November 5, 2015

Shelley Loved It: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young

Format: E-Galley | 288 pages
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult | Mystery | Horror

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.

"Welcome to Hotel Ruby where you can stay the night, or stay forever!"

HOTEL RUBY by author Suzanne Young, is a standalone novel that is filled to the brim with mysteries, suspense, romance, and a girl's search for a way to get over the devastating loss of her mother, and for a way to keep her family together before it's too late to turn back the hands of time. 17-year old Audrey Casella and her family are on the way to Nevada to see their grandmother when they take a detour to HOTEL RUBY. For Ruby and her family, this detour is a respite from the past three months of acting out, ignoring each other, and throwing parties in order to perhaps hope for a bit of attention.

But, what Audrey doesn't plan for, is that she's separated from her family at check-in, and ends up on the thirteenth floor. (Author Suzanne Young teases that readers will need to be patient until the THIRTEENTH chapter of the story in order for her to reveal the significance.) She then meets Elias Lange whose very presence at the hotel turns things upside down and peaks her curiosity. Elias isn't one to hold back on his interest for Audrey, or the fact that he doesn't want her to leave. Elias is also not her ex-boyfriend who loved her but she lost interest in him. Elias isn't alone in catching Audrey's attention.

There is the tyrant named Kenneth who is capable of doing horrific things to the staff and guests if they step out of line, or they reveal too much about the Hotel to outsiders like Audrey. Kenneth isn't exactly a fan of Audrey's. He tries and tries to get her to leave, or shut up and behave herself, but she doesn't go quietly away. She continues to try to find a way to save her brother Daniel and her father. Although Audrey is perhaps a bit on the clueless side at times, she doesn't relent in her desire to keep her family safe and together. Perhaps that above all, is why I loved this girl so much. She could have made so many different other choices. But, the one major choice she made was unselfish. 

Audrey has her ups and downs with the staff and guests which include Lourdes, Catherine, Joshua, and Tanya. Of the previous mentioned characters, I loved Lourdes the most, while I found Catherine to be arrogant, and just plain mean spirited. Lourdes was the most interesting because she never once backs down to Kenneth, which means she gets the most punishment. I loved Lourdes because she allowed Audrey into her circle of friends. She took Audrey's situation in hand and went against the Rules.

The first questions that started floating out of my brain were: Is this place a like the Hotel California where you can check in but never leave? Why do all the guests, including Elias, have to go to a party every single night? Why did Audrey never get an invitation to the party? Why did Audrey end up on a floor that technically doesn't exist due to superstitions? Is the Hotel Ruby a sort of weigh station for the dead? Why is Audrey different from the rest of the guests? Is the Hotel a character all its own?

Overall I have to say that I would definitely recommend this book to those who don't mind ghost stories, or horror flicks. I would have perhaps given this a higher rating had the romance not been a bit on the insta-love at first sight. I'm still OK with the romance. 

My room is dark when I open my eyes, drawn awake by the low hum of music. I blink until my vision adjusts; the soft glow outside my window tells me it’s not quite dawn. I’ve been asleep for only a few hours. Light seeps from under my door, and I wait a beat for the music to stop. It doesn’t.
Slowly I get out of bed and feel my way toward the door. From the other side I can hear music, faint, but too close to be from the party. I listen, knowing immediately that I’ve heard the song before. I just can’t place it.

I glance back into my dark room and debate returning to bed. Ultimately, the sound is too intriguing. The hinge creaks as I pull open the door, and I poke my head out to see if there’s anyone in the hallway. At first my eyelids flutter at the sudden brightness, but I quickly see that I’m all alone. The music seems to be coming from the end of the hall.

What is that song?

I open the security latch so I won’t get locked out, and then step barefoot into the hallway. I ease my door shut, taking another curious look around. The chords strum, like a guitar, slowly, too slow to make out the melody. When I leave the safety of the vicinity around my door, my heart starts to pound. My throat grows dry. 

I study each door I pass, trying to find the source of the music. I’m not sure what time it is, but I know it’s insanely late for people to be awake. Late for them to be listening to a song on a loop.What song? 

The temperature in the hallway starts to drop, colder the closer I get to the last door. I wrap my arms around myself, rubbing my shoulders when I start to shiver. I wish my brother and father were on this floor. I hate being alone. I’m almost to the last room—room 1336—when the music starts to fade, like someone is slowly turning down the dial. 

I stop, the sense of being watched freezing me in place. I swallow hard, past the dryness in my throat, and peek behind me. Terrified that I’ll find someone (something) standing there. 

But the music is gone. Now I’m standing barefoot in the hallway of the Hotel Ruby with uneven breaths and chilled skin. I look once more at the door and then turn to walk quickly back to my room. I slip inside and shut the door, my palm flat against it as I process my fear. For good measure I throw the locks and then move a chair in front of the door. 

I stare at the handle and step backward toward my bed, sure I’ll see it turn at any moment. But as the time ticks by, as the sun starts to rise, my panic diminishes. I’m high strung, I tell myself. And maybe just a little drunk

Eventually, I slide under the covers of my bed, exhausted and achy. Soon I’ll be asleep, and my real fears will find me, just as they normally do, to remind me of how I ruined my life.

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  1. Replies
    1. Creepy as a spider crawling over your skin while reading a book!

  2. Oh yes, please! Hotel Ruby sounds great, Shelley, and your review made me add it to my TBR :D
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  3. This is on my wish list and I hope to read it soon. Great review!

  4. I hadn't heard of this one before. It sounds a bit creepy but an enjoyable read. Will have to check it out.

  5. So glad you loved this, I really enjoyed her dystopian series and was really looking forward to this.

  6. Great review, you have successfully increased my to-read list ;)

  7. It sounds fun! It's the first time I hear about this one.

  8. What? Hotel California, you say? *leaves in a hurry to hunt for Hotel Ruby at the nearest bookshop*

  9. Oh this sounds so creepy! Perfect Autumn read!!! I need to add this to my wishlist!

  10. I am glad that you really liked this one. I have read some other reviews that aren't as flattering. I like the sound of the hotel and the ghosts. I have it for review, and you make me more excited to pick it up.

  11. Sounds like an exciting read! I I like you enjoyed Audrey so much - it's nice when you can get behind the MC.


  12. i know the romance will make me wary but it sounds too good to pass up

  13. I am so excited for this! I haven't read Suzanne's other books, so I figured it would be perfect to start with Hotel Ruby, just to get a feel for her writing. Not to mention that I am the biggest fan of horror, so if this book is creepy, I'm all for it!

  14. Seriously, there are not enough hotel reads. I love the author and her books so far so I am for sure trying this one.

  15. I know I wanted to read this when I first saw it in people's Wow's and book hauls. Gah, one more YA I missed.

  16. I just ordered copies for the store and I'm so excited to get them in so I can finally read it. I'm so glad you enjoyed!


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