Hotel Ruby is a thrilling and suspenseful book, written by Suzanne Young.
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 are on their way to live with their grandmother while their father drowns 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 finds out about the new people’s she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s town in different directions – between the weight of her past and 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…
I can’t even begin to express how much I adore Suzanne Young’s writing. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with all of the books I’ve read by her – Just Like Fate (which was co-written with Cat Patrick), The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy, and now also Hotel Ruby. When I saw Hotel Ruby in my local bookstore, I had to grab it straight away. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. This book was mysterious, alluring and utterly addictive. And I mean, just look that that cover! This book is gorgeous, inside and out.
One of the things I loved most about this book was how intriguing it was. I had absolutely no idea how things were going to play out, so naturally, I felt compelled to read this book in a day. For the brief moments that I had to stop reading this book, I was constantly wondering what was going to happen. However, I’ve read some other reviews that say they knew what the main twist was really early on in the book. Was I the only one who didn’t realise it until almost the very end? I knew something strange was going on, but I honestly didn’t suspect that. In that way, I suppose I’m happy that I’m a little thick sometimes – it means I get to experience the full extent of surprise when the twist is revealed!
Possibly the most captivating element of this novel was The Ruby. The way this grand old hotel was described made me feel as though I was actually there. I could almost feel the plush red carpet beneath my feet and see the delicately carved wooden doors leading into the ballroom. The descriptions sent shivers up my spine and caused my heart to flutter. Sometimes it would be in a good way, when I was amazed by how beautifully Suzanne described The Ruby. At other times, it would be because it felt so hauntingly real, and like something could jump out at me at any second. But I was happy with both ways, because it just shows how wrapped up in this book I was. The Ruby had such an eerie atmosphere and that setting and that plot were just made to be together. I can’t imagine one without the other.
Audrey was a fantastic heroine and a character I loved getting to know. She was tormented by the sadness and guilt from losing her mother and was also dealing with the very real possibility of not seeing her father much again after going to stay with her grandmother. My heart ached for her and her situation. Her loneliness and sorrow came across beautifully and authentically. But possibly one of the things I loved most about her was that she was determined to find out what was really going on at The Ruby. She sought out answers and used her intelligence to her advantage, and this was what made her brave and determined.
However, I felt as though not a lot of the other characters were all that memorable. I felt like they could have all been fleshed out some more to make them stick in my memory. I would have loved to get to know Audrey’s brother and her father some more and I felt like I only knew fairly minor details about them. Like how her brother needs constant reassurance and her father is trying to escape their past. I wanted to know these two characters at a deeper level because I felt as though they played a major role in how the story turned out. Some more backstory would have also been useful. We learned a little about the death of Audrey’s mother and how Audrey broke up with her ex boyfriend, but I would have loved some more to do with her past.
One character who I feel a little undecided about is Elias, Audrey’s love interest. Let’s start off with the good stuff, shall we? I loved the air of mystery about him – everyone knows I love a mysterious love interest! He was an intriguing character and I was constantly guessing what secrets he had hidden beneath his pleasing exterior. There were also quite a few moments of intense chemistry between Elias and Audrey which was absolutely swoon-worthy. However, I felt as though I didn’t really know Elias at a personal level. He was someone who guarded his emotions and rarely let his true feelings come to the surface. I wish I could have been given more of an insight to what he was really like so I felt more of an emotional connection towards him. I also felt as though the romance between Elias and Audrey was too instant. If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you know that I hate insta-love. I was willing to overlook it, but when Audrey is making references to taking Elias back to her room on every second page? Not cool, Audrey. Not cool. It doesn’t matter how hot the love interest is, making your protagonist fall in love at the first sight of them isn’t realistic and doesn’t translate well to your reader.
Despite this book’s flaws, it was completely engrossing and a thrilling read. I know I’ll definitely be picking this book up again soon! If you’re a fan of mysterious and alluring books with an enchanting setting, I highly recommend picking up this book! I’d give Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young a score of 8.5 out of 10. Let’s discuss! Have you read this book? Have you read any other books by Suzanne Young? Does this sound like something you’d pick up in the near future? Let me know!