Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1)

9780312551513First Lines: As she fell to her knees and burst into tears, he looked all around the park.  Just as he’d expected, it was empty at this early hour.

Ever since I fell into the black hole that is the Outlander series last summer, time travel books (where the characters really go back in time) have become incredibly awesome to me.  And this book, going back in time in London, was a no-brainer.  I was there.

Gwen’s family has never been what you’d call “normal.”  In her family, a time travel gene is passed down through the women of her family, every few generations.  Lucky for Gwen, her cousin Charlotte has the gene.  Gwen can spend her time not at fencing lessons or learning how to ride sidesaddle, but with her best friend Lesley being a normal 16-year-old.  …That is until Gwen discovers she does actually have the gene, not Charlotte.  She’s completely unprepared for traveling through time.  Archaic speech, strange clothes, and outdated beliefs about life are the least of Gwen’s problems when she leaps back in time and can’t blend in.  And then there’s Gideon, the insufferable yet incredibly handsome male time traveler that is set to be her partner.  He can’t stand her and she can’t stand him…right?

One thing that was really excellent about this book was the world-building.  It was a lot of fun to get to know Gwen and her family and this new world she was suddenly dropped into.  It did a nice job introducing the mysterious society that’s in charge of everything and just how the time travel works.  And Gwen’s so snarky and she never takes anything seriously, which really made the whole thing entertaining.

On a related note, the characters were also really interesting.  Especially Gwen and her friend Lesley.  Total snark, the both of them.  They’re just normal teens, and a secret society of time travelers just tips them over the edge a lot.  (I couldn’t take the secret society seriously either, so it helped that they couldn’t.)

But the book is a bit of false advertising.  On the cover it says something about “She wasn’t expecting to travel through time…or to lose her heart.”  The ‘romance’ of this book was utter hogwash.  This book isn’t a romance at all.  I would have been totally fine with that if it had just been a case of false advertising with a decent story.  But no, it had to rush the romance in the tail end of the story like an afterthought to help market the story.  It even wants the audience to believe it’s true love even though it’s not even close to being a believable love story, let alone true love.  Nope, not buying what you’re selling.

That was my biggest issue with the book, but I think that also shows how the world building took a bit too long.  By the time I felt like I had a firm grasp on the story and the world, there were 40 pages left and a climax that didn’t feel very climactic because I had no idea what the story was even building to.

Overall, it’s worth checking out if this sounds like the kind of book you’d enjoy, but if you’re not into time travel and history, pass.

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3 thoughts on “Ruby Red (Precious Stone Trilogy, #1)

  1. Ruby Red has so been on my radar lately. There’s something about the covers I really love, and the time travel theme is a big plus. I’m relieved that romance isn’t as big a deal in this book as it the book jacket would lead us to believe. I’m tired of reading stories about strong, sassy, smart female characters who have to spend too much “trembling over the way [insert boy’s name here]’s bangs fall over his eyes” or how “the touch of his fingers makes her feel hot and cold at the same time.” Not that I don’t like swooning over a devastatingly good love story, but I think sometimes novels (YA fantasy especially) seem “required” to put romance into their story, and I hope that starts to balance out soon because there are so many more things to write about in life and human existence than a couple falling for each other. There are other kinds of love and then tons of territory to cover beyond that, including a young adult making her way through the world on her own terms.

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