Expected publication: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
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.
Stay tonight. Stay forever...Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young was one of the novels I picked up at my last ALA visit in June 2015. I was looking forward to this book that I anticipated would be a great Halloween read. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite what I expected. I was hoping for a more quick paced novel where the characters would suck me into their sinister surroundings and have me explore their story at the edge of my seat. That didn’t quite happen…
In this novel, we meet Audrey Casella, who is being carted off to live with her grandmother after the sudden death of her mother. She and her family, including her father and brother Daniel, are struggling after this loss, so when they stop off at Hotel Ruby for a brief detour, they suddenly find themselves enjoying the hotel and attempting to reconnect in small ways. However, Audrey quickly realizes that the hotel is not all that it seems. She’s left off of the invitation list for the evening ballroom events, where her brother and father are welcomed to attend.
Audrey ends up hanging out with the hotel staff and learning about the history of Hotel Ruby, including the devastating fire that occurred back in 1937 where sixty seven hotel guests were killed. The ghost stories and mysterious concierge are all fun and games until Audrey begins to experience hallucinations and visions. Staying on the thirteenth floor away from her father and brother, she begins to wonder what is real and what is not.
Overall, I found the story was a bit too slow paced for me for more than half the book. There seemed to be endless wondering around the hotel, conversations with people that didn’t go anywhere and just a cloudy, nebulous experience that if you’re anticipating the twist, which I did, you find it to be somewhat laborious. I think if I connected a bit more with the main character Audrey, I would have invested in her plight more than I did.
Also, I was anticipating something a bit more creepy, but it never really got there for me. I figured out the twist well before the half and just coasted to the ending for the sake of just finishing the book.
Interesting fact… the advanced readers copy of Hotel Ruby does not have a chapter thirteen… It doesn’t exist… I won’t say more than that because I’m sure it’s intentional and ties into the story. At least that’s how I interpreted it.
Regardless... I think others will find Hotel Ruby more entertaining than I did. Just didn't quite get there for me…