25 October 2017

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

Publication: October 24, 2017 
# of Pages: 256 
Source: Review copy from publisher **all thoughts are my own 

Ruby is best friends with Emma, but she and Emma's twin sister Olivia are definitely not friends. Unfortunately, Emma will be away for the summer, while Ruby and Olivia are going to be stuck at a community service day camp for troublemakers--together. 

To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are outfitted with bright pink polka-dotted t-shirts with smiley faces on the front, then tasked with cataloging the contents of an abandoned mansion. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working with each other is that last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually pretty cool. There's everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to stuffed deer heads . . . and . . . wait . . . is that stuffed deer head watching them? 

When the taps run freezing cold and doors slam inexplicably, Ruby and Olivia wonder if the other campers are having a bit of fun, or if the abandoned mansion is looking for new residents. To solve the mystery, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their grudges aside and figure out how to be a team with or without Emma.

If you're looking for a great October read look no further than this book. It's full of interesting and creepy elements that make it one of the most captivating books of the year. I've read a few things by Rachel Hawkins and she has yet to fail me with her superb writing. One of the best elements about this book was definitely the element of friendship. The two main characters Ruby and Olivia couldn't be any more different from each other, but it is their personal troubles that bring them together.

This middle grade novel has a lot to offer in terms of lessons. It not only captivates the reader through the spookiness and intrigue associated with the restoration of the house, but also in the way that it teaches the reader of friendship, kindness, and the importance of loving oneself. In addition to this, I really enjoyed reading about the dynamic between twins. I've only read one other book that deals with the relationship between twins and I didn't care for it. However, Hawkins is able to beautifully craft the relationship between Olivia and her sister Emma. People often forget that though twins share the same physical features they are individuals.

If you are looking for a beautifully and interestingly written book that is haunting, but also funny and entertaining then I would definitely recommend picking this book up. Rachel Hawkins never fails to entertain her writers and leave them with some thought provoking lessons.


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