Review: Ruby Red

◆ Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
◆ Read November 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Ruby Red kept me up until late in the night because I needed to know what would happen next. So, I think it's safe to say that I really enjoyed it. However, I've been mulling over this review for a while now, because I can't quite put my finger on what I liked so much. 

I think the main reason that it was such a quick read, is because the story progressed in a fast pace and with lots of action. So much is being discovered and happening. Between the lessons and the time travelling, the encounters between characters and betrayals, there was simply no dull moment. Even simple conversations that lacked action were still very interesting for the plot and not tedious because they did not drag on. 


I adored the time travelling aspect. The idea of it is not exactly original and has been explored often enough in novels. However, it were Gier's details that made the time travelling process interesting and original. I liked that she devoted time in explaining the how's and what's of time travelling, for example how long somebody can travel through time and where to.  The chronograph was an interesting addition in that and I loved her choices for time periods. Mostly though, I liked the balance between historical accuracy and the way some time travelers switched things up a bit (like the mobile phone).

Last but not least, almost every character was appealing in its own right. Gwyneth clumsiness and sarcasm in narrating was very refreshing and served as a comic relief of sorts. Leslie was an actually useful sidekick and I fell in love with the heroic Gideon without a moment's hesitation. However, others like Falk, the ghost boy or Mr. Bernard were equally interesting and it's almost a shame that I could not find out more about them.

The one thing I did not really like about this book is that its genre is rather misleading. I started reading under the impression that this was a Young Adult book, but was disappointed for it seemed more suitable for middle graders. At times Gwyneth did not feel sixteen to me and the language was a little bit to mundane and superficial at times for it to be directed at young adults. 


My last comment is a matter of opinion though and despite it, I still enjoyed Ruby Red a lot! The time travelling is brilliant to read about, but there's a mystery to it as well and a fair share of romance.


4 stars because:
✓ Fast paced and full of action
✓ Time travelling!
✓ Fun characters
✗Not very YA-focused

 

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