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3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,672 ratings  ·  144 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
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by Harper (first published July 1st 2006)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,672 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Jan 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't know how I found this one but it reminded me of reading an Alice Hoffman book. I will definitely read more by this author.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
DNF @ 50%. I've had this for years. Never read it. I found it in my book closet (that I really need to read so I can get rid of some books) and picked it up. It just wasn't for me. It was one of them no plotter but we'll follow this whimsical girl who flits from place to place (without any explanation of how she gets where she's going.) This has like a SHITTON of flash backs too, which I hate. Like, this girl worked a year as a live-in nanny (so you know the pay would be crap) but she still ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
So far this is my favorite FLB book. Her books are an acquired taste with her writing style more like poetry and not always linear. Carmen Staton helped immensely with this while not diluting any of the magic. Ruby and her sister Opal will rip you in half and fairie magic will paste you back together.
P. Kirby
3.4 stars.

Fan girl gets every fan girl's dearest wish...i.e., the object of her desire, an A-list movie star, falls in love with her because she's "spesh-shul."

Snarky comment aside, I enjoyed this. But...the above sentence is basically the premise. Ruby, a young woman who has the gift of knowing, whose life has been filled with glimpses of magical other worlds, decides she is destined to be with a gorgeous young actor named Orion. She moves to England where she meets his parents, who are
black lamb
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, bad-romance
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
Nov 01, 2008 rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Oct 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Laura Cooper
Jul 27, 2015 rated it liked it
As with all FLB books, this was beautifully written. I loved the magic and whimsy of the tale, and the haunting sadness of Ruby's past. That being said, I couldn't help but roll my eyes through the entire book thinking that Ruby basically became a stalker to a famous actor, whom she felt was destined to be her soulmate. That main story line in itself was just so unbelievable that it took away from how much I could have enjoyed this. I also felt the book was way too short and didn't allow for ...more
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
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...
Raven DeLajour
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Reading Ruby was like having the demons of my past cutting my chest open, exposing my viscera to the world of germs and viruses and then an angel coming to take out my scarred heart and planting it in a garden full of roses.

I consider books lovers that come into your life at the right time. That might be cliche by now. I apologize if it is. But I can’t help but notice that during my darkest times, the right book will come along and soothe my festering wounds that just won’t heal. I’ve finally
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
Growing up in an abusive family, Ruby decides that she will leave for LA as soon as she is legal. She finds a job as a nanny with a doctor who suspected the abuse, and we learn about Ruby's past and the magical touch she has. Ruby knows about her destiny and she sees who she is supposed to fall in love with. This just happens to be a superstar actor who has disappeared from the scene. Ruby sets off to England to find him.

We slowly learn about what Ruby had to endure during her childhood and
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
***3.5 stars rounded up***

The only reason I picked this book up was because I needed a book written by multiple authors for a readathon I'm participating in. I finished it in a few hours because it sounded like my kind of thing (magic and spells and sixth senses). It was like an enchanting fairytale to me, even though the subject matter can be extremely triggering and sad.
The one thing that made the story slightly confusing at times was the constant, abrupt change between the narrator's age.
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars) I liked Ruby's character - her strength and ability to create. A new future despite her haunted past. The way the book is written, at some points in second person, is interesting. It's not always clear when something is a flashback or a current recounting, a dream or reality, which is sometimes and confusing but I'm guessing partially on purpose since the narrator herself isn't always sure what's real and what's imagined. I didn't connect so much to the kind of magic in this book but ...more
Sep 04, 2019 added it
Shelves: magical-realism
I liked the magical realism and fairy tale feel of it, but the story wasn't for me. Ruby felt like a stalker when she moved to England to be with a movie star she saw in a film. When they first meet, Orion is "depressed and fragile". At one point Ruby says about their relationship: "And I felt that at that maybe in that moment I was pure enough for your love." Is that love?
The whole time I felt like is was looking into a puddle, everything felt unfinished and shallow. All the flashbacks made me
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the first novel I've read by FLB and I LOVED it! The novel is written beautifully, at times it is dark and at times it is light - perfectly balanced and magical. Within the realm of realism, fantasy and magic it appealed to all of my senses.

At first it was hard to follow the characters and who was speaking, but was quickly figured out and enjoyable. I've awarded this novel 4/5 stars because I thought the end was lacking and abrupt, I would have loved to continue reading - but all good
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Francesca Lia Block, why is everything you write so magical? Your books never cease to fill me with wonder and they always make me feel better when I'm getting too stuck in my head and need to escape into a good book.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
My daughter read her teen series so she really wanted me to read this one and I loved it. Francesca is such a gentle, kind, soul. My daughter has a chance to spend time with her and she is so sweet.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
dreams by the cranberries
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another captivating yet easy read by FLB, one of my favourite authors. Bewitching and beautifully written. Has some dark elements but they are necessary to the story.
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
not into teen abuse books....
Victoria Zieger
I really love this author a lot. This book was different than some of the others I read but I really liked it. It was very dark and some parts were a bit shocking. But, I loved the writing and the story. I would have liked more. I think she could have given the reader more of the story and the characters. Overall, it was very good.
Mar 24, 2010 added it
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 ...more
Jamie R
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, 2013
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
Zoë Danielle
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
“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
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 ...more
Sep 19, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher’s ...more
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“Sometimes a wild horse needs to feel that his rider is just a little bit wilder.” 35 likes
“That was what healing was, I thought. Don't imagine the broken part at all. Only see the image of the whole. It is already whole because of your love. Love does not fragment.” 0 likes
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