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Review: Hotel Ruby (Young)

My students have been anxiously awaiting Hotel Ruby‘s arrival in my library since I read and told them about it six months ago. Think Stephen King’s The Shining meets The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” Yep!

AUTHOR: Suzanne Young
SERIES: none
PUBLICATION DATE: November 3, 2015
ISBN: 9781481423007
PAGES: 288
SOURCE: Edelweiss
GENRE: horror, suspense
SETTING: Hotel Ruby, present day
GIVE IT TO: HS, those who love ghost stories

SUMMARY: Seventeen-year old Audrey Casella has had a hard time since her mother died three months ago. Now, her father is taking Audrey and her 18-year old brother Daniel to live with their grandmother, a woman they barely know. Tired from the drive, the trio stops for the night at the opulent Hotel Ruby. But things at Hotel Ruby aren’t as they appear, and Audrey and her family are about to find out that leaving the luxurious Hotel Ruby isn’t so easy as it may seem.

REVIEW: This book will be SO EASY to booktalk! Picture “Hotel California” crossed with The Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining. And there you have Hotel Ruby.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mysteries of Hotel Ruby, and I love that I never quite knew exactly what was going on until pretty close to the big reveal. Though Audrey annoyed me as a character and Kenneth seemed to be evil for no particular reason, the suspense of the story kept me HOOKED. I talked about this story for days with my students, even doing a few booktalks on ghost stories just so I could talk more about Hotel Ruby. My students cannot wait for this book to come out–I know I’m going to need to order multiple copies.

I don’t want to say too much about this book for fear I’ll give something away. This story isn’t perfect–Audrey is about as infuriating a girl as I’ve seen–but if you love a creepy-delicious, suspenseful ghost story, you must read Hotel Ruby.

THE BOTTOM LINE: A must-read for fans of ghost stories. Creepy, suspenseful, and so “Hotel California.” Read it!

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: Ordering multiples. Extremely easy to booktalk this one!

READALIKES: The Shining (King); Haunting Violet (Harvey)


  • Overall: 4/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 4/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5
  • Writing: 4/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: high–multiple F-bombs, sh**
  • Sexuality: medium–some kissing, talk of sex
  • Violence: high–murder, story of people killed in a fire, blood and gore
  • Drugs/Alcohol: medium-high–nightly party where everyone (including teen guests) drink alcohol

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