Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Gier, Kerstin: Ruby Red
336 pages, Henry Holt and Co.
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.
Gwenyth Shepherd has always known that her cousin Charlotte will be the one who inherits their family's time-traveling gene - an important role for the sake of society and the past, and one that Gwenyth, who prefers watching movies with her best friend Lesley and shunning the center of attention, hardly envies.
However, when it is Gwen who goes back in time three times in the matter of one day, the entire family is turned on its ear. Charlotte, the one who got the language, fencing and ettiquette lessons, now is obsolete - and a destined line of time travelers predicted in part by Sir Issac Newton himself is now in question.
Gwen is now compelled to be her family's new champion, alongside the infuriating and devilishly handsome Gideon de Villiers, but it is hardly going to be easy. A hidden family scandal, outfits straight out of Marie Antoinette's wardrobe, and a count who isn't quite on the same scale of Dracula, but bad enough, are all waiting in the wings to make this teenager's ride through time one she'll never forget.
It is easy to see how this story would be an international bestseller. Gier definitely knows her modern-day teenager, from Lesley and Gwen using period dramas to research the Virgin Queen, to Charlotte's sulking about no longer being the one in the limelight. Gideon, obviously identified as the love interest, is snarky and yet understanding as the story unwinds and you get to know him more.
This story is an excellent medley of both the past and the present, and, from an author who is German, writing about England, and just recently translated into English, it is a pleasant surprise that definitely should be expected.
And let's tally up the rating points!
Believable, likeable heroine
Likeable (not at all Edward Cullen-esque) love interest
I'm a bit peeved with myself for not saving this book until the next has been translated; now I really have a long wait ahead of me.