Ruby Red (Ruby Red #1) by Kerstin Gier
Genres: YA Adventure, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Sci-fi
Time traveling runs in Gwyneth Shepherd’s veins. There’s a mysterious gene that allows certain women in her family to go back in time. All her life, she thought her intelligent, classy and otherwise perfect cousin Charlotte would be the gene carrier. Suddenly Gwyneth gets thrown back in time, and replaces Charlotte as the gene carrier and the one that everyone pays attention to.
Now Gwyn has to find out why her mother hid her true birthday for 15 years, meet the man who started everything, including their secret society, and work with Gideon De Villiers, the male gene carrier. Soon Gideon’s presence becomes less annoying and irking, and more essential.
They need to discover who they can trust back in time. Or else they may not get home.
Okay, let’s just get this straight. I saw this on a list at TeenVogue.com titled “25 Must-Read Summer Books“. I read the description, and started obsessing over it. So an after0effect of that was having rather high expectations of the book, which I think was unfair of me and made the book seem worse than it really was (it wasn’t horrible).
So. I thought Ruby Red seemed promising. I mean, it had time travel, which i thoroughly like (see this review and you’ll know why), plus it had a hint of a romance that didn’t seem to dominate the whole plot. I got that from the summary written at Teen Vogue.
Here is what I thought after reading the book.
The first chapter was slow and uninteresting. it was one of those where my reaction was “Alright, this is happening. What’s next (so we can get this over with)?”, not like “Oh my gosh this is actually happening!” followed by a squeal. The prologue was one of the good parts. It made me think, because it was confusing. I managed to get that they were talking about Gwyn, it happened when she was born, the 2 people were a man and a woman, and they were in love with each other (the guy proposed and she said yes).
Another thing that didn’t wow me so much was the characters. Everyone seemed so typical. There was Gwyneth, the girl that no-one pays attention to much, and lives in Charlotte’s shadow. Charlotte’s the typical Miss Perfect; the complete package with good looks and brains. Then Gideon came along and became the “unbearable-turned-adorable” love interest. If this happened anywhere else, and it played out well, then I wouldn’t mind; I might even be shipping! In here, though, it’s a different story. I didn’t ship at all.
Another thing about Gideon: his personality didn’t seem realistic. In one part of the book (don’t worry, this isn’t a major plot point, so it’s not really a spoiler. Much.), Gwyn sees Gideon comforting Charlotte about her “loss” of her position as the gene carrier. Gideon’s saying things like Gwyn wouldn’t erase the memories they had of each other, and I think at one point he even insulted Gwyn to make Charlotte feel better. Of course, being Gwyn, she immediately assumed that Gideon loved Charlotte. It also seemed that in the first bit after Gideon’s introduced, he treats Gwyn like she’s inferior to him and Charlotte, and basically he’s just really rude. After Gwyn gets scared, though, he comforts her, and it’s like he turned likeable with a snap of someone’s fingers.
Another thing I’m slightly miffed about: the time traveling. Before reading this, I looked up how time traveling worked on (what else) howstuffworks.com. They had so many theories, and I managed to get most of them. They were rather complex, and I couldn’t help but compare it with Ruby Red, and I felt that it contrasted with time travel’s simplicity there.
The plot seemed like it was missing a problem. The whole story’s based on Gwyn going back in time, doing pretty much nothing but meeting The Count (I’ll leave you to discover who he is). There was no real problem, as far as I could tell. The conclusion didn’t wrap things up too well either. It’s extremely open, and leads directly into the next book, Sapphire Blue. It seemed like Ms. Gier left us with a cliffhanger. It’s not even a good cliffhanger. If you get to the end you’ll see what I mean.
A thing I did like about Ruby Red was that it took place in London, England (there are a lot of Londons in the world, as evidenced by the 2012 Summer Olympics :D). Even though I’ve never been to London, or even Europe, for that matter, I still love it. The thing is, (oh, here I go again :() the settings aren’t described too well. Pretty much the only places she described a lot were the Temple, Gwyn’s house and street, and maybe her school.
My end opinion of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier was that it was disappointing. If any of you read it, and totally agree/disagree with this post, you can tell me so in my comments 🙂