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Literary Friday: Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

Friday, August 30, 2013

"...Boys are expected to do.  Accomplish something.  Seek adventure.  Sure, they study for careers now, but what are girls still expected to seek?  Boys.  Boys get mountains, girls get boys...
A lady I will be, but a man's accessory, his handbag, no thank you.  I will not just be someone's ornament.  I will not must be someone's honey, baby, sweetheart..."
~Miz June from Honey, Baby Sweetheart, pp. 235 - 236 (hardcover)

This week I read a YA selection, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti. She wrote the book I hated last week, but I really enjoyed this one.  I'd already checked it out from the library before I read he's GONE, so I was dreading reading it even though it was a finalist for the National Book Award.

First of all, I love the name of the protagonist:  Ruby McQueen. She is the quiet girl in school due to several unfortunate embarrassments.  Her mother is a librarian at the Nine Mile Fall's public library outside of Seattle, and her father, a musician and performer who's responsible for Ruby's showy name, no longer lives with his wife and children.  But during the summer when she's Sweet Sixteen, Ruby suddenly goes from a shy, studious girl to a reckless, mindless teenager and criminal accomplice.  The catalyst for her change? Travis.  Becker.  Travis is wealthy, handsome, and dangerous...the trifecta of trouble for someone like Ruby.  She begins taking risks and harming others she cares about only to belong.

She makes a confession to her mother, and her mom takes charge of her free time by over-scheduling Ruby so she won't have time to see Travis. That's how Ruby begins attending the book club of the elderly Casserole Queens.  One of the Queens who recently suffered a stroke might be the former lover of a very famous author (their book club selection during the summer was written by said author).  This leads Rudy and the Casserole Queens on an adventure that's quite sweet as well as exciting.

I do like the growth Ruby makes in this book, and I even like the strong adult support system she has surrounding her even more.  I think this is a book that many young, impressionable teenage girls should read because it illustrates how easily girls can fall for the wrong boy for all the wrong reasons. Ruby figures out that she might have been " love with Travis Becker's motorcycle [rather than him]."  Plus there are consequences for actions....a novel concept in some YA books.

Until next time...

Happy Reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. Good to hear you read another book by the same author and enjoyed it.

  2. Ha ha...I too hated He's Gone and it's the book I reviewed this week. So sorry I've been absent, I've still been reading but life has just been so hectic.

    I think you are very brave to have read another book by Debi. I won't be doing that even though you enjoyed this one. Mainly because I am flabbergasted that she was ever nominated for an award. What is the reading/writing community coming to?

    Hope you have a great long weekend.

  3. The Casserole Queens book club sounds like a hoot!

  4. Wonderful to read the review of a book that has a positive, healthy message for young girls. Something to balance the Miley Cyrus image they are all being overwhelmed by. Have a great weekend!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  5. A YA that demonstrates positive interaction between the young and the elderly...that's RARE. I'm glad this one made up for He's Gone!

  6. Sounds like a really great story with a lesson learned. I was thinking it sounded like gilmore girls last few seasons with how a good girl gets mixed up in a new world and loses herself quickly by the influences of other rich kids. I would read this one :)

  7. This character sounds like she gets your attention right away, and not only from her “showy” name. Good to find a book to enjoy from an author after reading one you didn’t particularly enjoy.
    I hope we are smiling later this evening. ROLL TIDE...............

    The French Hutch

  8. I think I will have to check this out, sounds like and interesting book.

    Have a great day!

  9. Funny how the same author can write a book you liked and one you really didn't like. This one does sound good though.

  10. I have found myself turning more and more to young adult books when I need a "easy and light" read. This one sounds great. I could have used a book club like that when I was younger :o) I think it's wonderful when young adult books show positive interaction with elders.

  11. Hi Ricki, I'm a new fan and I love it here! I'm Italian but I often read in English to keep up with the language... and often it's difficult for me to decide what books to buy since I do not know many English/American authors.. I've just realized how helpful you can be to me... you can just inspire me over a this you posted about!
    I'm very happy I found you!
    Big hug

  12. I think literature for young adults is so important. I grew up visiting the library weekly with my mother and everyone in the family always had a stack of books they were reading - we still do. I used to tell my students that part of who I was came from reading books and trying to emulate the good actions of my favorite characters.

  13. I like the idea that we have a teen with positive support network. Sounds like a good, wholesome read.

  14. That is an unusual consequence for a YA novel.

  15. I am just trying to get caught up on your blog but so happy to read this post as my first. I will cruise through the others tomorrow morning with my coffee. I love the fact that you are commenting on YA. It is such an important genre which many people overlook.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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