Sunday, January 4, 2015

Book Review: Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

Title: Finding Ruby Starling
Author: Karen Rivers
Published by: Arthur A. Levine Books (2014)

My Rating: ✭✭✭✩✩

Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers was overall a very interesting read.

Notes: Told completely by emails and other computer data, I was given a good grasp for the characters, but I couldn’t truly connect or relate. The thing is it seemed very unrealisitic to me to be told in all emails. I loved the writer’s creativity at making it an all-email-told story, but sometimes it just seemed unrealistic, such as when her parents email her from downstairs, “Come down, honey. Your ice cream’s melting. We have something to talk about,” and she responds, “I’m coming down. Don’t let the dog eat my ice cream….” and goes on for seven more sentences. Or when she relates an entire conversation of her parents, word for word, from memory to Ruby in an email or vice versa. Still, it was generally very well done. 

Plot: The story is this: Ruth, age 12, finds pictures of herself online—except her in different places, wearing different things. She locates this person as a British girl named Ruby who has her same birthday and looks exactly like her. Translation? She’s found a long-lost twin!

I really liked the way this storyline developed between Ruth and Ruby, trying to figure out the mystery behind the seperation. When Ruth mentions it to her adopted parents, I felt their reaction was written perfectly, with worried for their daughter, who’s trying to locate, in a way, her birth family. Ruth did overdo it a lot, but it is all emails and emails are going to have sentences in all caps, texting shorthand, and the such, so what else can you expect?

For positive elements, the whole interaction between Ruby and Ruth was very well written. I had to keep reading to find out what happened—how did they get seperated? Why are they not together? Will they end up together? Once I discovered the answers, I will mention they did fulfill my expectations and were well explained.

Negatives: On the other hand, I did not like the email idea in the sense that it skimmed over Ruth’s visit to Ruby and I was annoyed that such an important scene got barely two emails about it, considering the rest of the events that happened got almost too many emails. Also, I was not very satisified with the ending and how it all turned out. It was written well, but I did not like how the story itself ended, for reasons I’ll leave out so I don’t have any spoilers. There were references to Buddism—not that many, but there were some, as our main character’s dad was a Buddhist—and despite the fact it didn’t dive too deep, bothered me to some extent. Overall, it was a pretty good read. I doubt I’ll read it again, but it was fun while it lasted. 3.5 stars.

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