Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Hippie Boy by Ingrid Ricks

Reviewed by Ingrid

Published: 2011

It's about: Ingrid's parents divorced when she was young. Her mother remarries a yucky guy named Earl and her father is never around. Ingrid looks forward to the summers she spends with her father traveling across the country selling tools. Perhaps because her life at home with Earl is so difficult, Ingrid idolizes her father and loves spending time with him.

Ingrid's mother has had a difficult life and clings to her religion as a sort of buoy to keep her afloat. Earl senses this and takes advantage of her naïveté by patronizing and emotionally abusing her and her daughters. Ingrid struggles to find her sense of self within her family at home and in her relationship with her dad.

I thought: The only reason I bought this book was because the cover looked interesting, the author has the same name as me, and it was only $3.00 to buy on my kindle. Soon after I bought it I found out it was self-published, which doesn't surprise me. (The cover fooled me. Most covers of self-published books are poorly designed and have Papyrus or Comic Sans all over them.) Self-published books tend to be lower quality, mostly because no publishers will take it. I have a little bit of faith that there could be some quality self-published books out there. This, however, wasn't one of them.

This story was a huge pity fest. This is the stuff Lifetime movies are made of. (No offense Lifetime movies. I secretly watch you sometimes.) Because this book was a memoir, I want to make it clear that I totally respect Ingrid Ricks' experiences. However, I think her book was low quality. The writing was blah and uninteresting. The exaggerated characters were all good or all bad, and I had no pity for them - except for Ingrid's mom, who was so vulnerable and weak it bordered on pathetic. I felt bad for her, but not in an interesting, thought provoking way - more like in a Lifetime movie way.

Verdict: Because I felt so bad for the mom character, for some reason I feel bad putting this one in the Rubbish Bin. Let's say it's on the floor next to the rubbish bin.

Reading Recommendations: If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can read this book for free. If not, I wouldn't waste your money.

Warnings: A few mild swear words.


"I took a seat on the other side of Mom and hugged her. Mom just sat and sobbed—harder than I had ever seen her. I couldn’t tell if she was crying because she was scared or had a broken heart. 'It’ll be okay,' I heard Connie say, doing her best to be the support system she always was to Mom. I wanted to agree with her but I couldn’t. Everything in the room was busted up or torn apart—just like our family. How could things ever be okay?"

What I'm reading next: Oh, I don't know. I thought I was going to read The Virgin Suicides but I think I'm going to read Middlemarch first.