Title: Ruby Red
Author: Kerstin Gier
Published: May 10th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Summary: "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."
Thoughts: Time travel? Romance? Adventure? Count me in! I have to say, I enjoyed Ruby Red far more than I thought I would. It's no wonder why this trilogy is an international bestseller and has been translated into 17 different languages. Not only is the story well adapted for teens, but it's also well written enough for adults to enjoy.
In the beginning, I have to admit the story has a bit of a slow start. From how the time traveling gene is passed on to Gwyneth's first few trips into the past, I found myself a bit confused. The history behind the genes also felt a bit far fetched. Creative, but highly unlikely and a little odd. Luckily, the story only gets better as it progresses, as does the history. It definitely gets more interesting when Gideon first comes into the picture.
The romance between Gideon and Gwyneth, while subtle and sweet, felt a bit forced. I really liked Gideon and Gwyneth as characters, but it seems like they're together because they're both time travelers and well, if there's only one other person like you out there, then that person must be the one for you! I guess what I'm trying to say is I wish their relationship was more developed rather than there just to be there. Nonetheless, I did enjoy their bantering and adventures into the past together. They do make a great combo and the story wouldn't be have as great as it was without them.
Now, I have to talk about the writing style and setting. With the way this novel is written, there's no way you can not finish it. It's engrossing and addicting. The places these two time travel to are so lavish and described so beautifully that you start to wish you could physically see if for yourself. I wish I could be in London in 1778. I wish I could experience balls and gowns and everything in between. And the best part? The hi-jinks. Believe me, mischief is still to be had.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ruby Red and look forward to reading it's sequel next year. I might have struggled to read the first 100 pages, but gobbled up the last 200 like a starving person on Thanksgiving. The setting is fantastic, the writing is lovely and the story is marvelous.