Book Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

ruby_redReview of: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, translated by Anthea Bell

Genre: Time Travel, YA, Fantasy

Gwenyth Shepherd comes from a family with the gift of time travelers. According to everything she knows, though, the gene has missed her.  The time traveler is expected to be Gwen’s beautiful, educated (though very snotty) cousin Charlotte.  So when Gwen begins to experience the symptoms of time travel–nausea and dizziness–she expects she’s just coming down with the flu.  It’s as much to her surprise as every one else’s when she begins to time travel and it becomes evident that she, not Charlotte, is the newest time traveler of the family. Unfortunately, since nobody expected her to need the education of a time traveler, she is light years behind in the things she “should” know, and expected to work with Gideon, who has been studying time travel related subjects his whole life.  As disagreeable as he seems, they’re going to have to learn to work together and get along, if they are to have any hope of surviving in 18th century England, let alone piecing together the mystery of Gwen’s birth.

Ruby Red is a fast paced trip into a world of time travel and mysteries.  It was everything I expect from a YA time travel novel.  Interesting characters, humor, and a little romance–all tied up in a pretty package with mystery string.  Honestly, when I started it, I didn’t expect to like it so much.  I had downloaded it for a little light Christmas-break reading, nothing too serious.  And then I could not put it down.  The story just flowed right along for me, and I was swept right into it.  I whizzed through Ruby Red in less than a day… and promptly downloaded the other 2 books in the series and finished them just as fast.  I’m not kidding, you guys.  This trilogy had me hooked.

It was a little bit predictable as far as the romance goes, but come on, people.  It’s YA fiction.  You kind of HAVE to have the cheesy romance and a little teenage angst. It didn’t have the dreaded teenage love triangle, which makes it good in my book!  The characters were believable too.  Flawed enough, but still likable.  Except for Charlotte, which I think was kind of the point.  Charlotte is a horrible person and everybody should hate her.  She just made me want to slap her.  It was actually a little irritating to me that Gwen was always so pragmatic about her more irritating family members.  She just tolerated them and tried to avoid them when she could–they never really got a good comeuppance. Oh well.  Apparently I’m supposed to be learning patience right along with Gwen.

If you’re a fan of the fast-paced, lighter story lines of YA fiction, and if you like to delve into fantasy/time travel genres, definitely look into this series.  Hopefully you’ll be as riveted by it as I was!  Have you read Ruby Red?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments!

I loved it: 5 out of 5 stars