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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ruby Unscripted...Review

About the book:
Ruby's finding out that life is all about improv . . .

Small-town girl Ruby Madden has moved to Marin County, California; home of high-dollar homes and green living. The girls wear shoes that cost more than her entire paycheck at the Underground Coffeehouse & Theater, and the students are well-traveled and full of life experiences that Ruby can only dream of.

All the stresses of adjusting to her new life have put a strain on her ability to trust God. Yet when mysterious and eye-catching Kaden invites Ruby to join the school's film group, the puzzle pieces start to fit. Her love of art finds perfect expression and the film friends seem to really get her. When a major Hollywood director hosts an amateur film contest, Ruby and her friends are stoked.

But Ruby's old life is tugging her backward and her frantic balancing act throws her new life totally off track. To top things off, Ruby makes a mistake that could cost her the chance of a lifetime.

Life would be so much easier if Ruby just had a script to follow with a happy ending guaranteed. But what's the fun in that?

A delightful book. After her parents divorce, 15-year old Ruby Madden moves from conservative, rural Northern California to liberal, affluent Marin County, near San Francisco. Her younger brother moves with her and her mother and step dad, while her older brother remains with their dad and step mom. Ruby struggles with not only trying to maintain friendships left behind and adjust to a new, very different school, but also with making new friends and finding her place.

She finds herself working in her aunt's coffee house and wandering around a new school so large it needs a map. As Ruby figures out her life and her place in this new world, she begins to make friends and finds herself part of a group of amateur filmmakers. With some guidance from a coffeehouse customer, Ruby just might find her way.

Really, a fun novel. It's been a really long time since I was a teenager, and the times were different than today. Yet, some teen themes are timeless and moving and changing schools and leaving behind best friends and crushes is hard no matter what your era.

Cindy Martinusen-Coloma captured a delightful voice in Ruby. She's honest and full of faults, but very likeable. Ruby struggles with maintaining her long-distance friendships and supporting her best friend Kate, via texting, through Kate's difficult choices. She finds herself friends with a charming, gay school mate who helps her transition into school. One day on the wrong side a group of rich girls, she finds herself friends with others the next day.

Ruby has a tender faith in God and finds it tested as she works her way through the new situations and life she's been given.

Light, entertaining and easy to read, with realistic themes of faith and friendship as well as a well-handled situation of teen drinking. Easily recommended for teen girls. I look forward to reading more of Cindy's work.

Thanks to First Wild Card and Thomas Nelson Publishers for the opportunity to review this. You can read the first chapter here. You can find out more about Cindy Martinusen-Coloma here.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 5/09

* * * *
4/5 Stars

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