Monday 26 January 2015

Book Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

    Title: Ruby Red
    Author: Kerstin Gier
    Publisher: Henry Holt
    Published: May 10th 2011
    Pages: 336
    Rating: 1 Star

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


Before I delve into this review I first want to point something out - I should NEVER have picked up this book. Why you may ask? Well, because this does not even remotely sound like a book I would enjoy. The blurb alone would be evidence enough of that, two particular sentences stand out the most:

 "can spend her time hanging out with her best friend, Lesley, watching movies and talking about boys."

 Oh and it gets worse...

"He's obnoxious, a know-it-all, and possibly the best-looking guy she's seen in any century..."

So, from this blurb you can easily gather that the romance is going to pretty central to the plot and if you have to happen to like that, that is great and you may well just enjoy this book. I, however, HATE plot lines driven by romance so I should have known better than to read this book, but guess what?...I didn't even read the synopsis. I purely bought this book due to all the hype surrounding it, something I did quite a lot when I described the book blogging/booktubing communities.

So that is just pretty much just a disclaimer to say that while I had strong feeling of dislike towards this book it is not because the book promised to be something more, I was just too silly to read the synopsis and know not to read it.

Now, onto the less than glowing review.

One of the worst things about this book, for me, was how it read. Words and sentences did not flow together like they should, their were several typos in the first page alone and it felt like I was reading a book aimed at children rather than young adults in the sheer simplicity of the language. Now, don't get me wrong sometimes simple language is a great deal better than the convoluted overly metaphorical language used by some authors but this was too simplistic. Now I feel a bit harsh commenting on the writing style and language as this is a translated book, so do bear that in mind if you plan on reading it.

It was not only the writing style that appeared to be aimed more towards pre-teens but the plot as well. The protagonist of the story Gwen was supposed to be a sixteen year old girl, but read more as a twelve year old. For example her discussion of "kissing boys"...

"Kissing, said Lesley, ought really to be taught as a school subject...We often discussed what the ideal kiss would be like, and there were any number of films we'd watched over and over again just because of the good kissing scenes in them."


 A twelve year old talking like that...okay fair enough but 

Not only is Gwen really immature but she also really dense. Okay harsh I know but she genuinely knows nothing, and can't even remember a password that she has heard like ten times, 

"The password?" Quark edit bisquitis. Or something like that. "Qua redit nescitis." Well, i'd had it almost right."

There are plenty more incidents just like this that make Gwen out to be a total ditz. My favourite line of all had to be this, 

"When we had come in, someone had risen from a chair at the desk , nodded to Mr. George, and left the room without a word. "Was that man mute?" I asked. It was the first thing that came into my head."

Oh, but of course he is mute because what other explanation could there possibly be...


 Gwen's best friend isn't much better(again, more twelve than sixteen), she was the most flat and pointless character. She had no personality except to be the friend who googled everything and finds out loads of information and is soooo excited for her friend. Booooring.

There was not one character in this story that I actually liked. Gideon was, of course, the most beautiful specimen to ever grace the earth and also a complete chauvinist along with every other male in the story. Every character was just so unoriginal - you had the crazy great aunt, the snobby aunt, the self-righteous cousin, the worried mother, the excited friend and the handsome love interest...need I say more.

Aside from all of that, the most annoying thing about this book was the complete and utter lack of a plot line. I mean, nothing happened...NOTHING. After 100 pages in I thought, okay something is going to happen now...nope...200...nope...then towards the end something happens...just nothing exciting.

I am not even going to discuss the romance...

I want to finish on a positive note so I will say I liked the idea of time-travel... 

I will not be continuing this series for very obvious reasons...

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