What do you think?
Rate this book
6 pages, Audio Cassette
First published March 22, 2005
Why is being a fifteen-year-old girl so traumatic, you ask? Some things that instantly come to mind: crippling insecurity and faltering self-esteem, arbitrary but vitally important social rules, the need to fit in and be validated, bottled-up feelings always on the verge of exploding, carelessness bordering on cruelty, and finally, those alluring, mysterious, and incredibly frustrating boys.Ruby Oliver is fifteen and, as the title suggests, is going through a tough time (those statements are practically synonyms). Within a few days she goes from a reasonably popular and happy girl to a social pariah whose boyfriend has dumped her for her best friend, whose friends have turned away from her (and she alienated those who did not), and the whole school thinks she is a "slut". And she is getting all the blame (not the boy. Never the boy). So now she has panic attacks and a poncho-wearing shrink. And she just wants things to go back to normal.
"I just wanted the panic attacks to stop. And the hollow, sore feeling in my chest to go away. And to feel like I could make it through lunch period without choking back tears."I expected a light-hearted fun teen high-school drama with plenty of boy crushes, silly shallowness, teen girl gossip, and all sorts of hilarious misunderstandings. And, of course, some ceramic frogs.
"My problem is I can think whatever I think—girl power, solidarity, Gloria Steinem rah rah rah — but I still feel the way I feel.There is no fairy-tale ending:
Which is jealous. And pissy about little things."
In short, she gets some (not very fun) lessons in adulthood. Things do not get magically great for her in the end, but they do get better.This book is written for teens, but it's not juvenile. It does not gloss over the 'uncomfortable' subjects - we get frank and positive expressions of teenage sexuality (including a footnote about oral sex and some quite long boob-squeeze), we get a couple of f-bombs and a scene of underage drinking without serious consequences.
"I was hoping there’d be a set of guidelines handed out in Sex Ed class, but Sex Ed—when I finally got to take it — was all about biology and birth control and nothing about anything that actually goes on between people. Like how to tell what it means when someone forgets to call you when he said he would, or what to do when someone gropes your boob in a movie theater."
Reviewing as therapy : Everything you absolutely didn't want to know about my life made available for you to read about in print.
So there I was, my mom yelling at me, Heidi talking crap about me, weirded out by the Noel dynamic, Angelo probably mad at me, Jackson thinking I was cheating on him/getting over him too quickly/generally skanky - and you'd think things couldn't get worse, but ha! It's my life. Things can always get worse.
My very own soundtrack for this book:
Crystal Fighters - You & I
The Lumineers - Charlie Boy
The Lumineers - Flowers in Her Hair
This, the Silent War - We Are Broken
Vance Joy - Riptide
MSMR - Bones
Banks - Waiting Game