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Hotel Ruby
by Suzanne Young

originally published November 3rd 2015
published by Simon Pulse
young adult | mystery | contemporary | romance  | horror

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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.

[PLOT] typical | not quite there yet | cute | unique | kicks serious ass | what’s going on?!
[PACING] snail’s pace | slow | just right | fast | holy crap just stop
[DIVERSITY] none :sadface: | some (minor characters) | LGBTQ | mental health | characters w/ disabilities | racial | religion
[ROMANCE] insta-love | realistically paced | slow-burn | love triangle | love square | I am confused | none | it’s complicated
[FEELS] swoons | tears | laughs | cries of frustration | eye rolls | pukes | snores | screams of horror | holy shits
[WRITING] flowery prose | conversational | choppy or cluttered | telling, no showing | boring | info dump-y | simple
[ENDING] cliffhanger | open ending | satisfactory | was that an ending? | want moarrr | didn’t get far enough | ehhh
[RECOMMENDED?] heck no | eh | to select people | mostly | YAS

Book Review

I wanted so much to love this book as much as I did Suzanne’s others, but ended up being one of the biggest disappointments of the year thus far for me.

Characterization and relationships are what Suzanne Young does best–unfortunately, I feel like those two aspects failed in Hotel Ruby. I wasn’t really engaged in anyone’s character, and was actually pretty annoyed at the romance.

Don’t get me wrong–Audrey’s a pretty decent character. She’s likable enough, in a way that she loves her family so much and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for their sake, but I can’t really name any other memorable qualities of hers other than that.

The other characters didn’t have very strong enough personalities. Majority of them were nice and friendly, but again, not memorable. There were a few that were more prominent than others, although honestly, a week after reading, I can’t even remember their names anymore.

The romance was the thing I was most looking forward to, knowing how Suzanne can always make me cry with her angsty couples. The love interest in Hotel Ruby was sweet and all, but the romance progressed way too quickly, making it impossible for me to ship. Most of the time, I even wanted to rip them apart from each other.

I couldn’t connect with anything, either. As usual, Suzanne’s writing was very easy to read, with its conversational tone, but for some strange reason–maybe because I read this book when I wasn’t fully in the mood for it–I didn’t feel anything while I read the book.

If there’s anything I did like about the book though, it’s definitely the atmosphere of the Hotel Ruby. The hotel was eerie, creepy and was described amazingly. The twists about the hotel itself were shocking to me, and I was just, “Whoa,” as things started revealing themselves.

Overall, this isn’t a book I’d recommend to everyone, but if you like gorgeous descriptions and quick mysteries, maybe consider giving Hotel Ruby a shot. If disconnection ruins a book for you, maybe not.

Skulls 2

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About Aimee

Aimee loves being a little bookworm (okay–she doesn’t like being little). She also loves chocolates and sweets but is freaked out by the thought of possibly getting diabetes.

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12 thoughts on “Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

  1. I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you! I did enjoy the romance, but yes, it’s definitely full of insta-love. This was my first Suzanne Young book, and man does she know how to write some swoony scenes!
    The atmosphere was definitely the best part – I loved how creepy it was.
    Great review, Aimee!

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  2. I basically just want to read this because I REALLY liked The Program (and the Remedy!! Not so much The Treatment though…) but, eh, that’s sad the characters were flat. A book full of “nice” characters is probably never the bestest of idea. Ideal in real life, maybe. But books definitely need some spicy or strong characters to set things off. xD

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  3. Oh damn. This had such a lovely cover (and a very intriguing title too!) so I’m really rather disappointed it didn’t work out for you. Besides, I think the author has written other books that are quite popular, right? That’s always sad when a much-hyped author writes a subpar book :(

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  4. Aw that’s too bad! I was really looking forward to this book as I’ve liked all of her other books. Hope your next read is much better!

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  5. Aw, this sucks! I’m so sorry you didn’t love this like you expected to. I had actually heard a lot of great things prior, so this is kinda surprising. I don’t really love one dimensional characters, so that’s a bit of a let down :/ Sorry the MC didn’t leave a big impression on you :( Yikes! I totally get the quick romance part where it’s hard to ship it, because you’re just like “really???? YOU JUST MET sigh” but at least the guy was nice? Lol. Ooh yes! My friend Sil told us that she loved the atmosphere a lot too, so I’m glad you enjoyed it as well :) Sorry this didn’t work out for you, though!

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  6. OH NO. I absolutely love Young’s Program books, and they have been some of my favourites to read this year! Which means that the fact that Hotel Ruby fell a bit flat makes me super sad. I want it to be as amazing as the Program books.

    I’m glad the world building of the hotel was good, though. I love descriptions of creepy places, so maybe that will be enough o tide me over. But lack of character and relationship development are huge for me, so I’ll have to see :/

    Lovely review, darling <3

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  7. Awe I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it Aimee :(
    I’ve been eyeing this one for a few months now and I think I’ll still try it. However I definitely won’t be purchasing it.
    Great review :)

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