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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,632 Ratings  ·  138 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 th
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 3rd 2006 by Harper (first published July 1st 2006)
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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
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
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 unbelie
black lamb
Jan 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bad-romance, reviewed
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 ev ...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 eno ...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...
Nov 04, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading

i think maybe i'm over reading anything francesca lia block that does not involve witch baby.
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 it'
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
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.
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....
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 wom ...more
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
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 "knowing"--
Apr 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 witho
Oct 20, 2008 rated it liked it
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
SLJ review:

Adult/High School -This is a lovely, lyrical story of a young woman who does her best to overcome an abusive past and live the happily-ever-after fairy tale. Ruby leaves the Midwest for L.A. and is employed as a nanny when she finds that life, while good, could be so much more if only she could be with the love of her life, an actor named Orion. She goes to England to find his family and to see if she can meet him. Patience and planning put Ruby at the right place at the right time. A
Greta is Erikasbuddy
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Krystal Rose
Mar 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jillian Kern
Mar 21, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Kaisa Mettille
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book was AMAZING. it is about a girl named ruby and it switches back and fourth between her childhood and the present. Ruby had a abusive father that not only beat her but raped her and her sister as well. he was an important man so no one tried to stop him. she always saw things that seemed impossible and no one beveled her because they thought that she just had an over active imagination. when ruby tells her mother that her father raped her several times her sister comes fourth too. they ...more
Vivacia Ahwen
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Anyone who reads my reviews knows I have a post-post-adolescent-gen-x adoration for Francesca Lia Block. Her mythology, magical realism, word plays, sensory images, "prosetry",total escapism....I adore what she does. Even when she misses, since so many of her stories/novellas have crossover characters, she never sinks that boat. Which is why I found this book troubling. Ruby is proof to me that FLB should always fly solo when she writes (I do not recognize the name of co-author). Though FLA ofte ...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
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“Sometimes a wild horse needs to feel that his rider is just a little bit wilder.” 33 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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