Saturday, September 01, 2007
Ruby Parker Hits the Small Time, by Rowan Coleman
Ruby has been on the popular soap Kensington Heights since she was six. But now that she's 13 and "frumpy" and "awkward," she fears that they may jettison her from the show. But far worse, her parents have announced that they are getting divorced. But when it seems that things are really headed downward, suddenly they take a turn up.
This rather strange and unpredictable novel promises us from the start that things will go bad, making us expect a tragedy. Instead, it never does so you end up wondering what all of the fuss was about. What we do get is a lot of uptight people breaking through their insecurities and talking to each other (the nasty girl turns out to simply be misunderstood and once that is established everyone becomes close friends!). But in the end, there is no dramatic payoff to match the hype. Manipulative and ultimately dull.