Just Like a Musical
written by Milena Veen
published by Milena Veen
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by YA Bound. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I enjoyed parts of it, but I had some issues with the plot.
Here’s the thing, I wanted more out of this book. I get that it is short, “like a musical.” But it needed more. There was this mystery about Ruby. I didn’t quite understand why it was a big secret. It had me in suspense, then let me down. Joshua seemed like a sweet guy. I enjoyed their date to the party. They really fit together. However, there is insta-love that doesn’t fit either of these characters. Not even a little bit. These two, from what little we learn, would not fall for each other so completely, so fast.
Mrs. Wheeler was a sweet old woman with a story of her own. I wanted more from her. I enjoyed hearing about her life in movies. I wish this book were about her telling Ruby about her life and the secrets she holds. Speaking of secrets, no. Just no. I don’t think that would work out the way it did at all.
Okay, you’ve been warned because I’m going to spoil the major plot point because it is what I had the most problem with. The big secret is that Mrs. Wheeler gave up a child for adoption. Ruby goes to find said daughter, without Mrs. Wheeler’s consent or blessing or anything, because Mrs. Wheeler is dying. When Ruby and Joshua hitchhike to Oklahoma to find her. First, these two 17 year olds leave without telling their parents, with little money, and hitchhike. This does not happen nowadays. If it does, then those teens are just plain stupid. That whole sequence irritated me. It glorified, or at the very least, made it seem like hitchhiking is a safe way to travel.
Anyway, then they find Mrs. Wheeler’s biological granddaughter because her daughter died during child birth. Okay. That’s fine. My problem was the granddaughter’s reaction to finding out Ruby was there because of Mrs. Wheeler. What would this person know about the situation regarding Mrs. Wheeler and her biological daughter that gives her the right to have such an angry reaction to her. It makes no sense whatsoever. If there is a reason, it needed to be told because just the fact that Mrs. Wheeler was not a part of this woman’s life doesn’t cut it. Chances are Mrs. Wheeler never knew her biological daughter growing up, didn’t know where she was, and probably didn’t know that the daughter had a daughter. Given the time period of the adoption and the circumstances behind it, I’m guessing the adoptive parents didn’t really communicate much about it with the daughter or granddaughter. So, that whole thing kind of pissed me off.
Other than those gripes, there is potential here. It just needs more.
Would I recommend it: I don’t think I would.
Will I read it again: I will not.
About the book – from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Ruby Fields has always lived by the rules set up by her foolishly overprotective mother. As a result, she doesn’t go to school, she’s never been kissed, and almost everything she knows about life is what she has learned from old movies.
But now…now there’s this Joshua guy. He’s quirky, and he’s tall, and he uses “romantic” and “old-fashioned” in the same sentence.
And there’s Mrs. Wheeler, an eccentric retired Hollywood costume designer and Ruby’s new best friend.
When Mrs. Wheeler ends up in hospital, just after telling Ruby her long-kept secret, Ruby decides to break her mother’s rules and embark on a journey that will change her life forever.