Ruby Redford: Look Into My Eyes
London, HarperCollins, 2011, 390p
I want to be Ruby Redfort.
That is all.
Okay, that is not all, but I cannot emphasise how much I loved this book. I am ashamed that I haven't read Lauren Child before, because this is exactly the kind of novel I would have devoured as a teenager.
She's a spy! Well, she's a code breaker. Shortly after everything in her home is stolen in rather suspicious and unexplained circumstances, Ruby receives a mysterious call, which eventually leads her to a secret agency who want to recruit her. She is a young puzzle champion, and they need her help in finding some answers. A 'butler', Hitch, is assigned to watch over her as she trawls her way through pages of information, trying to decipher the grand plot.
Ruby is a highly intelligent, intuitive and observant young lady. She is too smart for school and she knows it - she has already rejected an early submission to Harvard by thirteen. She occupies herself watching detective programs, taking notes on the seemingly mundane, and creating codes with her friend, Clancy. But my description cannot credit how awesome she is. I would love to hang out with her, or to spend a day in her shoes.
The book is fast-paced and action-packed, with short, punchy chapters and hugely entertaining characters. In particular, Ruby's parents are brilliant - a strangely dull and unintelligent couple considering what a genius their daughter is. You can't help but read on and on. There are even codes in there for you to break, making you feel like part of Ruby's world.
I found myself completely engrossed, almost like I was there living it with Ruby. It is incredibly hard to create a character as exceptional and yet as rounded as this girl - Lauren Child has amazed me. The excitement and drama stayed with me after I had finished reading, and I cannot wait to read more!