Author: Franchesca Lia Block & Carmen Staton
From the beloved author of Necklace of Kisses comes a modern-day fairy tale of a wilful and intuitive heroine and a world of shocking realism and transcendent magic. Francesca Lia Block, this time with co-writer Carmen Staton, introduces readers to Ruby, a Midwestern girl named for the jewel that is believed to ward off evil spirits. Ruby's special gift is a sixth sense that makes her at one with nature and gives her the ability to know her own destiny. After growing up in an abusive family, Ruby escapes to Los Angeles and learns of her soulmate -- Orion -- a British actor. She travels to England, where she works at a potions and herbs shop, and through a series of coincidental circumstances, ends up nursing Orion back to health without confessing that she has been on a quest to find him all along. But just when she thinks her dream is becoming a reality, Ruby is stopped in her tracks by the violent demons of her past. Only by facing the darkness together can she and Orion finally fulfill their destiny.
Ruby is only the second book I’ve read from Francesca Lia Block, the first being Pretty Dead, and she is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. In both books the main character overcomes a horrifying situation and end up with a fairy tale ending. Ruby is the powerful story of a girl with a sixth sense who grows up with an abusive father. I despise her father and people like him. The memories Rudy recalls about the emotional and physical abuse she and her sister have suffered are hard to stomach, nothing in this book is sugar coated, but knowing that she escaped and is looking for her soulmate helped me read through the darker parts of the book. I kept reminding myself that she was on her way to being happy.
Throughout the book Ruby narrates in an odd form of first person that sometimes includes the present tense. It’s not really explained why until Orion, not in person, is firstly introduced into the story. 2+2= Ruby’s telling Orion about her life from childhood to present. After watching him act in a movie she knows they’re soulmates. It’s not explained how she know, just that she does. Sixth sense and all.
Orion, whose narrations are wirten by Carmen Staton, is average as far as guys in books come. He’s not overly exciting, but it’s not boring either. He’s rather sweet and funny. There’s this one part in the book, right before they start dating where he’s trying to impress her, but he feels like Ruby is overshadowing his attempts. He voices this as a playful complaint that goes something like “I’m trying to impress you, but you keep one upping me.”
As an extra caution I don’t recommend this book to young teens due to its abuse theme, minor graphic/implied sex scenes, and animal abuse/death. To learn more about Franchesca Lia Block and her books you can visit her site here: Francesca Lia BlockOverall I give this book 4/5 Zombie infections.