THE PARENT TRAP comes to the digital age!

When Ruth Quayle used a special app to search for pictures of herself online, she found dozens of images of “Ruth Quayle” — and one of “Ruby Starling.”

When Ruby Starling gets a message from a Ruth Quayle proclaiming them to be long-lost twin sisters, she doesn’t know what to do with it — until another message arrives the day after, and another one. It could be a crazy stalker … but she and this Ruth do share a birthday, and a very distinctive ear….

Ruth is an extroverted American girl. Ruby is a shy English one. As they investigate the truth of their birth and the circumstances of their separation, they also share lives full of friends, family, and possible romances — and they realize they each may be the sister the other never knew she needed.

Things I Loved About This Book:

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for honest review. This does not affect my opinion or review. 

  1. It is written entirely in Tumblr entries, emails and movie scripts. How interesting is that? I don’t think many people could have pulled that off, but Karen Rivers definitely did. I honestly felt like I was having a peek into the world of these characters and that is something, I believe, that is hard to create.
  2. Positive view of the Internet. I’ve come across an abundance of books lately that talk about Internet safety for kids and teens, which is fantastic. But that doesn’t have to be the focus of the story. When Ruth first emails Ruby to let her know that they *may* secretly be twins, Ruby reacts the way that any regular person would: OMIGOSH THERE IS A CRAZY PERSON STALKING ME ONLINE! But in the end, this book shows the positive side of the Internet, which made me really happy.
  3. The characters are realistic. Ruby and Ruth sounded like real twelve-year-olds, both in the way that they interacted with other people and also viewed the world.
  4. Distinct voices. This kind of ties in with #3, but I think that it is something that deserves to be emphasized. Even if you don’t read who the email is from, it is clear within the first couple sentences. Huzzah!
  5. This book has been called “The Parent Trap comes to the digital age” and I think that is a great way to describe Finding Ruby Starling. This book could have easily been cliche, but the author managed to make this novel more than just a story about long-lost twins. There was a really sad aspect to this story, as well. How could a mother keep one child but abandon the other? How could a parent keep that kind of secret from their kid? I actually almost cried at parts of this.
  6. You don’t have to read The Encyclopedia of Me. This book is a companion to THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ME by the same author, but I didn’t have any trouble understanding the plot or characters. It works just as well as a standalone.

Things I Didn’t Love So Much 

  1. The slang. The emails from Ruth are filled with popular slang, which is fine. Some people actually do talk like that! But the “totes” and “fab” and “ridic” kind of got to me after a while.
  2. Who on earth was Clophie? Ruby refers to her friends as Clophie, which confused me. Is it Sophie and Chloe? Or is it just one person? I spent much of the book wondering about this and I am still not entirely certain.

The Last Word…

This was a fantastic MG story! I would easily recommend this one, particularly to reluctant readers. The unique format makes it easy to get into. 4 STARS!

6 Comments on {Review} Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

    • Samantha
      August 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 years ago)

      The format was done really well, actually. I don’t think I would be able to do that either, but I think the fact that it was emails between multiple people instead of just 2 that made it successful.

    • Samantha
      September 1, 2014 at 1:00 pm (3 years ago)

      I completely agree, Akoss. It is very unique! I hope you try it.

    • Samantha
      September 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm (3 years ago)

      As I mentioned before, the story telling technique was really cool. I hope you take a look.


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