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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

THE PARENT TRAP comes to the digital age! When Ruth Quayle used a special app to search for pictures of herself online, she found dozens of images of "Ruth Quayle" -- and one of "Ruby Starling." When Ruby Starling gets a message from a Ruth Quayle proclaiming them to be long-lost twin sisters, she doesn't know what to do with it -- until another message arrives the day after, and another one. It could be a crazy stalker ... but she and this Ruth do share a birthday, and a very distinctive ear.... Ruth is an extroverted American girl. Ruby is a shy English one. As they investigate the truth of their birth and the circumstances of their separation, they also share lives full of friends, family, and possible romances -- and they realize they each may be the sister the other never knew she needed. Written entirely in e-mails, letters, Tumblr entries, and movie scripts, FINDING RUBY STARLING is the funny and poignant companion to Karen Rivers's THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME.…

Finding Ruby Starling

by Karen Rivers

Overall Book Review:

Have you ever wondered if there are people out there that look like you? Ruth Quayle did.  Which led her to do a little online research, which in turn ended up opening Pandora’s Box. Once the box is opened the reader sees how Ruth’s discovery of a girl named Ruby, who looks just like her, plays out virtually.  Through emails, personal letters that are more a journal, and a Tumblr poetry account, the reader is taken on this journey of not only self-discovery, but connecting with a long-lost twin. This virtual back and forth is what makes up the book Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers. 

While the format of emails, letters and Tumblr entries makes it hard to follow the story at times, it accurately captures that impulsive voice of typing and hitting send without really thinking. This allows one to see the impulses of the characters, rather than the thought-out actions, which is a window into how they are really feeling in the moment.  Some of which are quite hilarious, while others are soul searching and deep thoughts that bring a more a profound meaning to the story.  Throughout the novel this impulsiveness is balanced by the thoughtfully written letters of one character to her grandmother, who has recently died. While the format creates a somewhat hectic, fast pace, it is a story that makes the reader step back and think about the need for finding out who we really are, learning to deal with loss, as well as the need for forgiveness in our lives and those around us–which is what really makes this book, Finding Ruby Starling, shine. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Scholastic

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  2 accounts of scenes written out in play form that depict a shark-like animal attacking and eating people in the water; account of person’s father dying in an accident; another account of an accident that killed one person; animal attacks a person; description of character getting a bloody nose; few accounts (3 actual, 3 second hand accounts) of vandalism.

Sex/Nudity:  2 accounts of characters kissing (described as snogging); adopted character wonders if her biological parents were teenagers unprepared for the responsibilities of an infant with health issues.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, adoption, organ donation, depression.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.