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
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: