Wednesday 12 August 2009

Review - Little Bird / Penni Russon

Summary - Ruby-lee is cynical about love; after all, she's watched her sister Shandra call off her wedding three times a week. But when Shandra volunteers her to babysit her friend's seven month old baby, Ruby-lee discovers just what love means. First she's overcome by powerful feelings for tiny Maisy, then she starts spending time with Maisy's dad, Spence. She even begins to imagine a future together, as a family. But where will Ruby-lee's fantasies lead? And what sort of trouble could they get her into? When it looks like Ruby-lee might lose everything, she has to discover what love truly is to find her own heart.

Review – Little Bird isn’t what you might expect from a series of books brandishing the Girlfriend name. Instead of following a teen girl’s gushy and frustrated yearnings and interactions with a studly piece of teen boy perfection, Russon’s explored love in all its meanings.

Ruby-lee is adrift. She’s convinced, with the help of her long-time bestie Tegen, that she’s utterly blah. She’s not in as dire state as she believes herself to be but it takes babysitting Maisy (love the name) and being “dumped” by Tegen for her to realise it. Ruby-lee is a doormat for the better part of the novel but it’s through her many missteps (her adoration of Maisy’s father a large one) that she’s able to gain a stronger sense of self and what she wants from life.

Russon has developed a range of characters to surprising depths in the one hundred and eighty page title. Ruby-lee is a highly relatable character who is caught between the melodramas of those in her life. Her evolution is natural and builds to a realistic conclusion. It’s a great to read Ruby-lee's discovery of what she wants and move towards her happiness.

Published: July 2009
Format: Paperback, 180 pages
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Origin: Australia

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Anonymous said...

This is kind of random, but I really like the protagonist's name.

The Book Owl said...

Great review! I love all of the character's names. Tegen and Maisy are both adorable.

Yan said...

Loving that cover!

Ruby said...

Haha! Oh my gosh, lol. My name is Ruby-Lee :D