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"If we were in a film, the villain would turn out to be the least-expected person. But as we aren't in a film, I'd go for the character who tried to strangle you." ―Ruby Red

Ruby Red

Ruby Red Trilogy #1

by Kerstin Gier
AR Test, Must Read

At A Glance
Interest Level

Reading Level
Number of Pages

Gwen was supposed to be the ordinary one, and her cousin Charlotte was destined to be extraordinary. When Gwen accidentally time travels, the reversal of fates leads to more trouble than anyone could have imagined. Everyone has their own motives and as Gwen begins to unravel secrets that are hundreds of years old, she begins to wonder if anyone is on her side.

To add to her trouble, Gwen is forced to travel with Gideon—a handsome, but insufferable boy, who doesn’t trust Gwen. As the two travel back in time, Gideon and Gwen must learn to help each other because danger hides behind every corner.

Ruby Red is an enjoyable read with a unique plot. Full of twists and turns, Gwen and Gideon’s journey through time has plenty of mystery, suspense, and adds a dash of romance. This rich story will keep you well up into the night and leave you wanting more. Sporadic violence may not be appropriate for children, but this young adult novel will be perfect for most high school readers.

Sexual Content

  • When Gwen travels into the past, she sees herself kiss a boy. “The girl who looked like me had planted her lips right on the boy’s mouth. He took it passively at first, then he put his arms around her waist and pulled her closer.”
  • Gwen thinks about a boy she dated who “wasn’t into kissing. What he liked was leaving love bites on my throat to distract my attention from his creeping hand . . . I was constantly trying to keep Miles’s hands out of my shirt.”
  • Gideon comes to Gwen’s school to talk to Charlotte. Gwen’s friend wonders if Gideon is gay.  And then they see him kiss Charlotte on the cheek.
  • While in a church confessional, Gideon kisses Gwen. “. . . when his lips touched my mouth, I shut my eyes. Okay. So now I was going to faint.”


  • Someone uses his mind to hurt Gwen. “Bewildered, I looked from his mouth to his hand. It was more than four yards away from me. How could it be around my neck at the same time? And why did I hear his voice in my head when he wasn’t speaking.” The character scares Gwen but doesn’t hurt her.
  • Gwen and Gideon are attacked and the fighting is described over six pages. The coach driver was shot and, “part of his face was missing and his clothes were drenched in blood. The eye of the undamaged part of his face was wide open, looking into nowhere.” Someone shoots at Gideon and then he has a sword fight with two men. Gwen describes the fighting from her point of view. “The man who’d been hit was now lying on the ground twitching and making horrible sounds.” In the end, the fight is ended when Gwen kills one of the attackers.
  • After the fight, Gideon and Gwen discuss what happened. Gwen was upset and said, “I didn’t expect it to be like . . . like cutting up a cake. Why didn’t that man have any bones?”
  • Gideon holds a gun to a woman’s head because he thinks the woman and her husband are going to try to hurt Gwen. When the butler gets ready to hit Gideon, Gideon and Gwen run away.

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None


  • Gwen thinks, “I realized how pathetic I sounded—but what the hell, I was feeling pretty pathetic right now.”
  • Gwen is hiding in the bathroom stall at school. The door had scribbles that said, “Malcolm is an ass, life is crap, and other, similar remarks.”
  • “Damn” is used infrequently and “hell” is used several times. The profanity is only used in stressful situations.
  • Gwen thinks “Oh my God” often.
  • When Gideon is holding a gun to his wife’s head, a character calls him a “bastard.”


  • A ghost named James stays at Gwen’s school. She is the only one who can see him.
  • At the end of the book, Gwen sees a ghost of a gargoyle, who used to guard a church.
  • Gwen and Gideon have a gene that makes them time travel. A secret society has a chronograph that allows the two to have control over when and where they travel to.
  • Gwen’s aunt has visions. When trying to explain them, Gwen’s mother says, “I think Aunt Maddy really sees what she says she does. But that doesn’t mean her visions predict the future, not by a long shot. Or that it has to mean anything in particular.”
  • One of the characters can talk into people’s minds and as well as physically hurt them with his mind.
  • Several of the characters talk about Gwen having the “magic of the raven” but no one, including Gwen, knows what the power is.

Spiritual Content

  • None
Other books by Kerstin Gier
Other books you may enjoy

"If we were in a film, the villain would turn out to be the least-expected person. But as we aren't in a film, I'd go for the character who tried to strangle you." ―Ruby Red

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