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MoonPies and Movie Stars

3.03  ·  Rating details ·  255 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
A laugh-out-loud romp across America pits a feisty Texas momma against the Hollywood machine

Ruby Kincaid is busy these days—running her late husband’s bowling alley, wrangling her pistol of a sister, and chasing after the two grandchildren her daughter abandoned. When she sees her runaway daughter Violet starring in a TV commercial, there’s only one choice and Ruby knows
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by Viking Adult (first published 2006)
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Rating details
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Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
This fits into the category of could have been so much better for me. The typecasting was sometimes painful, and while the author did some things well, there was some stiltedness that was distracting. I grew tired of shock value where plot development was needed.
Apr 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
I was super excited about this book. I now see why it was on the clearance shelf.
Every adult in this book besides Earl,Penny,and Warren are selfish. Let me start with Loralva. She acts like a bitch in heat and is only worried about the price is right. She did get on and won money and a car. Does she take the kids that are in the motel room the whole time to the beach or to disneyland? NO! I know it would have been a little off, but come on how many times is Imogene's mole talked about in this f
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, audible
I'm really torn between whether I'd feel differently had I read the print version, rather than the audio. Narrator does a good job with the accents, inflection, etc.; however, I felt she dragged out the suspenseful scenes (near the end) such that I was thinking "Get onnnnnnnn with it!" - maybe that's just the New Yorker in me though? As for the plot itself, the first part in Texas, with all its backstory and character setup dragged a lot, but once they got on the road things improved, kind of li ...more
Giddy Girlie
Sep 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: once_is_enough
the cover caught my eye when I was at the library over the weekend, so I picked it up. It's not a *great* story, but it's kind of fun. Very intentionally simplistic and kind of cheesy. I could see this being made into a movie -- maybe a Lifetime movie. Kind of along the lines of "Hope Floats" -- not your all time favorite, but still cutesy enough to watch when it comes on TV on Sunday afternoon.
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved it 'cause my good friend wrote it!
Jan 31, 2010 rated it liked it
I actually found this book as I was wondering the aisles of the Dollar Tree. And it was actually a pretty fun read! It takes place in the 70s as a grandmother, her sister, her daughter's mother-in-law and her 2 grandchildren take off from a small Texas town to Hollywood to find her daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed the description of the "Price is Right" game show that the heroine and her sister found themselves on.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really a 3 1/2-star book but not bad for a first effort. A long set piece at the studio for a taping of "The Price Is Right" could be shorter. Still, a good look at the conflict between dreams and reality.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who reads
I want to buy this book for everyone I know. It’s a great read and the characters are real people and fun to read about, especially Ruby’s high voltage sister Loralva (la-raul-vaw, only you have to think it with a Texas twang).

My blog has a full review, including a scan of the back cover.
Shrie Spangler
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book was an entertaining and heartfelt read. It wasn't groundbreaking literature, and even lacked a little depth (and was very predictable), but it was a story of people much like my own and a story of Texas. I enjoyed it!
Sep 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the comedy and family drama of this book. It was easy to relate to the small town elements of it. Not the most exciting book I've read, but still enjoyable.
Allison Armstrong
Oct 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-books
Entertaining book for sure. It has some things to say about people who live in Texas. Does everyone there really like Moon Pies???
Kati Did
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
They always say don't judge a book by its cover, and this book is exactly the reason why. Fun colorful cover on a book that is just eh. I wouldn't read it again unless I was in prison.
Carrie Danielson
Fantastic characterization

I loved this book. It was full of humor and heart. The characters are marvelous and lovable. The description of the Price Is Right is hilarious.
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story! I would have loved to learn more. What happens next? Maybe a book 2??
Nicole Estes
Mar 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
I read the first 100+ pages and ended up skimming through. I really really wanted to like this book. I liked the idea of the characters, but then this serious heavy back story, I don't know. I thought there were some funny parts, the mesh of the silly character antics chasing this "mother" who left her little kids didn't jive for me.
This book was nothing I thought it would be. It has some good points...and some bad. It was a tough read once the charaters got on the road. Ruby was a super charater and her sister Loralva. Ruby was a widow who ran a bowling alley and her sister worked at the bar in the bowling alley. They lived in South Texas. They take a trip to California to find Violet, Ruby's daughter after seeing her on tv. The mother-in-law tags along thinking her long lost daughter-in-law is newly rich. Ruby brings alon ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The author spoke at a meeting of my writers club and she was so engaging I immediately bought the book. I slogged through it to a very disappointing ending. It was overwritten to make the southern characters extreme stereotypes, and descriptions and emotions were repeated, and repeated......The premise is a search for Violet,the adopted daughter of Ruby Kincaid. who abandoned her husband and two children four years earlier for reasons unknown. Ruby runs ...more
Donna-Jo Webster
(One of two books, averaging 300 pages each, that I've devoured in one sitting over the past two days!)
A fun, Texas-sized cross country romp a la "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe" and other greats of Southern literature.
Ruby's daughter, Violet, has taken off from her home in Devine, TX, leaving Ruby to care for her two young children. All hell breaks loose when one day, while gathering in the local bowling alley to celebrate a soap opera star's wedding, Ruby and the rest of the to
Janet Leszl
Aug 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
A heatwarming, humerous road trip comprised of unlikely fellow travelers; each of whom has a different reason to make the journey. Ruby along with her two grandchildren sets off in search of her daughter, Violet(their mother),who abandoned them. Violet's mother-in-law joins them only because she believes the daughter-in-law she disparaged may now be a "movie star". Rounding out the occupants of the Winnebago is Ruby's sister Loralva. Partly she is there to help out Ruby and the children, but her ...more
Mar 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3 1/2. A bit higher for women.

Wallen keeps the plot moving along well. The primary characters are clearly drawn. I'm a bit ambivalent about the ending. I like that it's not the obvious cliche ending, but it seemed a bit abrupt after 300-plus pages.

I think I was too harsh when I originally reviewed this. She hosted an open mic I attended for a while, and I was worried about going too easy on her, so I mistakenly did the opposite. Also, I'm just not the target audience.

I went through it
Apr 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, fiction
The author was a moderator at a book panel discussion at the Festival of Books last year.
I liked this story. I was drawn to this book because I like comedic writing and the premise seemed promising. It was very funny, maybe not laugh out loud for me, but still clever and I enjoyed the writing. I had anticipated a more lighthearted read and a sort of sadness permeated the story. Ultimately it is a story of child abandonment by a mother and a strong good grandmother who takes on the responsibili
Jul 03, 2008 rated it liked it
It's a nice light summer's just that you're on this hunt with Ruby for her daughter the whole book, there's great character development and funny situations. But really you keep getting sidetracked from the main focus. And then in the end it's just anticlimactic. It's not a bad read. It just ends up being sort of a journey more than getting anywhere. Which in istelf was enjoyable. But at times could be somewhat irritating. You make the call.
Sep 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book was a real downer to me. I found it and bought it for 2 reasons: the cool picture of Mrs. Beasley on the inside, and it was on the bargain table which usually doesn't do me wrong. The funny parts were limited and didn't actually make me laugh out loud. One of the characters (Imogene) was so grating that she alone made me want to throw the book across the room.

A read for when you are not in a good mood and don't want to improve it.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
That 1979 setting tickles my childhood memories. Most of the copious prop flinging is right on but there is the occasional anachronism. (Pretty sure Cajun chicken didn't happen until later in the 80s.) I was fond of our protagonist Ruby and her need to confront made perfect sense to me. I liked the goofily fated quest and the resolution being acceptance.
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book because the title made me laugh and it was on sale, I was pleasantly surprised that it was an amazing book. The characters were so well written and were believable, I am sure that everyone has met an Imogene or a Suddy. Each person in this book were dependent on each other and it made the story flow. I couldn't put this book down.
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I picked this up on an impulse at the library. This is a case of a cover being better than a book. Great artwork & reviews, but the content is utter crap. Contrived country accents, lack of flow...I could keep going. In short, this book did not pass my "I can put it down if it doesn't hook me in 75 pages" clause. Horrible.
Kerry K
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Cute book, takes place in 1976 about a grandmother who has been left to take care of her 2 grandchildren after her daughter left one day. Then after seeing her on a TV commercial, they all go to Hollywood with the other grandmother and aunt to find her.

I could definitely see this book a great movie, funny and has a lot of 70's nostalgia.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Can you go wrong with a book that has a character named Bunnie who says the following about her mama, "I pray to Mr. Lord that she will stop back by for a sweet tea."? Or a scene where the characters are bowling for the right to play angels and baby Jesus in the Christmas pageant? Reading this is a delight.
Aug 13, 2008 rated it did not like it
The author is a great storyteller and has so much potential, but loses her story half way through the book. Her characters are real and developed, but then seem to get lost half way through the book and the author leaves so many questions unanswered.

I was frustrated when I finished this book because I felt like nothing was resolved. I was disappointed.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Humorous and light. The story is crazy and all the characters wacko. At times seemed as if the author was trying too hard to be funny. Also things just work out a little bit too perfectly. It was OK, does make you smile, but don't know if I will read more from the author.
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“Purple and orange weren't two colors Ruby would ever put together and she couldn't for the life f her understand how this Lord God of theirs could have come up with the combination, but He had, and there they were in the sky outside the Winnebago's windshield.” 1 likes
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