It is summer in the Northwest town of Nine Mile Falls, and sixteen-year-old Ruby McQueen, ordinarily dubbed The Quiet Girl, finds herself hanging out with gorgeous, rich, thrill-seeking Travis Becker. But Ruby is in over her head, and finds she is risking more and more when she's with him.I read my first Deb Caletti book, “The Secret Life of Prince Charming,” a couple months ago, and really liked it. So since then I’ve been working my way through Caletti’s other books, and though they were all pretty good, I think “Honey, Baby, Sweetheart” is my favorite so far. Which is kinda weird for me, because I’m usually all about characters falling love, and this book is the opposite—the dissolution of a relationship. But there was just something so real about the characters and their struggles that I couldn’t help but relate to them and root for them and sigh when it was all over. As usual for Caletti’s books, the relationships between family members were central to this book. I loved that Ruby’s relationship with her family was so normal. She fights with her mother and her little brother, but at the end of the day, they’re the most important parts of Ruby’s life and they love each other.
In an effort to keep Ruby occupied, Ruby's mother Ann drags Ruby to the weekly book club she runs. When it is discovered that one of the group's own members is the subject of the tragic love story they are reading, Ann and Ruby spearhead a reunion between the long-ago lovers. But for Ruby, this mission turns out to be much more than just a road trip. . . .
I really appreciate the way Caletti deals with romantic relationships, in this and all her other books. She’s never one to gloss over problems and make everything fairy-tale perfect, but neither are the relationships dramatic or unrealistically intense. They just feel . . . realistic. And more than that, they make you think. I mean, before I started reading Caletti, I would have listed Sarah Dessen as the author with the most realistic romantic relationships. But now, although I still LOVE Sarah Dessen, I’ve noticed that her books never make me think outside of the book—I don’t analyze anyone’s relationships besides the characters’. But Caletti seems to always make me think about my own life and my own relationships, and I really appreciate that in an author.
And I absolutely love Caletti’s writing style. It’s so easy and down to earth. And she always seems to share these gems of wisdom that I feel like I should commit to memory. Let me give you a sample from one of my favorite paragraphs:
This is what I know: We are all a volume on the shelf of the Nine Mile Falls Library, as story unto ourselves, never possibly described with one word or even very accurately with thousands. A person is never as quiet or unrestrained as they seem, or as bad or good, as vulnerable or as strong, as sweet or as feisty; we are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers.So really, pick up “Honey, Baby, Sweetheart,” or any of Caletti’s other books for that matter. You won’t regret it.