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.
Design – ? Rating – 5/5
This cover is, at 1st glance, just another girl in a pretty dress. However, I love it. It’s very well put together. The London cityscape in the background is tilted as if it’s spinning around to form a circle that highlights Gwyneth and draws your eye up. The deep red of the gown pops against the blue tint of the background. The bottom of the dress getting darker and running off the edges of the cover to highlight the title is great, and the way the Rs connect is lovely. Not a fan of the tagline, although it’s in a great location on the cover. I just really dislike taglines.
This book absolutely blew me away. It’s intensely difficult to put down. It’s complex, complicated, and confusing at times. Event of this book raise questions that don’t get answered until the 2nd, or even 3rd, book – which is just as intriguing as it is frustrating. I had to go back and reread this book so I could read the entire series back to back. Ruby Red is a whirlwind of time travel, mystery, romance, and danger. It has become one of my all-time favorites and I highly recommend it.
- Gwen – Gwen is strong-willed and intelligent, even in the face of being unexpectedly thrust into a world full of dangerous secrets, complicated time travel rules, and an infuriatingly bossy guy. Being entangled in an indecipherable prophecy and forced to time travel daily, Gwen remains stubborn and determined to do things her own way. She takes action when faced with perilous situations, and leaps headfirst into figuring things out when no one will tell her anything. I really admire Gwen’s drive to make things go her way rather than simply reacting to things happening to her.
- Lesley – Gwen’s best friend, Lesley, is fiercely loyal and intelligent. She is so concerned for Gwen’s safety and wellbeing, possibly more concerned than Gwen herself. Lesley takes it upon herself to find out whatever she can about time traveling and the secrets of the society Gwen has been swept up in. In a world of YA best friends who are defined only by being boy-crazy, best friends like Lesley are deeply refreshing and appreciated.
- time travel – The specifics of time travel as defined in the Ruby Red world are suitably confusing. You can only time travel if you have the time travel gene, which only appears in one girl and one boy ever generation. The reason travel is confusing is because the society keeps the secrets closely guarded. There’s also the prophecy of Gwen’s role in the closing of the circle of 12 time travelers throughout the generations, which is vague and threatens danger. Gideon, Gwen’s male counterpart, as well as the rest of the de Villiers family are content to keep Gwen in the dark despite her being vital to their cause.
- plot – Everything in this trilogy is so intertwined that it’s a bit hard to recall what happened in each book. This book has no dull moments. Everything happens quickly and Gwen’s time travel is full of danger and excitement. Gideon has met his match in Gwen, which he finds so difficult because he’s been preparing his entire life for traveling and Gwen’s been so unexpected in his life. Gideon’s given mission to gather the blood of all 12 of the time travelers has been further complicated by 2 of the travelers who stole a time travel device and disappeared somewhere in time. What happens when all 12 blood samples are united? Why was the chronograph stolen? Gwen is thrust into a situation where she doesn’t know which side is good, which side is evil, where anyone’s loyalties lie, or even what the endgame is.
- Gwen’s extended family – Gwen’s cousin Charlotte, her aunt Glenda, and her grandmother Lady Arista are all quite hard to like. Charlotte is really the only one who has any good reason to be rude to Gwen, but she takes it much too far. Glenda is disappointed about Charlotte not being the Ruby, but her fight with her sister (Gwen’s mom) spills over into her treatment of Gwen. While Glenda and Charlotte are snobby, rude, and outright mean to Gwen over things that Gwen has no control over, Lady Arista is merely reserved and stuck up. She’s really not a warm and fuzzy person, and mostly chooses to ignore Gwen and her siblings unless she is criticizing them.
- kissing – This isn’t a bad thing, just insanely frustrating! Gwen sees herself kissing someone, and then the questions raised by this scene aren’t answered until book 3! I know time travel is complex and all, but I want to know about the kissing right now! I’m not the most patient person when it comes to books.
“Didn’t I tell you to wait in the coach?” I didn’t react, so Gideon took my arm and pulled me to my feet. His face was completely drained of color. “That was incredibly reckless and…dreadfully dangerous and…” He swallowed hard and stared at me. “And, dammit all, rather brave of you.” – Gideon pg. 247
“You were talking to that niche in the wall again, Gwyneth. I saw you.”
“Yes, it’s my favorite bit of wall, Gordon. I’d hurt its feelings if I didn’t stop and talk to it.” – Gordon + Gwen pg. 277
Acquired: bought (ebook)