BY: Sarah Dessen
Ruby can’t wait until she turns 18. Instead of yearning for independence, she is looking forward to the day when she legally will be considered an adult so no one will be able to put her in foster care. Her mother left her a few months ago, without warning, and she has been living there alone trying to work and finish high school.
Ruby thought she was managing just fine on her own. She worked at an airport returning lost luggage to its owners, was pulling high enough grades to stay under the radar of administrators, and had a friend with benefits. True, her house had plumbing trouble, and the washer and dryer broke, forcing her to hang clothes in the kitchen to dry. But she believed she could make it a few more months. When instead, the landlords find her all alone and are appalled at how a mother could leave their daughter home alone for so long. The landlords agree that Ruby must be put with a real family, and so they send her to live with Ruby’s sister, Cora.
Cora has not been a part of Ruby’s life for a number of years. She left Ruby and her erratic mother for college, and Ruby had not heard from her since, except to receive a notice that she graduated. Her husband Jamie is a famous businessman who designed the hugely popular social networking website that everyone uses. Ruby finds it hard to understand that the nice easy going guy who obsesses over his new backyard fish pond is a multimillionaire, or that her sister is an attorney who wants to have a baby. And she can’t believe that she is now living in their house as they play the role of parents.
Ruby’s new school, which is on the other side of town from her old one, may as well be on another planet. At her old school Ruby regularly smoked pot and was sick of school and just wanted to finish, now she has counselors advising her to apply to college. She becomes friends with Nate, the handsome jock living behind her, and is actually envied by other girls because they go to school together everyday together and hang out. Ruby gets a job at the mall assisting a neurotic jewelry designer and helps start a high-selling trend in necklaces. Ruby finds herself drawn to all these new people and getting involved in their lives in a way she has never done with others before. Her mother always made them move