Robin and Ruby
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Robin and Ruby

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  157 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In his award-winning bestseller "The World of Normal Boys, " K.M. Soehnlein introduced readers to the richly compelling voice of teenager Robin MacKenzie. In "Robin and Ruby, " he revisits Robin and his younger sister, masterfully depicting the turbulence of the mid-1980s--and that fleeting time between youth and adulthood, when everything we will become can be shaped by o...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Kensington Publishing Corporation (first published March 12th 2010)
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Lewis Buzbee
This is a deeply satisfying novel about a brother and sister and the jersey shore, and the mysteries of the human heart. Completely engaging. It's been over three weeks now since i finished this book, and it's still floating around in my head. Soehnlein's characters are sharply and deeply drawn, and the prose is immaculate. But the great success of this book is that the writer does what so few novelists can do, capture an entire world, an entire era, and make it come alive.
Vestal McIntyre
Absolutely wonderful.

This novel is nicely balanced between Robin and Ruby, brother and sister, who are having separate but converging adventures over the course of a weekend in the 80s. Soehnlein is not afraid to be sincere and exuberant in his writing--why would you be, when you're describing kids on the brink of adulthood and all the joy and anxiety that entails? Robin is finding an unexpected romance as he hits the road with his best friend George (a vivid character with bite) while Ruby is...more
This sequel to The World of Normal Boys was a dead-ringer for those adolescent emotions that come along with growing up and trying to figure out what is important in you life. Robin and Rudy are siblings whose lives run emotional parallels. Their exploits take them on some pretty heavy topics. It reminds of you of when you were in your early 20's: the paranoid feelings, naivete, experimenting, lack of responsibility..... I had a hard time putting this book down just as I did with "part 1."

When I finished reading Soehnlein's THE WORLD OF NORMAL BOYS back in 2000, I was satisfied with the ending to a book I absolutely loved and was moved by. I knew the characters must go on to live their lives, but I wasn't clamoring for a sequel. So when I found out Soehnlein had written ROBIN AND RUBY, my first thought was "did you really need to go back to that well?" Upon reading the book, I'm glad he did.

R&R finds Robin MacKenzie now 20 years old, a college student working his summer away...more
Elisa Ramblings
This novel follows Robin, from The World of Normal Boys, in that phase in life when you change from boy to man; only that Robin has already had that change, he is not a normal 20 years old guy, and so his summer spent waiting tables in an upscale Philadelphia restaurant is not careless and light as for any other normal boy.

I wondered why K.M. Soehnlein chose to set the story in the middle of the ’80, and other than the obvious reason that, being a sequel of a previous story set in the same peri...more
I loved Soehnlein's first novel, The World of Normal Boys , and I was enthralled with the characters, especially Robin and his sister, Ruby. I've had this sequel on my shelf only briefly, and even though I often find follow-up novels to be let-downs, I couldn't wait to read this one, and I was not disappointed.

Though I did enjoy the first book more, Robin and Ruby allows us to explore the lives of both characters a bit deeper and at a time in their lives when they're finally figuring out what it...more
This was a wonderfully written story filled with accurately drawn characters who read like real people. Although a little heavy on 80's references, this book did draw me back to a time and place I know well..Seaside Heights in the mid-80s. (Although it wasn't called Club XS until the 90' '85 I think it was called Club Paradise, but it has changed incarnations so many times it's hard to remember.) I loved Robin, Ruby and George. I loved how the author didn't try to sugarcoat his gay charact...more
Jayson Bucy
"And in this moment her entire life realigns. What matters and what doesn't. What is passion and what is just passing time. What everyone else has wanted for her, and what she wants for herself." Although this quote from K.M. Soehnlein's Robin and Ruby is referring to Ruby, the same can be said for Robin as both their lives completely change over one adventurous weekend. Robin's boyfriend breaks up with him and immediately he finds a deeper relationship in his best friend George. Ruby’s interest...more
The book was a fairly quick & easy read. I was a little disappointed though, it was a lot of build up to a whole lot of nothing, the end was very abrupt. What seemed like resolution was all undone in the last sentence, he hears that she is crying.

It reminded me of a soap opera more then a novel in the sense that it could have endlessly went on and on introducing new characters to the same scenarios. The main points of friction such as the race difference in boy loves boy was lightly touched...more
Adam James
Catching Up With Old Friends

Reading “Robin and Ruby” was truly like spending a weekend catching up with old friends.
Alternating between Robin and Ruby, K.M. Soehnlein tells us what they’ve been up to, but more notably, what chaotic happenings they are about to encounter this weekend.

If you haven’t read “The World of Normal Boys”, I strongly recommend reading this Lambda Award Winning novel, then catching up, by reading “Robin and Ruby”.

Adam James
This was an interesting look at a family torn apart in many ways by the death of the little brother years ago. Set in the early 80's when the AIDS epidemic was becoming public. Robin is a 20 year old gay theater student frightened by his past sexual behavior; Ruby is his sister, 19 and anti-everything. Robin is dumped by his boyfriend and then must go to the Jersey shore because Ruby has disappeared on a weekend trip. Robin's long time best friend is a black man which adds race to the mix of hom...more
George Ilsley
The title does say Robin and Ruby, but really this is Ruby's book. She makes friends, has friends, even has the biggest sex scene. Her gay brother however has very little happening that didn't already happen in The
World of Normal Boys (which was a brilliant novel; read it twice; loved it). This book however did not work for me. Midway through I felt that if this had been Ruby's book, with more about her life, this would have been a better tale. As it was, with expectations so high, it was a dis...more
OMG! I tried! I really, really tried! I wanted to love it and fall in love with the characters and see what all the rave reviews were about but I just can not go on any further!!! Barely 50% read and I have been working on it for a month! Ugh... It just keeps feeling like the set up and like it never gets to the actually story! If half way threw I am still wondering "what the hell is this book about?" there is a problem! For me at least :)
This was a random selection from the library. It was on a beach reads shelf display. Definitely a different perspective (I did not know it was gay lit), but I loved this book. I am going to have to read the other book by this author.
Jason Mock
Soehnlein's novel is a not-quuuite satisfying follow-up to
"The World of Normal Boys". The writing is excellent and the characters
are superbly drawn, but this reader feels it may have worked better
as a novella or short story.
There are parts that are quite well done, but overall it felt choppy and like the author was going for the Gen-X angst of an early Bret Easton Ellis novel just 20 years after.
Mandy Dake
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Wilson
Not as good as Soehnlein's first two books. This one just didn't captivate me, and it was a struggle just to finish it.
Very engaging story of a brother and sister relationship. Highlights, to a degree, one siblings trouble with drug abuse.
Greg Wolfson
pretty lame/tame gayish version of any other coming of age novel set in the 80's
Greg Wolfson
pretty lame/tame gayish version of any other coming of age novel set in the 80's
I really liked this book but I feel like it could have been a little better.
Great read, one hell of a sequel to "The World of Normal Boys".
Well written but too depressing to really enjoy.
Aug 26, 2010 Brenda rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no
not very good
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K.M. Soehnlein is the author of the new novel ROBIN AND RUBY, the story of a brother and sister during one eventful weekend in the summer of 1985. The novel follows the main characters from Soehnlein's debut, THE WORLD OF NORMAL BOYS, winner of the Lambda Award for Gay Men's Fiction. Soehnlein's novel YOU CAN SAY YOU KNEW ME WHEN, was praised by The L.A. Times's Regina Marler as "a dense, enjoyabl...more
More about K.M. Soehnlein...
The World of Normal Boys You Can Say You Knew Me When

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