Title: Ruby Blue
Author: Julie Cassar
Genre: YA/PN with some minor Romance
Source: Author provided review copy
Star Rating: 4 ****
Blurb :Meet Ruby. She’s your average (somewhat dorky) ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and, oh yeah…she sees fairies.
After Nick Martino (possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known) finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when a bizarre incident strikes their lakeside town.Stumbling bare-foot through some interesting dates, will she ever find love? And what does Ruby do when more strange events continue to occur? Will she keep her gift of Fairy Sight a secret? As an ancient myth unfolds and new mystic fairy tales come to life, Ruby and her menagerie of friends tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale. See what legends come to life in “Ruby Blue,” a young adult fantasy fiction novel and the first installment of the Ruby Blue series.
Let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall we? This was a good book. I like Ruby. I like the story line. I love that it is very firmly a YA novel. I could, without a doubt, hand this book to my 12 year old niece and feel no guilt. I am 28 (29 on Sunday) years old. I enjoyed this story, but I think that a younger audience would LOVE this story. It is perfect for them. It’s got hot boys, romance, mystery, fae and dragons. It teaches love and equality. Jeremy, Ruby’s bff is a young gay man. He is comfortable with himself and Ms. Cassar was comfortable putting him out there. He is a genuine human being and not some character that pop culture tells us gay men/boys should be. Kudos for that. There is sexual innuendo but nothing inappropriate for today’s teens. Ms. Cassar wove a wonderful story that was easy to follow. My only complaint about the writing itself would be, that it tended to be telling me and not showing me things (and this happened very rarely) and occasionally the characters descriptions would be repeated. If you are a fan of YA you know that this is a common occurrence. I have no idea why Stephanie Meyer decided that she needed to constantly tell us what Edward and Bella looked like…but she did. This was no were near as annoying as that was.
This book is timeless. I feel like she could have rewound the clock 60 years and Ruby and gang would be right at home. I love that about books. As a matter of fact I feel more comfortable picturing Ruby and Nick in ’50’s garb and poodle skirts. Umm James Dean, Young Marlon Brando (yum). I had a hard time connecting the teens in this world with the modern day teens I see everyday. The teens I encounter are a bunch of entitled asshats. Ruby and her gang have a fair amount of snark, but they keep it clean. I know that Ms. Cassar did this to make the book readable by a younger and broader audience. You should hear some of the things I hear the teenagers around me talking about. None of them are this innocent, none of them are this respectful and very few of them are as open minded as these teens. I respect that Ms. Cassar is setting a good example for kids. She is saying you can be badass and slay dragons, make out with hot guys, and have fun without being a total wanker.
Overall I recommend this book to moms who want to buy their younger teen a book appropriate for them. It still has risque things but it’s not in your face. I also recommend it to older readers who are tired of reading adult subject matter in YA books.
*I know I like books with adult subject matter in YA books. But I am an adult. I know the difference between romance and stalkerish behavior. I’ve already lived through my crazy years and can now look back at them fondly and say…wow, Lori, that was dumb as shit. All I am saying is that is nice to have a book I can hand to my niece without worrying about getting a phone call from her mom asking me why she is writing intense make out scenes in her journal….featuring some of the more popular YA book stars. Do you see what I am saying? I’m not knocking either style of book. They are what they are. I’m just relieved that I can give her a break from all the chaos of the life that she is about to enter. The hormones, the cliques, the parties. The rejection from the hot guy. She’s not there yet. But she will be soon.
**Sigh this was more of a rant than an actual review. So let me summarize my feelings on this book. It’s a good contemp book with timeless qualities. It has supernatural elements, it has hot boys and smart kick ass girls. It has action, it has adventure and it can easily be read by adults and children as young as 12. Overall, a great and solid. 3.5-4 star book.