I must admit I bought this book only because it was written by my favorite actress Christine Elise McCarthy. She’s not just my favorite actress, I admire her for a lot more things. For acting, writing, photographing, for being a vegetarian – and for her food blog. I love the way it’s written, I love Christine’s sassy comments, and the photos she posts of the food she makes. I just think she’s a great person. However, I wasn’t quite sure at first that I wanted her book, because it’s not what I usually read. I must admit I was curious, though, and encouraged by positive reviews, so I decided to buy it.
When I finally made this decision, it turned out they don’t mail to Poland. I considered a Kindle version for some time and reading it on my friend’s Kindle, but decided against it. I mean, a book is a book. One girl from my work advised that I should use this website where they buy things for you from the USA and then mail it to Poland, and I did that. It meant I spent more on the book than I should have, but I didn’t care. It also means that I can’t write a review on Amazon, so I’m doing it here.
It took longer than the promised “up to 15 days,” but I wasn’t surprised or angry, or especially worried. When it did arrive, I started reading it straight away and fortunately, I liked it from the first pages. It quickly changed my attitude of “I HAVE TO LIKE IT BECAUSE CHRISTINE WROTE IT” to the “Just-one-more-page-before-I-go-to-bed” kind of thing. Which then turned into “Leave-me-alone-I-want-to-read-now.” I was reading it on the bus, and on a train, on a plane, and while walking. I do that sometimes, and nobody will be surprised if I get hit by a car one of these days. I got so into it that once I took the tram in the wrong direction. It happens to me sometimes, especially with a good book.
And it IS a good book. It is well-paced, smart, and really funny. That last part has been said a lot, so I’m not original here, but it really IS FUNNY. It’s hard to make me laugh out loud when I read or watch a comedy – strange thing since I laugh so easily in real life – but this one made me do it a lot of times, and I didn’t care if people stared at me for laughing uncontrollably on a bus or wherever I was with it. While I was reading it I had a feeling that Christine just had a good time writing it, cause it just went smoothly forward. It was also witty, poignant, and brave.
I must admit I was a little afraid I wouldn’t relate to Ruby, the protagonist and narrator, and I don’t like the books with characters I can’t relate to. That proved to be wrong. Ruby is totally relatable. Of course I would say so – if someone sleeps with her/his dogs, it’s my kind of person. But it’s not just that; Ruby is totally relatable, because she’s so… human? She makes mistakes, has moments of insecurities and of not-quite-right things said at the not-quite-right moment. Don’t we all? Plus, she drinks red wine. How cool is that?
Of course, I have my favorite moments. The “poop theme” – priceless. Sorry, but it just cracked me up. Then there was a little moment of “this is grammatically incorrect,” which I ALWAYS love. And the DUI situation – simply hilarious. The best part for me, though, was the “religious theme.” This was in the short film, too, and I must admit I was waiting for that part. I was raised a Catholic, then turned Lutheran (the Protestants who do NOT believe in this pre-destination bullshit); then turned agnostic; I also once lived with a very religious woman who would say similar things that the character in this book. Maybe that’s why it never gets old with me when religious hypocrisy is presented in a mocking way. Nevertheless, this part was perfect. I couldn’t stop laughing.
I loved the ending, too. I thought it was really moving and hopeful. There was also a little “musical treat” for me. I had never heard of Justin Townes Earle before, but I like to check songs mentioned in books and I fell in love with the one in this book from the first time I heard it and couldn’t stop listening to it for the first day.
There were many more things I found either hilarious or fascinating, and everything was truly engrossing. It was just such a great read, and well, perfect, in my opinion. I guess Christine really CAN do anything. I wish there was a TV show about Ruby, played by Christine, of course. Or a continuation of the book. Or both. Yeah, well, we can’t have everything. For now I know this will be one of these books I come back to, so it was well-spent money after all!