Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young (YA)

Book Blurb

Stay tonight. Stay forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.


Toot's Review by Stacy Sabala

Audrey’s mother died about three months ago. Her father has given up and is taking her and her older brother, Daniel, to live with her grandmother Nell. Both Audrey and her brother know he isn’t coming back even though he said it was just for the summer.

On the way to Elko, Nevada they stop at the Ruby Hotel. Audrey is completely amazed. The hotel is glamorously decorated and seems old. There is a party in the ballroom and she sneaks in to watch from the balcony. Elias finds her and keeps her company until she is asked to leave by the Concierge named Kenneth. The parties occur every night it seems and you have to have a special invite to go. Elias attends them every night. He is required to. Audrey doesn’t understand why she doesn’t have an invite when her father and brother do.

Since she is unable to attend the parties she bonds with the staff. She finds friends and learns more about the hotel. It has a tragic past. She also learns how horrible the situation is for Elias and the others. Kenneth is a tyrant demanding everyone follow the rules. If they don’t his punishments are barbaric. They all live in fear of him.

Audrey hangs out with Elias and begins to fall for him. However there is something he isn’t telling her. No one seems to want to tell her what is really going on and avoid answering any of her questions. Her father is also acting weird. He is acting like he cares which he hasn’t done in months. She has no idea what to think about any of this. Something in the hotel is off and it becomes more obvious the longer she stays. She sees the punishments that Kenneth doles out also. He is very dangerous and scary.

When she finally figures out what is going on she can’t believe it. Her family’s lives are at stake. She has to make a tough decision that can save herself or those she loves. Her life hangs in the balance and the hotel becomes a dangerous place.

This book sounded interesting when I picked it to read and review. I immediately felt sorry for Audrey and Daniel for the loss they had experienced and the abandonment from their father. You can see the distance that exists in the family now. Once they stop at the Hotel Ruby things begin to change.

The book began to turn in an odd direction. It was eerie and I knew something wasn’t right. Audrey was picking up on the weirdness and the reader was right along with her. She would see things or hear things that no one else could see or hear. Her fear skyrocketed and she thought she was going crazy.

I felt for her as you witness what she hears and sees. It was surreal and strange. At some points I wasn’t sure what was happening. Before you find out the truth I was guessing about what was really happening at the Hotel. It was obviously sinister and I questioned who was a ghost and who was alive. I never dreamed that the story would take that turn. I was a bit shocked.

I did, however, like the chemistry and relationship that Elias and Audrey seemed to be building. She felt comfortable with him and even began to feel emotions again. I was unsure how the author would end the book in regards to their relationship. I was engrossed in the storyline to see what would happen next. As I said I was surprised in the direction everything turned. The author did a great job at writing a bizarre story that captured your attention and surprises the reader as the story unfolds. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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