Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: May 10th, 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: I own a copy of this book.
Blurb: 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.
Review: First of all, that cover! It's gorgeous. I can assure you it is even MORE gorgeous in person since I own a hardback of this book. But guess what? They re-did the cover and now it's just a girl in a pretty dress!! And the sequel, Sapphire Blue, I don't even think they are publishing in hardback. Can you imagine this gorgeous cover in blue? I. AM. DISAPPOINT. But that has nothing to do with the contents, and so we move on to the actual review. But the cover!! *cries*
Ruby Red started out terribly for me. There was so much telling. All dialogue, and it was clunky and awkward. No sensory language whatsoever. The opening chapter did nothing to hook the reader and nothing happened. I didn't care for the writing style at all. I kind of felt like I was being talked down to. So it was a good thing I stuck with it. After about three chapters, the book all of a sudden got good. At some point I became loath to put it down. It felt like it was written by a completely different author. There was still more telling than I would have liked, and the writing style was a little odd, but the story was absolutely riveting and so unique.
Gwyneth was a brilliant protagonist. She was sassy, intelligent, and stuck up for herself when she needed to. Not at first, but she grew into her personality and that made her grow in my eyes. In the beginning, she was easily intimidated by everyone around her. But as the story progressed, she finally started standing up for herself and grew a backbone. I'm not saying I started out hating her, but I did think it was annoying how she let everyone, even her own family members, walk all over her. I look forward to reading the next book when she hopefully stands up to the rest of these buttheads and proves herself. There is one particular character I am thinking of, and I want her to get what is coming to her so badly. No spoilers. It's hard because I want to spill it all!!
I wouldn't say it's a slowly paced book, but it does take a little while to get going. So you need a little patience with this one. After Gwyneth time-travels for the first time, things start to pick up. And yet, I don't think this is a book for everyone. You can tell by reading that it has a long story arc. And this book was only just the beginning. I'm not even sure how many books are in this series. So if you like a book with a beginning, middle, and end, I can assure you that this book is not for you. But it's definitely worth reading if you like a longer, more epic type of storyline.
I've never been a fan of time travel books. I can now say that I don't think I've given them a fair shake. This book was utterly fabulous. If anyone has any great time travel stories to recommend me, I'd be happy to hear your recommendations. I'm not saying this will ever be a favorite genre (I didn't even like Back to the Future that much), but I'm willing to try since I really liked Ruby Red. I'd like to leave you with a quote that is a testament to Gwyneth's awesomeness.
"Gwyneth, we have to get moving! Breathe deeply, and it'll pass."
I stopped dead. This was too much.
"Oh, so it'll pass?" I made myself speak very slowly and distinctly, although I really felt like screeching. "And so if I've just killed a man, will that pass, too? My entire life has been turned upside down today--will that pass? Will the fact that an arrogant, long-haired, violin-playing creep in silk stockings can't think of anything better to do than order me about, even though I've just saved his stupid life, will that disappear as well? If you ask me, it's not surprising that I feel like puking. And just in case you're wondering, you make me want to throw up too!"
FYI. This one ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Not an evil one, but it's still there.