on March 23, 2004
I gave this book 3 stars because it did, in the end, achieve what it set out to do: it got me to buy the other books in the series. And it was an interesting read and a fast one. That being said, however, I think that this series more than any other (by V.C. Andrews) made me angry. I know that Andrews' characters are known for their...passivity, but Ruby really took it too far. She let everyone from her drunken, redneck grandpere to her to her whorish, jealous twin sister walk all over her. To tell you the truth, by the end of this first book, I was almost rooting for Giselle! At least she had a reason to act the way she did! She had been spoiled by her father, neglected by her adopted mother...she had to face the fact that her history wasn't what she had been told. She had to accept that she not only had a twin sister, but that the very same twin sister was moving into her house and usurping her place in her daddy's heart. And then? Then her sister stole her boyfriend! So...basically anything she wanted to do to Ruby was pretty much okay with me.
And speaking of the boyfriend...
Beau Andres was the most shallow, boorish, unlikable male lead I have ever come across. He dumped Giselle for Ruby, claiming to be oh so appreciative of her sweet virginity. Then at the first chance he gets he rapes her in her art studio! I don't care if she ended up enjoying the climax or not! She pleaded with him to stop about 50 times and he wouldn't! RAPE! And the fact that Ruby views this act not for the assault it is but for an indication of "love" is sickening. Their whole relationship was sickening...throughout this first book I kept hoping she'd run back to the swamps. I'd much rather have seen [having sex] with her brother than this lout. At least her brother treated her with some respect.
Still, in the end, the author did do a good enough job on the characters for me to get so angry with them...which I guess connotes good writing. Of a sort. My advice? Read it but take it with a grain of salt.
on October 27, 2003
Yes, I do recommend to my classmate because someone gave this book to me and they told me it's been good. When I starting reading already I was really into the book. I was actually into the book and the cover of the book was interesting because there was a girl who looks very sad. When I first get a book I usually read the first page And I would stop if I don't like it. I wanted to find out more of what happening like the dark secret or the surprise in this story. This was the first book I ever read of this arthur and just reading the first pages I fell in love with it.
The thing I really set my attention is when her mother had Ruby and Gisselle at the age of 20 and that she died very young when giving both to a twin. The dark secret was that her grandfather is a gambler and sold her other granddaughter for10 thousand to the baby father. The thing is Jack didn't know that he had a twin sister and that he only cared about himself.
The book relate to other books because every books has their own unique styles like the language they speak and talk, how there were raised different from everyone and where they come from. It relates to the reader if they want to find out more to the story or if it interesting to them. This book is more like a mystery with deep dark secretes with some romance, love and caring.
on June 10, 2003
Having read the Dollanganger and Casteel family series, this (the Landry family series) was indeed my favorite. It's so different. Both the Dollanganger and Casteel family series took place (mostly) on the East Coast. To have Ruby set in the colorful Louisiana bayou was thrilling! AND, the evil twin sister twist was pretty exciting, too.
Ruby still has some of the maddening features that other Andrews characters have had, though. First, Ruby displays way too much tolerance. I would call her weak, but she triumphs over certain adversities -- she certainly has gumption and a stiff backbone to go from rags to riches (in true VC Andrews style) the way she did. However, the plethora of characters that walked all over her without her so much as raising an eyebrow makes you want to leap through the pages and smack her around a bit. I myself would have slipped a little arsenic in Giselle's tea and thrown Grandpere to the alligators in the swamps from day one - those characters were just too evil!!
The characters are a little flat and one-sided -- those who are evil are evil through and through. Those who are sweet and innocent and kind stay that way. Also, Paul fawns over Ruby juuuuu-uuuust a wee bit much. Come on....guys will do a lot for a girl, but he was cute and successful -- he wouldn't have stuck around through so much drama. (And it gets even worse in All That Glitters, book 3 of this series.)
on March 28, 2003
In "Ruby," we go deeper into the South, into Cajun country (Houma, Louisiana), where 15-year-old Ruby Landry lives in poverty with her grandparents, Grandmere Catherine and Grandpere Jack, never knowing who her parents were (her mother's dead, and her father is unknown at the moment). This is also one of the few books where the reader is aware of the time period in which the book takes place--the early 1960s.
As is typical with every V. C. Andrews heroine, Ruby has tremendous artistic talent and is encouraged by her grandmother to pursue her dreams of becoming a successful painter. However, several life-altering secrets arise to detour her from doing so. For starters, Ruby finds out her boyfriend (Paul Tate) is really her half-brother. (Imagine that.) Yet that doesn't really bother either of them, because they still get hot and heavy. Forbidden fruit and all that, I guess.
Ruby's second surprise comes when she finds a photo of her father, Pierre Dumas, and discovers that she has a twin sister living with him somewhere in New Orleans. Shortly after Grandmere Catherine confesses all of this, she dies, leaving Ruby in the care of her despicable, alcoholic Grandpere Jack, which was an obvious mistake, because he tries to sell her just like he did with her other two illegitimate siblings. So, Ruby flees Houma and searches for her wealthy family in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, a terrifically authentic setting that horror writer Anne Rice uses quite often in her own books; and it works just fine for V. C. Andrews as well in this series.
It's always interesting when I shop for V. C. Andrews books, because either her books are tucked away in the romance section, or they're mislabeled as horror. I've even found them in the kids section, but those are usually the recent miniseries books. While "Flowers in the Attic," for one, could probably be considered horror, most of her books are just dramatic family sagas, aka general fiction. There's nothing remotely scary about these books. It's more psychological, involving lurid family secrets (like rape and incest, which are hardly romance-friendly topics); that's probably why these books are branded "gothic horror."
Anyway, "Ruby" pretty much follows the same paint-by-numbers storyline that has been haunting practically every latter-day series by V. C. Andrews. Yet this is still a captivating series, filled with Cajun-style superstitions and horrible family secrets. Following "Ruby" comes "Pearl in the Mist" (#2), "All That Glitters" (#3), "Hidden Jewel" (#4), and "Tarnished Gold" (#5).
on July 31, 2001
Definately one of the best books I've ever read and I am almost done with pearls in the mist. I have 3 more books left to go after it and I am excited to get to them. I read Ruby in one night. I started reading before it was time for bed and ended up staying up till 7 in the morning reading because I HAD TO FINISH IT! And the same with Pearls in the mist only I am getting so sleepy and give myself a break every now and then! I recomend this series for sure!! You can email me if you want ... and I would love to talk to anyone who has read it too. I live in Houma, Louisiana and 50 miles from N.O and I like this book alot. It is thew first book I have come across that actually has Houma in it. I can say that some of the places they mentioned still exist, although we do have swamp..there is more to here than just that. I know this book was written in 1994 but they make it sound like 1950. Houma has changed some since what they talk about in the book. Anyone want to ask anything you can email me. Michelle
on July 31, 2001
Definately one of the best books I've ever read and I am almost done with pearls in the mist. I have 3 more books left to go after it and I am excited to get to them. I read Ruby in one night. I started reading before it was time for bed and ended up staying up till 7 in the morning reading because I HAD TO FINISH IT! And the same with Pearls in the mist only I am getting so sleepy and give myself a break every now and then! I recomend this series for sure!! You can email me if you want firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to talk to anyone who has read it too. I live in Houma, Louisiana and 50 miles from N.O and I like this book alot. It is thew first book I have come across that actually has Houma in it. I can say that some of the places they mentioned still exist, although we do have swamp..there is more to here than just that. I know this book was written in 1994 but they make it sound like 1950. Houma has changed some since what they talk about in the book. Anyone want to ask anything you can email me. Michelle
on November 22, 2000
Girl finds the truth of her life, but thinks maybe life would have been better not to know the truth...Is the truth always good to know? Would life be better if we hide from the truth and pretend this does not exist? Read Ruby by V.C.Andrews to see how the truth comes out. A great deal of real life events and situations happen in this novel. I would certainly recommend reading Ruby. In Andrews' novel, Ruby, I found I could actually relate to some of the characters. One character I could relate to the most was the main character Ruby. She has many interesting reactions to some of the situations she gets put in, and I think I would react just the same way she had reacted. Seems the author may be trying to do a view on life and people, and how they relate to certain issues in the world today. For example, the author had Ruby go through a traumatic death of her grandmother. She had grown up and lived with this grandmother her whole life. I feel Andrews had her react as if people today would act in real life. Ruby acted very upset but realized she could not dwell on this forever because she would not be able to get anywhere in life. Ruby did not forget about this loved one, but she forgot about the horrible death and remembered all of the good times she had with her grandmother. Most people in real life today use this method also as a source of comfort, which is why I felt the author did a good job including this part in her novel. Another example of when the author connected Ruby to real life was when she learned her and her boyfriend were really brother and sister, by mother, and they could not be together. Ruby had fallen deeply in love with him and not much later found out she could no longer be with this guy. The author described Ruby's feelings very well to me. Makes me wonder how everything would be if I could not be with the person I love. What would I do? How would I react? I like this part of the story because I feel the author gets me involved in the situations with Ruby and makes me wonder in mind if this really did happen what would I do in this exact situation. If this were, I, I would probably react very upset and not know what to do at all. To sum it up, Ruby is a good novel that ties in a lot of real life situations so the reader can relate to what the author is saying. Having so many real life situations made the story very interesting. I have read other books by V.C.Andrews and enjoyed all of them. I think reading Ruby will get the reader interested in the story and motivate them to continue reading the rest of the series. I would definitely recommend anyone to read Ruby. This is surely a good start to what I'm sure will be a great series.
on July 9, 2000
After all the books I've read by V.C. Andrews, which i will say is a lot, this is my favorite along with the rest of the series. When you begin reading this book you start to realize you become a part of Ruby and that's what makes it a great story. Everything she went through with finding out the truth about Paul and then leaving in search of her father and sister becomes a part of you and you then find you're relating to her pain and sorrow, her joy and hope. However, Gisselle was a great disappointment with her cruelty and selfishness. Then again, that is just what makes the story even better because you just love to hate her before it's over with. Using this example of Gisselle and the detailed events from the rest of the story, you realize how great a writer V.C. Andrews/The Ghost Writer is because you wish some of the things that happened in the story hadn't.However,you also realize if it hadn't happened and went in another direction, the story wouldn't have been so great. I recommend this book to any V.C. Andrews fan or even a first time reader.
on October 18, 1999
This was a great book and I sypathize with Ruby and Giselle's a total witch...blah, blah, blah, I have something more important to say! Okay, so Andrew Neiderman is a great author and I like what he does with the VC books. All of the series by him that I've read (in chronological order)-Dawn, Heaven, Ruby-I've loved. But it's all too similar! Basically, every heroine in these books are extremely poor girls who redeem themselves to high society and on the way manage to fall in love with a biological or adoptive (or both) relative(s) and find have illegitimate children! Them, their daughters, and mothers also coincidentially get raped and/or almost raped by their father..or stepfather..or brother..or grandfather..or uncle..Pick one. Some influencial male in their lives. Why does Mr. Neidermann follow this general storyline? I have seen several sites that have theorized a pattern in his stories. Here is what I am going to do-I am going to read the Runaway series and the newer series. I understand they are terrific and also quite short. If I read about one more lower class girl who get raped and rich, I give up with Neidermann. It's actually quite sad that Ms. Andrews name gets put on these books.
on February 8, 1999
"Ruby" by V.C. Andrews is a heartwarming book full of surprises. I usually prefer murder mystery books, but, I really enjoyed reading this one. Around every corner something new and unexpected would happen.
Ruby is a teenage girl trying to find her place in the world, althougoh along the way she is having several difficulties. She was brought up by her wise grandmother, her mother passed away and she knew nothing about her father.
Love is something Ruby has many hardships with though out the book. First there is Paul, but something about their past is revealed which makes it impossible for them to be together. Later in the book more troubles with boys comes along, and she learns the jealousy and many mixed emotions that come along with love. After Ruby's grandmother passes away, she is left with her drunken grandfather. He hasn't been welcome to live with them for several years. After he starts making unfair deals, Ruby needs to save her self and the only way out is to leave. So, she keeps her promise to her grandmother and goes to New Orleans to find her father, and to excel in her art work. The rest of the book is about all the troubles she goes through adjusting to her twin sister and her step mom. They are a wealthy family, and very snobby. Ruby is a strong person and after all she goes through is able to come out okay.
This book did a great job keeping me entertained. As Ruby unravels all the mysteries of her past, it was interesting to see what would happen next. Many surprising things happened that I would have never imagined, like finding out Paul was really Ruby's half brother. It was amazing all Ruby had gone through at such an early age. The things that happened to her were just plain twisted and out of the ordinary. For example, her grandfather sold her twin sister and her father never even knew she existed. There was a great mixture of greed and love.
Overall the book was definitely worth reading. I enjoyed it and I think it could keep anyone hooked. The way the author puts the past story together piece by piece, and always having new shocking discoveries made the book very eventful. I recommend this to anyone who's up for reading a good book.