Up today is RUBY RED. I cannot adequately explain how much I loved this book. I started reading it, and immediately got a Cornelia Funke vibe. So I flipped to the back to find out more about the author, and what do you know? Kerstin is from Germany too!
I think I need to go there to figure out how to write in such a compelling manner.
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.
My take: This book has it all. Great writing, a compelling heroine, and a unique premise. It's time travel in a sea of YA novels where surprisingly time travel is strangely absent. In fact, I stumbled upon this book's existence while in New York.
My agent and I went to Books of Wonder, a children's bookstore on 18th Street. I fell in love instantly, of course. But the true gem was a girl named Kayla. She asked me if I needed help finding something, and I said I wanted a YA time travel novel.
She said she couldn't think of anything, we chatted, and she left. A few minutes later, she came back with a card with Ruby Red written on it. At the time, the book wasn't out yet. No problem; it's not like I don't have enough to read.
But when I got home, Kayla had emailed me, saying she had an ARC of Ruby Red, and would I like to borrow it?
RUBY RED is a fantastic novel with complex characters. Gwyneth is done masterfully, with enough of a hint at romance for a kissing-fanatic like me. She worries about the right things. She thinks through the consequences.
And the time travel is refreshing. (See, I'm a sucker for things time-related. I'm a bit obsessed with time.) Intriguing, with just enough information given to keep the reader going. Kerstin Gier is a master-writer. I think I'll book my ticket to Germany now.
Readers who like Cornelia Funke (and who doesn't??) will like Ruby Red.
Are you interested in time travel? What have you read that is a bit off the beaten path, but incredibly well-done?
Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to this week at the Reading Room.
Or on their blogs:
- LiLa Roecker is nuts for I’m Not Her
- Beth Revis reveals her reading recommendations
- Carolina Valdez Miller is bedazzled by Between – with giveaway
- Jessi Kirby discovers Where Things Come Back
- Shana Silver wonders at The Near Witch
- Shannon Whitney Messenger swoons for Supernaturally – with giveaway
- Shelli Johannes-Wells features “guestanisto” author Matt Blackstone
- Stasia Ward Kehoe celebrates Selling Hope
- Christine Fonseca interviews picture book author Michelle McLean – with giveaway