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.
After adoring Suzanne Young’s other books, including Just Like Fate (which was co-written with Cat Patrick), The Program, The Treatment and The Remedy, I was very excited to read Hotel for the Lost. There’s something about Young’s writing that just pulls me into the worlds she meticulously weaves, making her novels unputdownable and the kind that will stay in my mind for months afterwards. Hotel for the Lost was no exception. This book was mysterious, alluring and utterly addictive, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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 one sitting. For the brief moments that I had to stop reading, I couldn’t stop wondering what was going to happen. The thing that really got me was the twist — it was thrilling, unexpected, and left me desperate to know how everything would play out. I’ve heard a few other people say that they guessed the ending early on, but I was completely blind to it. I knew something strange was going on, but I honestly didn’t suspect what actually happened. The tension Hotel for the Lost held and the way it forced me onto the edge of my seat made this book quite remarkable.
Possibly the most captivating element of this novel was The Ruby — the hotel that our main characters find themselves in. 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 Young 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. That’s just example at how Young’s novels transport me, making them some of the most addictive reads and entrancing novels I’ve ever read. 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 would have loved to have gotten 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. But for the most part, the characters were all unique and vibrant and I never knew if I could trust them or not — that’s what I love most in a character.
One character who I feel a little undecided about is Elias, Audrey’s love interest. I loved the air of mystery he had about him and he was an intriguing character. I was constantly guessing what secrets he had hidden beneath his pleasing exterior, and 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 quite insta-lovey. I’m not a fan of insta-love and I felt that their relationship felt a bit forced in the beginning. However, I understood why they needed to form deep feelings for each other in such a short time as the time period our characters are in The Ruby for doesn’t span over weeks, like a typical ‘realistic’ relationship would be expected to form in a lot of novels. But for the most part, their interaction was enjoyable to read about and allowed me to form a close connection to both of them, especially Audrey.
Despite this book’s flaws, it was completely engrossing and a thrilling read and I’m looking forward to picking this one up again soon. If you’re a fan of mysterious and alluring novels with an enchanting setting, I highly recommend picking up Hotel for the Lost!
Have you read Hotel for the Lost, or Hotel Ruby? Did you enjoy the other books Suzanne Young has written? Are you a fan of vaguely creepy, mysterious novels? What’s your favourite YA book from that genre? Have you ever had any supernatural encounters? I’d love to know!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!