A Little Friendly Advice
Ruby's turning sixteen . . . but the day doesn't turn out to be as sweet as it's supposed to be. Her long lost father shows up, and Ruby doesn't want to have anything to do with him. Instead, she wants to hang out with her friends - loyal Beth, dangerous Katherine, and gossipy Maria. They have plenty of advice for her - about boys, about her dad, about how she should look and what she should be feeling. But really, Ruby doesn't know what to think or feel. Especially when a new boy comes into the picture . . . and Ruby discovers some of her friends aren't as truthful as they say.
This novel presented a friendship that is not like your typical girl friendships- you know, the ones where all the girls are just so close and share everything and are practically sisters. This one presented one that is different, there are drifts between the girls and you realize, that's what makes it real and beautiful in its own way. The story presents friendship as something that is constantly being tested and worked on, and doesn't have to be perfect from the get-go.
Without spoiling the ending for those who haven't read it, I do want to say that I was surprised by the way things came out. For one thing, it does kind of explain some of the characters in the story, but it also makes you wonder if you can trust anyone at all. For someone whose been betrayed by her friends before, I totally understand Ruby's feelings. I loved one section near the end of the story:
Im not going to need Beth in the same way anymore. But I'm still going to need her. And she's going to need me too.
Reprinted here with author's permission.
Ruby is finally turning sixteen and all she wants is to overdose on ice cream cake, take tons of pictures with her Polaroid camera and hang out with her three friends. However, the day does not turn out as well as it should have been. The father who had ditched both her mom and her shows up at the door and the party quickly turns sour. She does not want to do anything with him and instead, leaves the house in a rush. With her three friends, Beth, Maria and Katherine, they give her advice on guys and how to dress. However, they also got a ton of things to say when Rubys father comes back. But Rubys not so sure what she should do and when an ultra cute boy comes in, she realizes that some of her friends are not as truthful as she would want them to be. So if you cant trust your friends, then who should you trust? As Ruby learns more about her fathers disappearance, she realizes that some things are made to be left unknown. Siobhan Vivian brings a delightful book into our hands and we learn what friendship really is about. This book at first started slow but quickly picks up and I was really engrossed in this book.
All Ruby plans on doing for her sixteenth birthday is indulge in ice cream cake, take pictures with her new vintage Polaroid camera, and hang out with her three good friends. There's Beth, who's been her loyal best friend for years, Maria who is full of advice on boys, and Katherine, who Ruby is not so sure about. Everything is going great until Ruby's father, who walked out on her and her mom six years ago, shows up with a cheap bouquet of carnations wanting to talk. Ruby doesn't know how to handle the situation and ends up running off to party with her friends. The next day thoughts of her father flood her brain and she starts wondering why he might of come. Over the next couple days Beth tries to lighten Ruby's mood hoping that Ruby won't start to slip like she did when her dad first left. Ruby seems to be okay, especially when she meets Charlie. Charlie is the first guy that's ever really been into her, but she's having some trust issues that relate back to her dad. When Ruby discovers that Beth has been keeping a secret from her she immediately starts to question the honesty of her friend. With Charlie's help Ruby discovers that it's okay to make decisions on her own and she doesn't always need her friends' say in the matter. Will Ruby make things work with Charlie? Will her friendship with Beth be in jeopardy?
I'm not really sure there are words to describe how utterly awesome and jaw dropping this book was. I had heard so many good things about it that I had really high expectations for it. It exceeded every one of these expectation with flying colors! The story was honest and raw and just plain refreshing. Ruby's character was awesome. I truly felt like I could connect with her and I could relate to what she was going through. I've never had a parent leave or anything, but I do understand all of her problems with her friends. When the book was over I was so sad, because I didn't want it to end, it was just that good. I also loved Ruby's fascination with photography. I love how she captured different aspects of her world through Polaroids. That one wacky characteristic got to me and really made me realize how much I love taking pictures and capturing my world in a certain moment. One last thing I really liked was the humor. While it wasn't always "ha ha" funny there was this feeling I got while reading it that made a smile spread across my whole face. All in all this book was unspeakably good and a phenomenal first novel by Siobhan Vivian. I highly recommend you go buy it because you will want to read it over and over again, I know I certainly will!!
A Little Friendly Advice, Siobhan Vivians fantastic debut novel, is blurbed on the back cover by Cecil Castellucci and Maureen Johnson. To some of you, blurbs may not matter, but for me, a book blurbed by two fantastic authors always moves higher up on the to-be-read stack! Which is good for the book, but it also probably raises my expectations, which could turn out to make me unreasonably disappointed.
In this case, however, those high expectations were certainly warranted! I absolutely loved A Little Friendly Advice. Its a smart, funny novel that is mainly about people and their relationships (friends, love interests, and family). It all starts on Rubys sixteenth birthday, when her father shows up unexpectedly after years of being totally out of the picture. She was planning on a nice celebration with her mother and group of three close friends (her longtime best friend, Beth, her boy-crazy sometimes-outrageous friend, Maria, and the new addition to their group, Katherine), but all that goes out the window when Jim comes through the front door.
One good thing does come out of Rubys birthday, though: her mother has gotten her an old Polaroid camera, which she uses to document the events that follow. She realizes her best friend, Beth, has been keeping secrets from her, but with good intentions. She must make some difficult choices about her relationship (or lack thereof) with her father. A new guy steps into her life, Charlie; this is a new area for never-been-kissed Ruby! The friendship dynamics within her group are changing, too. The next few days are very eventful for Ruby, and its all a bit much for a girl to handle alone, and her friends advice may not always be for the best.
A Little Friendly Advice will ring true with readers; Siobhan Vivians sharp, engaging prose captures people and their relationships perfectly. Her characters are fully drawn and three-dimensional, and the story she tells is full of important truths. She understands that life is not always black-and-white, and people and their actions are not always clearly for the best or worst. Life is complicated, and Siobhan Vivians portrayal of that is honest and moving. She has quickly become one of my new favorite authors! Siobhan Vivian is a fresh new voice in YA literature, one to watch, and you should all read this book as soon as possible!
Reposted from http://teenbookreview.wordpress.com
For Ruby, her friends are like her lifeline. First, theres Beth, the girl who has been with Ruby through all of her family problems and is always there to offer good advice. Theres also Maria, who is the most experienced with boys and is very supportive. The latest addition to their group is Katherine, the bad girl, who is going through family problems of her own and seems to not like Ruby that much.
Things go askew when Rubys father, who abandoned her family many years earlier, shows up for her sixteenth birthday party. All the feelings and memories that Ruby has been trying to bury resurface. Ruby seems to have a fear of hooking up until she meets the new guy Charlie. But her mom is acting strangely as well as her best friend Beth. Things only get worse when Ruby finds out that Beth stole a letter her father left for her.
Throughout the story, Ruby realizes that she cant always rely on her friends, because no matter how much she wants to think that they are always loyal, they are bound to let her down sometimes. Ruby also comes to terms with her mom, and the terrible secret that broke up her parents marriage so many years ago. Although her reunion with her father isnt perfect, it is the best that can be expected under such conditions.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, especially because it was through Rubys perspective. It was easy to understand her point of view and feelings in most situations she was in. This novel was truly heartfelt, and I even cried at several points. I recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen, because the stories are similar in many aspects. I look forward to more books from Siobhan Vivian, because this debut novel was amazing.
Ruby's best friend Beth has always been there for her, offering a shoulder to cry on and a little friendly advice when times called for it. She was there for her when Ruby's father left, and for all the emotional struggles that followed. Ruby has other friends, too boy crazy Maria and rebellious Katherine but she doesn't feel as close to them as she does with Beth.
When Ruby's sixteenth birthday hits, she gets a visit from her dad, whom she hasn't seen for six years. She throws the bouquet of flowers he offers on the ground and stomps past without a second glance. After all, he chose to leave six years ago, shattering her and her mother's lives. And now Ruby will have to rely on Beth yet again to piece everything together.
Her father's visit starts a chain of reactions that changes her usually ordinary life into one full of surprises and realizations and they're not all pleasant. Ruby finds herself questioning her friends, not sure who she can trust and who she can't.
Siobhan Vivian's writing is outstanding. I was extremely surprised to find out that this is her first novel. The writing is so descriptive, and the imagery so perfect that it went through my mind like a movie. The book itself was nearly impossible to put down, and the plot so captivating that the pages flew by. I think a lot of teenagers will be able to relate with Ruby as she struggles through issues with both her family and friends.