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3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  1,336 ratings  ·  107 reviews
From the beloved author of "Necklace of Kisses" comes a modern-day fairy tale of a willful and intuitive heroine and a world of shocking realism and transcendent magic.

Francesca Lia Block, this time with co-writer Carmen Staton, introduces readers to Ruby, a Midwestern girl named for the jewel that is believed to ward off evil spirits. Ruby's special gift is a sixth sense...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published July 3rd 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published July 1st 2006)
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This is a pretty nifty, slightly insane book. It is, essentially, this: Ruby comes from an abusive background, sees Troy on DVD, develops an obsession with Orlando Bloom (Orion), travels to England to surreptitiously gain the trust of his family, and somehow cause him to fall in love with her as she battles the demons of her past. All with Francesca Lia Block's edgy fairy tale qualities spun throughout.

Only it's not ever that easy. Although, I really do think Orion is Orlando Bloom. Ruby, who i...more
An intertwining tale of two magical and troubled lives, Ruby is a gripping mix of fantasy and reality.

Ruby has always been different. Not just because she hides things.

She sees things. She hears things. She knows things. Her father has always ignored it. But she knows it's real.

She moves across the country, to LA, to take a job as a nanny. She wants to be able to leave herself behind. An ex-boyfriend shows up at her employer's door. Some things are easier said than done.

She leave LA and travels...more
It's easy to see Carmen Staton's influence in this novel. Often with Francesca Lia Block's novels, I have a hard time following her narrative. She tends to shift in and out of different timelines, and her use of language can be a touch hard for me to follow. As much as I love FLB's novels, her stories, her characters and her wordplay, her use of timelines and formatting often cause me to pull away. Staton seems to have grounded FLB here, and so the flow of the story is very linear. It's easy to...more
Nov 15, 2008 Ciara rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fourteen-year-olds who love "rocky horror", no one else
francesca lia block has really turned out to be a disappointment, huh? man. i was so into the "weetzie bat" books as a young teenager. i read all of them over & over again & recommended them to all my friends. but i have hated everything else she has ever written, & i am nervous to ever try re-reading the "weetzie bat" books lest they don't stand up to the test of time. after all, i am a bit more sophisticated in my literary tastes now than i was when i was 13, & i would adore ev...more
Francesca Lia Block has such a unique way of telling a story that is short, and to the point, while not leaving anything important out. I love her writing style, which makes me feel like I'm reading a long, beautifully descriptive poem.

Ruby is a very simple book with a very simple plot. Many books tend to drag out a simple plot line into endless pages of nonsense, while Blocks books are always simple in size, yet full in description and charm. What I love about this book, is that it brings back...more
Emotional and lyrical, I can read Block in one sitting... and prefer to! This one is very adult, but really, all her books are. The concepts are very adult, yet told from a more magical and fantastical point of view. The way a child may concoct a fairy tale to explain something he/she is unable to comprehend. This book read like poetry and the ending gave me a vast sense of calm and satisfaction.
jojo the burlesque poetess
used bookstore purchase i shamelessly kept in the loo til i finished it as my bawwwwth book. it looked appropriate tucked amongst my makeup & glitters...

by far the most wiccan-influenced FLB book yet. it's hard to put my finger directly on what the co-author brought to this...maybe the direct spell-knowledge and some of the plot strays from her traditional narrative...but overall, pure FLB...

i think maybe i'm over reading anything francesca lia block that does not involve witch baby.
I can't speak for the co-author, Carmen Staton, but I felt Francesca Lia Block's voice come through, despite what some other reviews say. Ruby has many of the typical (but not necessarily bad) traits of a Francesca Lia Block book: magic, myth, intense subject matter (in this case, domestic abuse), and beautifully written prose. As a long time fan of FLB, I loved this book and while that prose was more subdued, FLB's voice still resonated with me, creating characters and stories that were heartbr...more
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Greta is Erikasbuddy
This story was simply magic! I loved it!

A fairy tale within reality. Ruby is on a mission to forget her past. While taking a job as a nanny in LA she accidently discovers her soul mate, an English movie star named Orion. Ruby becomes fascinated by the man. Reading the rags, watching his True Hollywood Stories, searching the web to learn where his favorite places to eat are.

Ruby decides to try the English lifestyle for a while. There she works at a pagan supply store and meets the man she has bee...more
black lamb
I originally rated this a four, but having reread it a few times after my initial read, I knocked it down to a solid 2. For me, FLB is very hit-or-miss; like most people I loved the Weetzie Bat books, particularly the character of Witch Baby, and she has a couple of other books I really adore, too. But then she has books like Pink Smog and Ruby where I just have to wonder if this is even the same author.

There were aspects of this novella I liked a lot - I liked the character of Ruby, actually. I...more
“You can change things with your will, your determination, your strength. You can move away, track down your true love, treat your children differently than you have been treated. But how strong do you have to be to fight a ghost?”

The cover of Ruby is extremely misleading- it features large text stating that this is a book by Francesca Lia Block. Underneath, in significantly smaller type, the cover says “and Carmen Staton”. I found this frustrating because what I expected of Ruby is what I have...more
Several months ago, I made my sister go to a Friends of the Library booksale that I couldn't attend for whatever reason. She found a copy of Ruby and called me, asking if I wanted it. I did a quick scan of all the different reviews on Goodreads (because clearly, I can't make up my mind without everyone else's input, hah) and decided to pass - they were that negative. A few days ago, my library held another FoL booksale, where I found yet another - or perhaps the same - copy of Ruby, sitting in o...more
Like all of Block’s books, fantasy is mixed with reality. Ruby’s story through the way she is unique, she makes her way through a scarring childhood. The beginning of the book is Ruby dictating how she survived her father’s abuse and molestation of her and her sister, Opal. She talks of how her father’s abuse and callous manner broke down her sister, she survived because she was stronger, she had a magic touch, for lack of a better word. She also describes how she had these dreams of magical wom...more
A woman named Ruby with an abuse-filled past chases the love of her dreams, using her natural enchantedness and her oneness with nature to help her overcome her demons. I liked that there was a lot of authentic modern magic in this story--I recognized all of it--and I liked that the damage done to Ruby in her younger years became something that helped shape her and something she grew through and past, not something she magically dropped because a man finally loved her the right way. The only thi...more
Jamie R
This book is both excellent & disappointing.

I like Ruby, & I like her story arc. Ruby has grown up in an abusive environment. She is traumatized, but she is also strong, & decided at an early age that she would resist. But it's not so easy, & as an adult she struggles to figure out who she is & what she's doing with her life, which she won't be able to sort out until she deals with how her childhood has impacted her.

The one thing she does trust in herself is her "knowing"--...more
Sep 19, 2007 Stephanie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Francesca Lia Block fans
I wasn't sure what to expect from a Francesca Lia Block book that was co-written by an author I hadn't heard of. The difference in style is obvious. This book is much more plain, and it is mostly lacking in Block's signature imagery. However, it isn't all bad.

While the writing style may be different, it is a typical Block book in the way it blends fantasy and magic so effortlessly with gritty reality. The romance in the book seemed strange and forced to me, and I could have definitely done witho...more
It was a bizarre story, but then again, FLB stories are usually bizarre. She is a magical writer though, her use of language makes the characters sparkle and leap off the page. I have read everything I can find by her over the years since my friend introduced me to her back in middle school, some books are hard to find though, but I am still looking. The subject matter of this book is quite serious, violent and dangerous, but real. It is also beautiful. Her writing is not for everyone but I enjo...more
Very... weird... leaning on the high end of three stars, because it was very darkly pretty, but also just... weird... Then again, I'm not much of a high-concept, magical realism fan. Not that this was either of those things, but it was...?

Let's be honest: I'm just kind of creeped out that "Orion" was based, however loosely, on Orlando Bloom. It crosses some interesting lines, worth discussing, but still creepy.
Jillian Kern
Let me start off by saying that the fairytale and magical elements of this book are really amazing - the whole thing is sort of enchanting. Although the narrative's a little hard to follow, it just adds to this effect. That said, there was something thoroughly irritating about how SPECIAL Ruby was supposed to be. She has a difficult family background (maybe an attempt to offset it by showing tragedy in her life), but it seems like everyone she encounters just loves her. She works as a nanny (whi...more
Dear Charan,
The book that I currently read was called Ruby by Francesca Lia Block which is a work of fiction . The book is about this girl named Ruby who grows up in small house with her sister , mother, and father. her father abuses her and her sister . Ruby leaves and goes to explore , she gets a job babysitting for this sweet couple, then she goes to London and she gets another watching her friends son, who she is secretly in love with .
This book made me realize that I can be that one girl w...more
"All we have to do is ask."

Lovely! In this story Francesca, in her magical way, evokes a sense of wonder, hope and trust in an otherwise dark life. Ruby is a wonderful character that draws you in from the start. Her sense of wonder and use of magic to escape her situation was beautifully written. At the heart of this book is of course a love story...and although we don't get to know Orion too well, his gentle nature and kindness towards Ruby won me over. Simply told and visually compelling, Ruby...more
Lorra Fae
The book was beautiful but a bit all over the place - I got into it more about half way through, when there was a more solid story-line (though the whole story is a bit of a jigsaw). Lots of magic, spells, stalking a celebrity and becoming his care-giver and falling in love - the only issue I have with Block's books sometimes is that the main characters seem only to exist for the men they seek out - not always, but often enough.
There are a lot of animal stories in this book which I loved - Ruby'...more
Odd little book about a girl named Ruby who has a Knowing. The I’m-not-sure-why-I-know-something-but-I-do sort of Knowing. After a rough childhood – alcoholic and abusive father – she decides to search out the movie star Orion, knowing that they are destined to be together. Because hey, somebody has to be with the gorgeous hunk, so why not her, right?

Even with the ultimate themes centered around healing and becoming a new person fueled by love I felt this book was a little too dark. I just didn...more
The perfect treat! Cotton candy for my soul.
I lovelove you, Francesca Lia Block. This was just what I needed. I'm glad I waited years being weary of this little book, because I really needed something this beautiful and sweet in my life this week. I was so afraid that Block's voice would be somewhat dimmed by the addition of Staton... but it wasn't, at all. If anything, it was just a bit more linear and there were a few less of those mile-long run-ons (that I absolutely adore), but the poetic, p...more
Hated it, this book is disgusting and shallow
Apr 05, 2007 Kira rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of francesca who are sometimes annoyed by her "slinksterific" descriptive language
I picked this up at the library because I read and loved FLB's last novel "A Necklace of Kisses". "Kisses" was equally fairy-tale like and descriptive as her past stuff, but somehow less unbelievable to me. "Ruby" was co-authored with someone else (i forgot the name...) so maybe that's why some of the charm was lost. I kind of felt like it was the same type of story she usually tells (ie really sad but hopeful at the same time) but without her flower pop embellishments that's all it was. Plus ra...more
Just finished re-reading "Ruby," co-written by one of my favorite authors ever, Francesca Lia Block, along with Carmen Staton.
I don't know anything about Carmen Staton or her writing, but I think it's very much a Francesca Lia Block book, with many of her unique, artful and creative elements. A magic-realism style, with a balance of light and darkness, and a damaged, vulnerable female character who overcomes her hurtful past and finds her inner strength through magic and love.
A perfect start t...more
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Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a spr...more
More about Francesca Lia Block...
Weetzie Bat (Weetzie Bat, #1) Dangerous Angels (Weetzie Bat, #1-5) I Was a Teenage Fairy The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold Echo

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