Ruby Red, a young adult historical novel by Kerstin Gier, is a time-traveling adventure that transcends multiple genres.  Sixteen-year-old Gwen has been told that she’s ordinary her entire life. She doesn’t have much reason to question it, except that she can see ghosts. Oh, and her ancestors have the ability to travel through time.

Still, Gwen has never displayed any indication that she has inherited the gene for time travel. Not only does her birthday fall on the wrong date, but her cousin Charlotte has already been fully prepped in the mysteries of this secret society. When Gwen starts taking unexpected leaps into the past, however, she has to embrace the secrets surrounding her. Even if it means also having to partner with Gideon, the most obnoxious snob…and possibly the most attractive boy she’s ever met.

“I always thought of time travel as more romantic. Dancing with Mr. Darcy at a ball, falling in love with some sexy Highlander. Telling Anne Boleyn it would be a really, really bad idea to marry Henry VIII. That kind of thing.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from Ruby Red. If I were suddenly sucked into the past, I wouldn’t be thinking about the danger, but all the cool historical figures I would get that chance to meet. However, having the power to change history is not something to be taken lightly. Could you imagine interfering and changing the course of the entire world?

If you’re a fan of young adult historical romance with fantasy elements throughout, you will enjoy Ruby Red. The characters are written well, and they experience realistic reactions and emotions. The author does a good job of revealing just enough to make the reader want to continue with the next book of the Ruby Red Trilogy. This is a YA story that shouldn’t be missed. 

This brings me to the first location of importance: The London House

Young Adult Historical House

“I can see you’ve never thought much about the nature of time. It would be very dangerous to interrupt certain sequences of events. In the worst-case scenario, you might never be born.”

Taking her first leap into the past was definitely a complication Gwen wasn’t prepared for. Hanging out with ghosts was one thing, but propelling through space and time? Goodbye, normal life. Hello, awkward existence!⁣

As if disappearing into thin air wasn’t bad enough, Gwen had no control over where or when she traveled. Witnessing another version of herself kissing a boy she’s never met causes even more confusion. But the worst part? Being thrust into the Guardians’ care, a secret society of time travelers that dislike her from the start. It doesn’t take Gwen long to realize just how little control she really has.

This brings me to the Second location of importance: Temple Church and Gardens

Young Adult Historical Lion Statue

We went down the stone steps to the place where James always sat. The trouble with James was that no one else could see or hear him-only me.

Meeting the Guardians for the first time was overwhelming and confusing for Gwen. She had no idea there was some time traveling society, whose hideout was in plain sight in the middle of London. The fact that her cousin has spent her entire childhood being schooled in secret made Gwen that much more nervous. She didn’t have the first idea of what she was doing or what this chronograph thing was that everyone was so obsessed with. Even meeting the boy that was supposed to be her mentor was totally anti-climactic.

This brings me to the third location of importance: Hyde Park

Young Adult Historical Hyde Park

“Listen, darling, we don’t have much time. Even if they say the opposite now, they’re going to try to get you involved in their mission. They need you to close the Circle and reveal the secret.”

I’ve always been a sucker for a good time travel adventure. Bill and Ted’s… Back to the Future…Even the Avengers Endgame was built on the idea of what could happen if we changed something in our past. ⁣

In Ruby Red, Gwen obviously didn’t think about the consequences when she decided to leap with her cell phone. It wasn’t just reckless, but dangerous as well. The man she was there to meet was also less than thrilled at her lack of forward-thinking. Was this the reason for the Hyde Park fiasco, or just a weird coincidence?


If you’re interested in learning more about the Young Adult Historical Ruby Red and its author Kerstin Gier or would like to purchase the book, please check out the links below.



Barnes and Noble

Author Website

If you liked this post, please follow the link to my other YA Historical book reviews.