A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
A Little Friendly Advice

A Little Friendly Advice

4.4 56
by Siobhan Vivian

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If you can't trust your friends, who CAN you trust?

Ruby's turning sixteen . . . but the day doesn't turn out as sweet as it's supposed to. Her long-lost father shows up, and Ruby doesn't want anything to do with him. She wants to hang out and eat cake with her friends -- loyal Beth, dangerous Katherine, and gossipy Maria. They always have plenty of advice for


If you can't trust your friends, who CAN you trust?

Ruby's turning sixteen . . . but the day doesn't turn out as sweet as it's supposed to. Her long-lost father shows up, and Ruby doesn't want anything to do with him. She wants to hang out and eat cake with her friends -- loyal Beth, dangerous Katherine, and gossipy Maria. They always have plenty of advice for her, and they have A LOT to say about her dad's return. But Ruby's not sure what to think or feel. Especially when a cute new boy named Charlie comes into the picture . . . and Ruby discovers not all of her friends are as truthful as they say they are.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for THE LIST:

“I devoured THE LIST -- it's funny, heartbreaking, suspenseful, and wise. Siobhan Vivian tells a raw, real, winning story about the perils of fitting in, the danger of labels, and how prettiness and ugliness are sometimes intertwined. It definitely makes my list as one of the best books I've read all year.” -- SARA SHEPARD, author of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

“Siobhan Vivian's smart, incisive, powerfully honest novel explores just what it's like to try to navigate high school and being a girl without losing yourself entirely.” -- Libba Bray, author of BEAUTY QUEENS

*“Vivian proves that beauty and ugliness aren't always a matter of appearance.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

“Funny, sharp, romantic, poignant, and true. I stayed up all night reading THE LIST.”
-- Melissa de la Cruz, author of BLUE BLOODS

*“This riveting exploration of physical appearance and the status it confers opens a cultural conversation that's needed to happen for a long time. . . . Vivian refuses to falsify or avoid the uncomfortable realities.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

“Smart, snappy writing.” -- NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW


"High school has never felt more authentic. . . . Vivian challenges assumptions and sends a positive message about acceptance, forgiveness, and love."

"The dialogue and emotional honesty are pitch-perfect. . . . Readers will cheer."

"A joy to read . . . Full of wry observations, details that delight the senses and perceptions about things that matter."


“This debut novel manages to be at once uplifting and heart wrenching. Vivian is clearly an author to watch.” -- KIRKUS REVIEWS

“The book itself was nearly impossible to put down, and the plot so captivating that the pages flew by.” --YABooksCentral

“Cultural references keep the narrative hip, but it's Vivian's skill at subtly shaping the personalities that makes this book work.” – SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“Siobhan Vivian nails the little details and the big truths that matter.” -- Maureen Johnson, author of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES


“Readers who have wondered, 'Are these the friends and the life I want to have?' will see themselves reflected in Emily's achingly real struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs.” – KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

“Vivian finds the true voice of every character, even those who aren't truthful.” – AKRON BEACON JOURNAL

“[Vivian's] talent for scene-setting and evocative imagery is especially effective for a story about a girl just discovering her eye as an artist and herself as a person.” – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Publishers Weekly

Vivian's first novel deftly probes the often confusing intricacies of friendship. When her long-lost father unexpectedly shows up at her 16th birthday party, Ruby flees the scene, shocked and frightened. After all, it's been six years since he drove away from Ruby and her mother in his pickup truck, and Ruby has never heard from him. Her best friend, Beth, has helped Ruby recover from his abandonment, and now that Ruby has been thrown back into turmoil, Beth is once again at Ruby's side, dishing advice. But when Ruby discovers that Beth is hiding a letter to Ruby from her father, she is no longer sure who deserves her trust. Vivian's tale begins slowly, but soon will captivate readers with the puzzle surrounding Ruby's father and what actually happened the day he left, as well as with the dilemma that gradually emerges: is it better to tell a comfortable lie or to share the wrenching truth? Readers will find themselves and their relationships reflected in Ruby's story-for better and worse. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Amie Rose Rotruck
On Ruby's 16th birthday, her long-absent father shows up at her birthday party. He wants to get to know her, but Ruby wants nothing to do with him. When she discovers that her best friend Beth has hidden a letter from her father, she is very confused about her friend's motives. Ruby spends a lot of time trying to decide what to do and work up the courage to see her father. Meanwhile, she meets Charlie, a boy who finally might get her to re-think her perpetually single status. Tensions rise between Ruby and her mother because of both Charlie and Ruby's newly surfaced father until Beth makes a revelation that completely turns Ruby's memories on end. Ruby must simultaneously learn about the lies people tell for good and bad reasons while learning to trust Charlie. This well-written coming-of-age story is filled with a good mix of traditional issues and interesting plot twists. Ruby is a very realistic, flawed, yet sympathetic character that readers will identify with, whether or not they have encountered similar issues in their own lives. Reviewer: Amie Rose Rotruck
Kenan Metzger
This is an engaging story told in first person through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl named Ruby. Ruby has the ability to understand her friends and read their actions and words so that the reader knows all the characters very well. Ruby and her friends struggle through disappointments with parents and broken families and form bonds that provide support in times of need. The girls argue, get into trouble together, fight with their parents, and navigate the perils of teen society. With the exception of a few flashbacks, the story takes place in real time as we discover with Ruby the truth about her father and her friends. This would be an excellent book to talk about relationships and broken homes. It does contain some mild references to sex as well as specific references to teenage drinking, so it may not be suitable for younger readers. Reviewer: Kenan Metzger
Melissa Moore
Ruby's sixteenth birthday celebration with three friends takes an unexpected turn when her dad crashes the party after a ten-year absence. Ruby only wants to play with her vintage Polaroid and maybe experience her first hook-up, but her plans keep getting interrupted by stale memories of her dad and the best intentions of her closest friend, Beth. This first novel expertly captures the authentic voices of teen girls. Vivian sets up a beautiful contrast between the clean, still moments of life, captured in a white Polaroid frame, and its ongoing complexities and flow. The tension between the girls is tenderly captured, and Ruby's fears of abandonment produce empathy rather than pity. The given reality of teen smoking and drinking might limit the book to a high school audience. Reviewer: Melissa Moore
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 18.

Ruby is turning 16, living with her mother, having been abandoned by her father without explanation ten years before. No discussion about this traumatic event has taken place between Ruby and her mother since. Fortunately, she has three best friends to see her through the perils of high school, but her bestest best friend is Beth, whom she has known since preschool. Beth is a girl who seems to know what’s best for everyone and has a bit of a Madonna complex, in that she takes care of others, whether they want her to or not. On her 16th birthday, however, the day to which Ruby has looked forward so much, her father unexpectedly appears on the doorstep, bearing flowers and an apologetic smile. Her first reaction is little short of hysterical; luckily, her friends are available to cocoon her from the shock. However, after some reflection, Ruby thinks maybe there’s more to the story than she’s been told and her father might have some answers. Then she discovers that Beth is hiding a letter to her from her father that invites her to meet him at the local motel before he leaves town. Of course, there’s a boy and a budding romantic interest also involved. This book is about the role of friendship in a girl’s life, how much protectiveness is too much, when is abandonment really abandonment, and the discovery that parents aren’t perfect and everyone is not always as they first appear. Reviewer: Myrna Marler
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- On Ruby's 16th birthday, Beth is the first to call her, at 12:01 a.m., and even decorates her locker at school. Beth was there to help pick up the pieces after Ruby's dad walked out several years earlier. Now she is at her side again when he unexpectedly walks through the door as she is about to blow out her birthday candles. Ruby looks to her friend to know how she should feel about his visit. Indeed, she never questions Beth, who gives her enough advice to last a lifetime. Then she discovers that Beth has been dishonest with her, that she knows more about her parents' breakup than she is telling. Although the story gets off to a slow start, the plot eventually picks up speed, and the characterizations of the girls, their friends, and family are believable. Ruby's anxiety about her father and her friendship with Beth are portrayed with empathy. Engagingly written and with a surprise ending, this novel will appeal to teens.-Julianna M. Helt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ruby's 16th-birthday party is interrupted by the arrival of her father whom she hasn't seen in years. She manages to escape with her three friends: the loyal Beth, the gossipy and wild Maria and the angry Katherine. They attempt to distract her with their own party, complete with pin the tail on the donkey and a stolen bottle of champagne, but nothing can distract Ruby from the sinking feeling that her life is about to change for the worse. She attempts to juggle her three friends, a new boyfriend and her mother, but she is sinking fast. It seems only confronting her father will help. Populated with real characters who have authentic emotions, this debut novel manages to be at once uplifting and heartwrenching. Vivian is clearly an author to watch. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

Siobhan Vivian is the acclaimed author of Not That Kind of Girl, hailed by Kirkus Reviews as a “powerful, involving exploration of teen girls’ identities and relationships,” Same Difference, and A Little Friendly Advice. A Jersey girl by birth and a Brooklyn girl at heart, Siobhan currently lives in Pittsburgh, PA, and on the web at www.siobhanvivian.com.

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A Little Friendly Advice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For Ruby, her friends are like her lifeline. First, there's Beth, the girl who has been with Ruby through all of her family problems and is always there to offer good advice. There's also Maria, who is the most experienced with boys and is very supportive. The latest addition to their group is Katherine, the bad girl, who is going through family problems of her own and seems to not like Ruby that much. Things go askew when Ruby's father, who abandoned her family many years earlier, shows up for her sixteenth birthday party. All the feelings and memories that Ruby has been trying to bury resurface. Ruby seems to have a fear of hooking up until she meets the new guy Charlie. But her mom is acting strangely as well as her best friend Beth. Things only get worse when Ruby finds out that Beth stole a letter her father left for her. Throughout the story, Ruby realizes that she can't always rely on her friends, because no matter how much she wants to think that they are always loyal, they are bound to let her down sometimes. Ruby also comes to terms with her mom, and the terrible secret that broke up her parents' marriage so many years ago. Although her reunion with her father isn't perfect, it is the best that can be expected under such conditions. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, especially because it was through Ruby's perspective. It was easy to understand her point of view and feelings in most situations she was in. This novel was truly heartfelt, and I even cried at several points. I recommend this book to fans of Sarah Dessen, because the stories are similar in many aspects. I look forward to more books from Siobhan Vivian, because this debut novel was amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ruby gets a little more than she wished for on her 16th birthday. Her long-lost father comes home for a surprise and turns her world upside down. After years and years of trying to shut him out a ten minute discussion brings her insecurity about herself back. Her three friends try to help and guide her through her hard times, but bad advice is everywhere, so how can you tell whether it's trustable or immature? Then a boy named Charlie comes into her life, and she realizes who her real friends are. This book is slightly boring at the beginning. It's exciting around the end when her relationship with Charlie gets more intense and events in the novel become more unexpected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All mighty god of advice, please head to my question!! So I met this girl and we both like each other, she is really nice and caring. The problem is she lives in New Jersey, I dont. She says we could never make it work and wont even let me try to. What do I do I really like her and dont want to let her go!! ~Noswad Samej
Guest More than 1 year ago
I finished this book in one day. I would¿ve followed Ruby anywhere as she followed her heart. The relationships between these girls is real and raw and my own heart broke as these friendships stretched and expanded with growing pains. But it¿s Ruby¿s family story that will stay with me. It is so true that no family 'or person' is perfect-and that love is sometimes shown in the weirdest ways. I can only hope there is a follow up so we can see what happens next in Ruby¿s big adventure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was so emotional. It was fantastic! What ever you thought would happen next was totally different. It was a great suspense and romantic book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So there is a guy that likes me and i like him and he asked me on a date for this coming friday and i do not know what i should tell him and im not alond to date ether so do know what to do help me plz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey im a thirteen year old girl and i need advice because i like a ningth grader and im in seventh grade and i need a boyfriend and i think hes really cute and hes looking for a girlfriend and every one he asks says no bc they think hes ugly or nasty and its my best friends brother well my problem is people keep making fun of me bc i like him and im afraid tht they are going to bully me and every one is going to turn against me and i need someone to talk to : ( plz answer back if you have any advice anyone plz before 9:00pm plz!!! : (
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm IBS. I'm new here, and I need advice. So, you see, these two girls like me. One is a Nook Girlfriend, I like her she likes me. And because she is a Nook GF, I've never met her in real life. But the other girl is a REAL LIFE Girlfriend. But she lives on the other face of the planet. I like her she likes me. I AM SO FRUSTERATED OVER WHAT TO DO!!! Please reply quickly. I feel so far from both of them. But I need your help on what to...I mean I like them both but one feels like Im the only one who loves her but the other Im really close friends with her and known her since kindrrgarten. BOTH OF THEM WOULD BE HEARTBROKEN IF I BROKE UP WITH THEM SO PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!!! <br> ~International Bacon Society (IBS)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PROBLEM #1: Ooh tricky! You catch his eye. It could mean that he likes you or that you are a pretty thing to look at. Or both. But you can't be certain that he likes you or not just by looking at you. Hang out with him to see what he is like around you. PROBLEM #2: I know the feeling. The trick is not to get into a fight with Grace. This can be especially hard if she taunts you. But remind yourself: If Sean is kind and loving who will he take pity on in a fight? The one being accused. Don't flirt all the time. Try to catch his eye and smile. Have conversations. Hang out. PROBLEM #3: This may be hard for you. You should stay with your real girlfriend. Your nook girlfriend may be jealous but she has just as many chances as finding love as you are. Break the news quietly and be sweet about it. Thank you all for the questions!! &hearts ADVICE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im realy good with advice. In repacement fr alyssa? -Cherry&dagger;
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What is masturbating?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey. I wanna know how to masterbate and where. What gives the best pleasure?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to "cer" res 1 and 2 and 3 for good teenage se.x
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No texas
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok, I have a crush on this girl, but I might not see her anymore. How can I tell her/my parents that I like her? ~Dontknowas***aboutgirls
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this guy, and i told him last night, and he told me he liked me back. But i have never had a boyfriend. What happens now? ~X
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Were can I go to read good teenage sex stories on a review?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just started a clan. Now what do i do?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please go to ski result 6.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anger? It's not anger, just staying away from those with terrible grammar and spelling and who act immature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The guy from "help me". I answered your question. Also, can we move it to res 2? Please?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will be at sheep res 1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thanks. He answered now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A girl asked me out.