Sonya Sones



by Sylvia M. Vardell

Sones, Sonya. 2004. ONE OF THOSE HIDEOUS BOOKS WHERE THE MOTHER DIES. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0689858205.

When Ruby's mother dies, she must move across the country, from the east coast to the west, to live with her movie star father, Whip Logan, a man she has never met and who has been notably absent in her life. Her grief, bitterness, and teenage cynicism is played out poignantly in this verse novel by master poet, Sonya Sones. Equal parts poignant and funny, this novel moves quickly in a series of free verse poems that pulse with rhythm and irony. Poem titles even hook the reader and forecast Ruby's shifting attitudes.

Teen readers fascinated with the Hollywood film scene will be intrigued by the mock "behind the scenes" view of life in Los Angeles where Ruby moves into a movie star mansion and attends a private Hollywood high school. But they will also be drawn into her struggles with leaving a best friend and a boyfriend behind, making new friends in a new place and forging a relationship with a dad who has his own surprises to reveal. Her slow thaw and believable healing are movingly portrayed.

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