Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (YABBC)

December 23, 2013 Review, YABBC 22 ★★★½

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (YABBC)
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Square Fish
Source: Purchased
Pages: 324
Release Date: May 22nd 2012
Series: Precious Stone Trilogy #1
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Gwen lives with her extended – and rather eccentric – family in an exclusive London neighborhood. In spite of her ancestors’ peculiar history, she’s had a relatively normal life so far. The time-traveling gene that runs like a secret thread through the female half of the family is supposed to have skipped over Gwen, so she hasn’t been introduced to “the mysteries,” and can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesly. It comes as an unwelcome surprise when she starts taking sudden, uncontrolled leaps into the past.

She’s totally unprepared for time travel, not to mention all that comes with it: fancy clothes, archaic manners, a mysterious secret society, and Gideon, her time-traveling counterpart. He’s obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she’s seen in any centrury . . . .
bec (2)

I’ve been wanting to read a book about time travel for too long. So it’s not hard to believe I was pretty excited when RUBY RED was chosen to be this months YABBC read and delved into it as soon as I possibly could (though didn’t get around to writing this review immediately after finishing…)

The story of Gwen and her family’s time travel genes unfolds fairly slowly. A lot of time is spent explaining and showing which I both appreciated and hated. It was good because it made sure we had a firm understanding of the world and the time travel and the rules. Bad because I wanted more time travel! The time’s Gwen visited were often times that I like my historical fiction to be set and I wanted to spend more time in the past worlds, where there was intrigue and danger and investigation. No proper prolonged time travel was done until at least three quarters in, so the story dragged a little until then, but after that it was quite exciting. Until it ends in the middle of a book. Or what feels like it. I have so many unanswered questions that have me frustrated because I don’t have SAPPHIRE BLUE in my hands this very moment…

Despite the abrupt ending and plot developing slower than I’d like, this is an enjoyable, light read. The writing style makes me think this might be targeted toward a younger YA audience (though some part of this may have something to do with the translation). It reminded me of HEX HALL–humourous and quick and just easy to read. It was refreshing.

Gwen was a good main character for the most part. She has a lot of quirks and could be a bit oblivious at times. The many side characters all had their own charms and I wish we could have learnt more about some of them. Gideon is the love interest and intrigues me, though I need to see more of him before I really make up my mind. There was a fair amount of time spent by Gwen admiring his good looks or making remarks about his… unpleasant personality (the typical YA romance really, where the guy seemed like a jerk but does actually have an incredibly nice side). I am not sure where the romance was supposed to be going in RUBY RED, the characters only having just met and all, so there’s not really any development and at the same time I am confused because of reasons…

Anyway, this was supposed to be a brief review and I rambled. Basically, I quite enjoyed RUBY RED. It’s nice and light and easy to read and my only real complaint is that it feels like half a book. I think fans of books like HEX HALL will enjoy the writing in this.

Rating Report
Overall: 3.6

22 Responses to “Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (YABBC)”

  1. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    I’ve been meaning to read this book but never got the time to read it yet. And after reading this review, I am not so sure if I am going to get into it any time soon. The flaw that you have pointed out re: the romance is not really encouraging you know.

    I might give this a try but I’ll be going to take my time. :D

    Great review, Bec!
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: Dead Beautiful

    • Bec

      Yeah, there were hints of romance but I’m not sure what it was trying to achieve in this book.. And the characters have only known each other for a day by the time the book ends so if you were looking for a big romance this might not be for you…

      Anyway, I hope you try it eventually! It might surprise you :)


    • Bec

      The explanations are done well so it’s not boring-slow. It just takes its time setting everything up. Definitely have the second book ready to go as soon as you possibly can. You’ll want it ASAP

  2. Jessica @ a GREAT read

    Ooh nice review! I’ve had this one sitting in my TBR pile pretty much since its release! I like a good time travel/magic-y book and this one sounded pretty good! Plus I had won the first copy! Really hoping to get around to it one of these days! But again, very nice review! I look forward to reading this one!

  3. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I looooove time travel. time travel is one of my most beloved subjects in fiction despite there not being enough of it. I think the best one I read was Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux (check it out if you can :P). Anyway, not sure if I want to read this one – Hex Hall infuriated the heck out of me because I didn’t enjoy the writing very much. There was just something so “young” about it, and I’m the type of person who prefer deeper stuff and deeper prose. But I am glad you liked it!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

    • Bec

      I wish I read more of it! I’m definitely going to check that book out…

      Yeah, sounds like you might not like this writing style. I do love darker & deeper prose too, but sometimes it’s good to break it up with something light and easy to read :)

  4. Kezia

    I like time travel but I haven’t heard much of Ruby Red, thus I didn’t pick it up when I saw a copy at my bookstore. The lack of character development and slow moving plot turned me off a bit…but the romance is a bit understandable since this is YA and it usually happens like that -_- Most sci-fi books are quite heavy. However, it’s good to hear that this book is still light and easy to read! Great review, Bec! Hopefully your questions will be answered in the second book :)

    Oh, and Merry Christmas! <3
    Kezia recently posted…[Review] The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

    • Bec

      It’s a really good nice and easy read! If that’s what your after, but the small page number didn’t allow the plot to progress where I wanted it too. I’m pretty sure answers will be answered in the next for books, this one was just setting it up.


  5. Tanja

    I have seen this book only few days ago for the first time. I though it would be an interesting read, but I wasn’t so sure. I mean the whole concept of time travel is really interesting and everything but that ending and slow progress would bother me. Great review :)
    Tanja recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (#76)

    • Bec

      Yeah, overall it’s a really good book. It just has a few little issues. I hope you decide to check it out later maybe :)


  6. Andreea

    This one was such a success here in Germany since it’s a German book and the book has even been turned into a movie (didn’t see it) and I am glad that this series has become so popular in English speaking countries as it’s a cute series. I only read the first book which I enjoyed, but I don’t think I will continue with this series as I didn’t love it and there are so many books out there and so little time that I have to choose wisely which series I am going to continue with or not:)

    Anyway, glad you liked the book too.


  7. Bec

    I bet it was! I haven’t seen the movie yet, I’m trying to find it subbed somewhere (having no knowledge of any German whatsoever). It is cute and fun so it’s easy to see how it’s had success over here :)

    That’s fair enough!

  8. Pam@YA Escape from Reality

    I really enjoyed this book (the whole series), it is light and fun. I loved Gwen and her best friend and I enjoyed Gwen’s relationship with Gideon (although at one point I realized the whole series takes place in about a week or something so it moves really fast). My biggest complaint is that it’s really one book broken out into three. There’s just one plot, and each book just ends, so that’s pretty annoying. But I did really enjoy the series, glad you liked it!
    Pam@YA Escape from Reality recently posted…Book Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

    • Bec

      It feels like it’s going to be a good series :) The whole series takes place over a WEEK?? Makes sense considering the first book is 2-3 days but wow. That’s really fast.

      It does feel like this is only part of a book. Maybe I’ll wait until I can get the next two before and marathon the series :)

  9. Sunny

    I read this a while ago and kept meaning to read the sequels and now I have to reread this! I agree though, it was pretty enjoyable and the main character was mostly good. I don’t like TOO much obliviousness from characters, but quirky is good. Great review, Bec!

    • Bec

      Quirky is fun to read :) I think it’d be best to marathon the entire series in one shot (they all seem to end in the middle of the book apparently…) Thanks!

    • Bec


      I wish I could read them one after the other but alas… Those characters would have been fantastic! They were interesting and could have done with more page time.

    • Bec

      That is great to hear because it’s what I want from the series. Can’t wait to read the rest.

      Aahaha, that’s the problem I have with all my favourite series. They end to soon and not where I want (after the characters live a long, happy life and die peacefully)

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