Review: Hotel Ruby by Suzanne Young


Stay Tonight. Stay Forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems…

Welcome to the Ruby.

She did it again. I have not met a Suzanne Young book that didn’t screw with my mind so hard, but that I loved just as much. I don’t know how she does it, all I know is that I throughly enjoy every story she writes.

Hotel Ruby was no exception. I was sucked into the world from the first chapter. It got right to the story without wasting time with useless details, which was the read I was looking for. 

The characters were believable and relatable. We’ve all lost someone at some point, and we all know what the pain feels like. That alone spoke volumes to me as a reader. I also found myself feeling sympathy for Audrey, which allowed me to connect with her further.

Daniel was cute. He was the perfect character to help the story along so that Audrey didn’t have to know everything until the end of the book, meaning the reader was also left wondering until the end.

Audrey’s father was also pretty important to the story, but I didn’t care much for him. I understood where his behaviour and attitude came from, I just didn’t connect with him.

ELIAS FREAKING LANGE. (Lange totally reminded me of American Horror Story, Hello, Jessica Lange… so did a few other things. More on that later). I knew something was off about Eli from the moment we met him, but I think that was fairly obvious. Audrey took to him rather quickly for the short time they were at the Ruby. Or maybe it was longer… the whole time thing was messed up.

The hotel crew was awesome. Lourdes was an absolute sweetheart, and a total badass. Their story was really sad, but it added to the creepy feel to the story, especially the night they told Audrey about the fire. Catherine… well, I figured she wasn’t going to be as bad as Audrey thought in the beginning, and her story turned out to be just as tragic as Audrey’s in the end.

As we got closer to the end of the book everything started falling into place. We discovered that Audrey, her brother, and her father never actually made it to the Ruby, they were in a car accident a short distance from the hotel. We found out in the end that they were there because they died. Audrey was still alive until the last chapter (SPEAKING OF CHAPTERS… THERE IS NO CHAPTER THIRTEEN. ASDFGHJKL.), and when she tries to leave the hotel she ends up right back in the lobby because she can’t leave until she figures out why she is there. That whole scene was very American Horror Story Murder House where Violet can’t leave the house because she died inside of it, but the story was still really awesome.

THE ENDING. HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER. I honestly thought Audrey would make it in time after she… dealt with Kenneth, and when she didn’t I was heartbroken. However, I was also happy that she was able to stay with her brother and father… and Elias. *swoon*

Hotel Ruby definitely threw me through a loop and sent me on a rollercoaster of emotions, but in perfect Suzanne Young fashion, I absolutely loved it! It was the perfect read for the end of October, beginning of November. I gave Hotel Ruby 5/5 stars, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves a chilling read, but that also wants a romance they can root for.

You can add Hotel Ruby on Goodreads here.


 Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program, The Treatment, and several other novels. She currently lives in Tempe, Arizona where she teaches high school English and obsesses about books. 

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