“Ruby Red” by Kerstin Gier

"Ruby Red" by Kerstin Gier
"Ruby Red" by Kerstin Gier

Time travel is awesome. Not just the kind that takes place in a big blue police box with hot British guys, but the kind that takes place in books with great female leads and hilarious friendships, like in Kerstin Gier’s “Ruby Red” trilogy (Henry Holt & Co., May 2011).

16-year-old Gwyneth Sheperd never thought that she would inherit the time travel gene. After all, her cousin Charlotte was the one born on the right day to be the next time traveler, and Charlotte’s been prepped all throughout her life to be ready for the day she disappears and lands mysteriously in another era.

Then, of course, Gwyn disappears and ends up in the middle of a ballroom in the past.

Now Gwyn and a strange, mysterious, hot time traveler named Gideon (who was supposed to marry her cousin, but  now has a sudden interest in her) must go back  in time to put together pieces of a mysterious invention — and figure out who they can trust.

Of course, that summary doesn’t do the novel any justice. Gwyn is a very realistic character. She manages to panic without seeming like she doesn’t know anything that’s going on, thinks boys are cute without seeming completely obsessed and is clever without appearing all knowing.

The best thing about the book, though — despite the epic time traveling — is the friendship between Gwyn and her best friend Lesley. Unlike most books, there isn’t a giant conflict between the two of them. They’re not lusting after the same boy or hating each other because one can time travel and one can’t. They have a genuine friendship — Lesley helps Gwyn try to figure out what’s going on and to gossip and just generally have fun in a couple of scenes.

Any sci-fi fans — and especially “Doctor Who” fans — need to pick up “Ruby Red.” It’s absolutely fantastic. And for people who want to start dabbling in sci-fi, this is a great place to start.