The Ruby Notebook (Notebook Series #2)

The Ruby Notebook (Notebook Series #2)

4.8 9
by Laura Resau

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Sixteen-year-old Zeeta and her flighty English-teaching mom, Layla, have traveled the world together, settling in a different country every year, making a whole new set of friends and adopting new customs. This year, they’ve chosen to live in Aix-en-Provence, France, an enchanting city full of fountains, creamy yellow light, and a fascinating group of scarlet

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Sixteen-year-old Zeeta and her flighty English-teaching mom, Layla, have traveled the world together, settling in a different country every year, making a whole new set of friends and adopting new customs. This year, they’ve chosen to live in Aix-en-Provence, France, an enchanting city full of fountains, creamy yellow light, and a fascinating group of scarlet-clad street performers.
Zeeta soon begins to receive mysterious notes and gifts from someone she calls her fantôme, or ghost, admirer. But she is expecting her boyfriend, Wendell—the love of her life, as her friends call him—to arrive in Aix for a summer program very soon. Zeeta brushes off her curiosity about her fantôme, and her simmering attraction to one of the street performers, Jean-Claude, until Wendell arrives and she begins to fear that her feelings for him have truly changed. Perhaps—like Layla—she’s simply not made for long-term romance.
As Zeeta tries to draw away from Wendell, however, circumstances seem to force them together. Zeeta’s friendship with a local antiques dealer and his reclusive artist friend leads to a dangerous adventure. When Zeeta and Wendell join forces to find a secret underground spring whose water is rumored to bring immortality, they are forced to reconsider their own desires, and their beliefs about true love. Yet as soon as Zeeta decides that her mind has cleared, she’s confronted with the biggest shock of her life: the incredible true identity of her fantôme.
Vibrant, warmhearted, and evocative, The Ruby Notebook is a remarkable novel about learning to accept love in all of its wondrous and imperfect forms.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This sequel to The Indigo Notebook (2008) blends romance and intrigue in an evocative setting. Sixteen-year old Zeeta and her free-spirited mother have just moved from Ecuador to Aix-en-Provence, where Zeeta's boyfriend, Wendall, will soon join them. While counting the days until his arrival, Zeeta befriends a troupe of street performers and two elderly companions--an ailing artist and an antique dealer, who are intent on finding the city's legendary fountain of youth. When Zeeta discovers that someone has been slipping unusual objects into her bag (all clues about the father she's never met), she endeavors to uncover the fantôme gift-giver. The longer Zeeta stays in France, the more she feels herself changing, and she feels that her connection to Wendall may be weakening, especially when she becomes attracted to one of the street performers. Characters and events in the novel are painted slightly brighter than life, but readers who become absorbed in Zeeta's passionate endeavors and romantic mishaps will likely be willing to suspend disbelief enough to accept the rather contrived resolutions. Ages 10–up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
Over the last sixteen years, Zeeta and her mom have lived in sixteen different places. This year its Aix-en-Provence, France and Zeeta's only consolation is that her boyfriend will be joining them for part of the summer. But things begin to change between them when Zeeta becomes entranced by a handsome accordion player from a local gypsy troupe and receives a series of mysterious gifts that lead her to search for the identity of the father she has never known. Add to the mix an ailing artist and a pigeon-obsessed man who believe in the powers of an underground spring to heal and bring eternal life, as well as a band of Celtic women warriors sworn to protect the spring. Zeeta is in for an adventure she never could have expected! Beautiful imagery and seamless inclusion of French words and phrases (complete with a pronunciation guide in the back) paint a perfectly believable setting. The second of Zeeta's adventures, this book stands easily on its own. Full of adventure, romance, mystery, and a bit of mysticism, this is an enchanting story perfect for Francophiles and those with wanderlust. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
VOYA - Chris Carlson
Every year Zeeta and her mother, Layla, have settled in a different country. Zeeta is sixteen when Layla takes a position teaching English in Aix-en-Provence, France. Shortly after arriving, Zeeta makes friends with a group of young street performers and an elderly antiques dealer and his lady friend, a reclusive artist. She also begins receiving small gifts from a mysterious admirer, whom she suspects could be her biological father. As Zeeta awaits the arrival of Wendell, her boyfriend whom she met the previous year in Ecuador and who is coming for a summer program, she develops a crush on Jean-Claude, one of the street performers. She breaks up with Wendell but soon reconsiders, enlisting Wendell's help to successfully discover a secret underground spring rumored to bring immortality and to discover the identity of her father. This novel pushes all the right buttons to lure readers into what is essentially a young girl's search for her identity. Resau begins by placing her protagonist in an exotic setting, providing her with an unlimited amount of freedom from parental control and surrounding her with attractive and interesting supporting characters—all the while experiencing the typical teen dilemmas of breaking up, dealing with jealousy, and winning back a boyfriend. Expect readers to envy Zeeta's unlimited independence, while realizing how the lack of permanence takes a toll on her emotional life. The added elements of fantasy and mystery add depth to what is essentially a romance novel. Reviewer: Chris Carlson
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—In this sequel to The Indigo Notebook (Delacorte, 2009), Zeeta and her single mother, who have spent each of Z's 16 years in a different country, are teaching English and making friends in Aix-en-Provence. Z always buys a new notebook in each country and fills it with observations, thoughts, dreams, and the answers to questions she asks people. As a way of making friends and getting to know her new country, she interviews people everywhere she goes. France is proving to be most intriguing: Z befriends an elderly couple who offer her a mystery to solve; the love of her life, Wendell, is flying in to spend time with her; she becomes smitten with a young street performer; and she is suddenly being given meaningful gifts by an anonymous admirer. With a hint of mystery, a bit of romance, a touch of travel, and some coming-of-age, this book covers a lot of ground without ever feeling scattered or haphazard. Resau's robust descriptions give readers a good picture of France and its people. Although one can guess where the plot is headed, teens will still want to go along for the ride, so enjoyable is the writing. The pace can be slow at times, even when Z and Wendell are sneaking about in tunnels below the town, trying to solve the mystery. But anyone who enjoys detailed settings and thoughtful narratives will be rewarded with this story.—Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews

Thoughtful, intense Zeeta and her free-spirited mother return in this follow-up to The Indigo Notebook (2009). Perennial travelers, the two have now settled in the atmospheric city of Aix-en-Provence. Zeeta eagerly anticipates the arrival of her boyfriend Wendell from Colorado, but when he changes the terms of his visit, Zeeta is hurt and confused. Their relationship is further strained by her involuntary attraction to Jean-Claude, a member of a street dance troupe. At the same time, Zeeta begins to discover strange notes and items left in her bag. Weaving bits of magic, city lore and bittersweet romance into each of the many plot lines, Resau has again crafted a complex and satisfying novel that is both a mystery and a tender, wise meditation on love and self-identity. Characters are rich and vibrant, each of them bringing their own past to bear on the story at hand. Readers will want to read the first before starting this one and will likely be clamoring for the third, the groundwork for which is nicely set up here. (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Laura Resau's Notebook Series, #2
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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