Book Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier.

"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."

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Time Traveling. 
Published: January 2009
Original title: Rubinrot. 

Ruby Red is the first book in the Ruby Red Trilogy (original title: Edelstein Trilogie) and the original language is German. Ruby Red came out in May of 2011, translated by Henry Holt.

My thoughts. 
I first read this book in Dutch, around two years ago, and somehow the book always stayed with me. I would wake up in the morning and remember parts of the story, not knowing which book it was. Now that I have the book and read it for the second time around, I can honestly say that I am a bit addicted to the time travel thing that is going on in these books.

Gwyneth's family is a time traveling family and because of that, Gwyneth has never really fitted in anywhere. she can see ghosts while no one else in her family has that kind of gift. Gwyneth herself has never connected her weird ability to the possibility that she might be the one with the right (or wrong, depends on how you look at it) genes. It's always been very clear that her cousin Charlotte would be the one to jump back into time.

Because of her special ability and being the black swan not only at school but also in her family, Gwyneth is shy and insecure. The anticipation for her jump is pretty obvious, because at the beginning of the book they immediately start talking about signs and warnings that you would feel or see before jumping, and that is exactly what happens to Gwyneth.

Once she jumped back and forth, she is not sure what to do because she is afraid of her family's reaction. Eventually, they react the expected way; they accuse Gwyneth of lying and trying to steal the spotlight.
But after a while, her mother admits that Gwyneth was born on the same day as Charlotte and that makes the chance of Gwyneth having the genes a lot bigger.

The story builds up to her future 'jumps' and the secret she gets mixed up in. Gideon is a handsome but somewhat ignorant time traveler from a different family, and before Gwyneth jumped, he had always had trainings with Charlotte. Charlotte had fallen in love with him and the fact that Gwyneth now got to spend so much time with him, made her even more angry.

Gideon, at first, really likes to make Gwyneth feel dumb and stupid, because she never had any training, so she doesn't know how to act in a different time period.
I think that the story got better and better near the end of the book because they were jumping more frequently and you could see the relationship between Gideon and Gwyneth develop. This is also the part where there are more things going on. Apparently, two time travelers from Gwyneth's family, stole a chronograph which is an instrument used for time traveling, and Gwyneth gets all mixed up in this secret and she finds out that there is a lot more history in her family than just the time traveling part.

I feel like this book was a build up story for the next two books. It's all about getting to know the characters and how the time traveling thing works. There is not as much action or depth in this book as I would have hoped, but it does keep you reading.
Gwyneth's character is fun, intelligent and brave and her thoughts also made me wonder about the secrets in her family and who they could trust and what had happened.

The story overall is well written, there is humour and romance and historic facts, which is really fun. Kerstin did a great job describing England in the 18th century, where everything was still simple and old fashioned. It's not difficult to read, it's a fun subject with great characters and an awesome storyline and it grabs your attention.
Definitely worth the read if you ever come across it and if I have convinced you one way or another, go buy it.

This is the Dutch cover, by the way. I really like the illustrations and the black against the soft pink. I do think that the American cover is more attractive for older people, while this one is cute, but it looks a bit more childish.

For those who didn't know this book, just pick it up if you want an easy but fun read and if you are into more fantasy / time traveling novels.

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