One of those hideous books where the mother dies by: Sonya Sones. Created By Kelsey Steele.
Created By Kelsey Steele
“I’d say I’m doing reasonably well, considering I’m being dragged three thousand miles away from all my friends and my school and my aunt Duffy and the house I’ve lived in ever since I was born, three thousand miles away from my mother, and my mother’s grave, where she lies in a cold wooden box under six feet of dirt, just beginning to rot.”page 1
Ruby is being flown to California to live with her father due to her mother’s death. This conflict reveals that she isn’t happy at all, she’s leaving all she’s ever known and moving to this place where she’s met no one including her father. Ruby’s attitude changes completely she doesn’t want to live with her father because she feels he doesn’t care, he was never a part of her life as a child.
“It seems like half the girls are wearing lingerie instead of dresses. And the rest of them are wearing jeans with such major holes in them that you can see their thongs. (Only the skanky girls dressed like that at my old school But here they all do.) And most of the boys look like they’re trying to do Brad Pitt impressions. These kids have perfect hair. Perfect teeth. Perfect bodies. Perfect Skin… I can feel a huge zit blooming on the tip of my nose. It’s flashing on and off like a neon sign.”page 71
Ruby feels out of place at this new school. This is when she starts to feel that going to this school may be more difficult then she thought. She tries to make sure no one realizes Whip is her father.
“Maybe it’s not. Because the most awful thing has happened: ever since Feather said that we had to record our dreams, I haven’t been able to remember a single one. Every morning we sit in a circle, and all the other kids open up their journals and read their dreams aloud so that Feather can help them to interpret them. When it’s my turn, I just blush and mumble, ‘Sorry. I still couldn’t remember any.’ . . . . But it’s almost two weeks now, and that smile of hers is starting to look a little tight around the edges. Page 115
Ruby hasn’t been able to think of her dreams, which at first her teacher didn’t mind but now she’s starting to get a little irritated. This makes the character think a lot harder but she can never win. It also shows that Feather is a patient teacher . This is when Ruby begins to try really hard to remember every dream she has.
“I grab it and answer, ‘Ray…?’ There’s a short silence on the other end of the line. Then I hear Lizzie’s uncertain voice, ‘Ruby…?’ . . . That’s when I notice that her nose sounds stuffed. ‘Is everything all right, Liz?’ Silence. ‘Lizzie?’ Have you been crying?’ Still no answer. ‘Lizabeth…?’ ‘Well, yeah,’ she finally sniffs, ‘I have.’ Then she says in this real wavery voice, ‘Ray was supposed to be the one to tell you, but-’ Ray?! My heart hurls itself against my ribs. ‘Oh no…’ I say. ‘It’s Amber, isn’t it?’ Another silence. Then, ‘No, it’s not Amber,’ she says with a heavy sigh. ‘It’s… it’s…’ But she can’t seem to get herself to say whatever it is out loud. ‘Come on, Lizzie,’ I plead. ‘ Just tell me.’ ‘Oh, Ruby’ she finally moans. ‘I didn’t mean for it to happen..’ And suddenly all the blood in my body freezes. I know what she’s trying to tell me. ‘It’s you, isn’t it?’ I whisper. ‘Yeah. Me.’ she says, bursting into sobs. ‘I’m so sorry, Ruby. So, so sorry..’” page 204
Ruby finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend. It shows that Lizzie wasn’t as true as she thought she was. Also, that her best friend feels awful, but Ruby is no longer friends with her because of what she’s done.
“Whip tells the chauffer to turn left on California and take the Pacific Coast Highway to sunset. . . Across an expanse of strangely duneless sand, I catch my first glimpse of the Pacific. . . It doesn’t smell right. In fact it doesn’t smell at all. That’s what’s wrong. I fill my lungs with what should be sea air. But I might as well be in Nebraska. I can’t pick up even the vaguest whiff of seaweed or salt. . . ‘I’ve always loved the ocean,” he says. . . The tears surge to my eyes, swelling and stinging like salty waves.” pages 35, 36, and 37
This is where Ruby finally gets to spend some one on one time with her father whom she’s never met. During this she realizes they actually have something in common. It proves that Ruby actually has emotion because she begins to sob. Also that she and her father love the ocean.
“It’s a very long driveway. Curving through a forest of anorexic palm trees, waving their scrawny necks around miles above an unnaturally green lawn. The house finally rolls into view. It looks like Walt Disney designed it. Turrets. Balconies. Gables. Flags. There’s even something that looks sort of like a drawbridge.” page 39
This is when they’re pulling into Whips driveway. Obviously Whip is rather wealthy if his house looks like it was designed by Walt Disney. This proves that Ruby’s disliking of her father is being taken out on his house.
“Suddenly there’s another tremor. Only this one’s coming from underneath us. The ground’s shaking! Just like it’s a- Whoa! It’s an earthquake! The sidewalk feels like a bronco trying to buck us off it’s back. We grab onto the Tree of Death to steady ourselves. A palm frond crashes to the ground, and Whip rushes to wrap around me from behind, as if he’s trying to be a human shield.” page 248
There’s an earthquake going on and her father is protecting her. This shows that Whip really does love his daughter and truly cares about her. Also this is when Ruby realized that her father is the man from her dreams that protects her. Lastly, Ruby realizes her dad isn’t a bad guy after all.
“In my new bed. There’s a full moon tonight, drifting through the sky like a ghost, gazing down at me with these real soft eyes, as though it understands. . . How pathetic is that? The only person on the entire West Coast that I can actually relate to is the Man in the Moon.” page 55
The narrator seems to have a negative attitude toward everything and everyone. She uses the word “ghost” and the phrase “ How pathetic is that?” She’s making her life sound miserable when it isn’t all that bad.
“It turns out that Whip’s especially sorry that he wasn’t able to figure out how to be apart of my life, even though Mom asked him to stay away. And that a little bit of him even felt happy when he found out she was dead, because he knew it meant that he’d finally be able to be a father to me. He’s way sorry about the feeling happy part . And he’s sorry for all the pain he caused Mom. Sorry for all the pain he caused me. Sorry that being sorry is all he has to offer. It turns out he’s even sorry that he’s such a pitiful excuse for a father. ‘ Don’t be,’ I say between sobs. ‘Don’t be sorry. For anything. I’m the one who should be sorry. . .’ “ page 255
This is a major turn around for Ruby’s character, this part reveals that she actually may like her father. You can tell this because Ruby states “ I’m the one that should be sorry.” Also that Whip wanted to be apart of her life and cares about her. It’s obvious Whip cares about her because he’s constantly saying “sorry.” The narrator’s attitude completely changed for Ruby’s character, but her attitude needed to change because she treated her father horribly,
“It’s Whip! . . . He walks up to me with the softest look in his eyes, and without saying a word, he wraps his arms around me and holds me. And, I don’t know why, but for once, I don’t feel like pushing him away. I just rest my cheek against his chest. Then the tears rush into my eyes, and for the first time in centuries, they come gushing out of me, like Coke from a can that’s been shaken.” page 246
The narrator’s attitude reveals that she has become close to her father and that maybe a part of her has forgiven him for everything. You can tell this because she uses the phrase “ but for once, I don’t feel like pushing him away.” Also that he’s really not that bad a guy and now she’s become comfortable with him , she’s crying.
The author’s purpose was to entertain but also to teach a lesson. Which was that even though your life may be horrible it’ll eventually get better as long your surrounded by the people that care about you.