“That’s why I’m here,” I told her. “My priorities are completely warped.” (page 148). Ruby Oliver is a junior in high school. She is confused. Something happened last year at her prep school. Now most of her former girlfriends won’t speak to her. People whisper that she is a slut. She wears baggy bowling shirts from the Salvation Army to try to cover up her curves. Boys still tell her she is sexy. She likes one boy, then another. She says she thinks she is suffering from “Rabbit Fever.” Now she knows why bunnies have so many babies.
In the meantime, she is sucked into heading up a huge bake sale to benefit charity. She decides to make it less “cute,” no more marshmallow snowmen, and aims for deliciousness. She also convinces a bunch of boys on the soccer team to bake — it’s manly baking.
She works as an intern at the petting zoo and tells off a drunk guy who puts his toddler on a pygmy goat. She gets fired for being impolite to the “guests.” She gets a job at a store selling Birkenstocks and has to take a closer look and smell of people’s feet. She meets her shrink’s hippie boyfriend who has especially nasty feet. (TMI). She meets with her shrink but can’t stop thinking about his icky feet.
One of the things I like about this book is that she shows the poetry people write to her and describes the notes she and her friends put in each other’s cubbies, including the color ink and the kind of paper. In our present society of wired teens, I am surprised she only mentions email a couple times and hardly mentions phones or texting at all.
In the end, Ruby does learn some things. She learns how to throw a successful bake sale. She learns that sometimes you do have to choose between a boy and your best friend. She also learns that “In life, maybe you do eventually find love, but it’s not with your high school boyfriend. It’s with a completely different person whom you never met before.” (page 231). She also loves films, so if you like classic films you will have something more in common. If you like reading about Ruby’s exploits, Lockhart has written several other books about her.
ISBN 978-0-385-73426-4, 241 pages.