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Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

in a sentence or so: Gwen, who up until her first trip back in time, was certain that her cousin Charlotte had inherited the time-traveling gene. Gwen is totally unprepared for traveling through time, for the secret society that she has to be a part of, and particularly unprepared for this broody boy named Gideon who is going to be her partner through all of this craziness.

Gwen knows her family is different. for one, she lives in a gigantic house with a ball-room, a butler, and much of her extended family. she calls her grandma "Lady Arista". her aunt has strange visions. her cousin has taken fencing and foreign language lessons to prepare herself for time-travel. Gwen can see and talk to ghosts. yeah, Gwen knows all of these things are strange, which is why she's most happy when she's with her best friend Lesley talking about movies.

and then, to everyone's surprise, Gwen travels back in time. though only for a moment, she now knows for sure that she is the carrier of the time-traveling gene and not her super prepared cousin Charlotte. Gwen, after having dished every single detail to Lesley, tells her mom. she's then immediately whisked away to a secret building and secret underground society where secret people carry secret folders with lots of secrets hidden inside. okay so you get the whole secretive deal.

Gwen's place in the time traveling circle is called Ruby. there's Diamond, Citrine, Emerald, and so on...and the last one is Ruby. Gwen is the final time traveler, which means not only is this whole experience foreign to her, but she has a Big Job to do. as soon as she figures out what that is, she'll let you know.  the only thing she knows for certain is she's partnered up with a stuck-up know-it-all who just happens to be pretty dang attractive.

this book was a blend of The Princess Diaries and The Mortal Instruments series, but without the supernatural creatures. okay, there are ghosts but no werewolves or angels or anything. also, Gwen's relationship with her best friend Lesley was a great way for the reader to decompress the information and connect with Gwen as the heroine of the series.

being the first in a series, Ruby Red lays some good groundwork that i'm sure will prove relevant. there were some minor characters who were mentioned more than once who i'm sure will come up with a more important role later on. the core of this read was Gwen's discovery of being a time-traveler and sharing all that information with her bestie. we learn about the society that Gwen is now a part of, though there are still plenty of mysteries to unravel.

and i am SO in for the unraveling of the mysteries. Gwen is hilarious, easy to relate to, and so authentic. i love her realism placed within a story with supernatural elements. honestly, this didn't feel like a Fantasy Novel, and for that i'm thankful. obviously with the time-traveling and the ghost seeing, there are some supernatural elements...but Gwen's personality and voice were so refreshing and contemporary that i hesitate to typecast it as a paranormal.

if you're in the mood for a rockin' heroin on a great and mysterious journey through time with an infuriatingly charismatic partner, check this one out. you will not be disappointed!

fave quote: "'What will happen when the Circle of Blood closes?' Good heavens, I heard myself talking just like one of them. Circle of Blood. Next thing I knew, I'd start speaking in verse." (pg 177)

fix er up: i should note that this is already a best-selling series in Germany that's being translated into English. that being said, i didn't detect anything that felt awkward or clunky in the slightest. why put that in the fix er up part of my review? i don't know. but there it is. there's nothing i want to fix up, so i may as well address what i THOUGHT was going to be something worth fixing.

title: Ruby Red (Ruby Red Trilogy 1)
author: Kerstin Gier
publisher: Henry Holt and Company (imprint of Macmillan)
genre: Contemporary, Fantasy
release date: May 10, 2011
buy the book: Amazon

[ftc notice: i received an advance review copy of Ruby Red courtesy of Macmillan publishing in exchange for an honest review. i did not receive any compensation for this review.]

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Great review! I love that "Rubin Rot" is also an appealing read when it's translated into English. Hope Gwen and Gideon will get more international fans! I am from Germany, so no wonder I already read and loved all three books in this series(yes, I know how it ends:D)

    I really like your blog, am a new follower:)

  2. SO jealous of your completion of the series! it saddens me that i will have to wait, but it's good to know it's worth it. :)

    and thanks for the blog compliments! <3


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