Audrey knows her father is grief-stricken over the death of her mother, but abandoning her and her brother at the home of a grandmother they hardly know is almost unforgivable.
So when the family stops to rest at the luxurious and extravagant Hotel Ruby, Audrey makes the most of her last night of freedom. She sneaks into the hotel’s “anniversary party”—an invitation-only event—where she meets and falls head over heels for the charming Elias Lange, a longtime resident of the Ruby. But Audrey’s passion for Elias isn’t enough to distract her from the nagging feeling that things at the Ruby just aren’t quite right: haunting music drifts down the corridor of the 13th floor, where Audrey is staying; the concierge is both ominous and seemingly omniscient; and some guests are not enthusiastic about attending the invitation-only anniversary parties that seem to occur every night. The haunted-hotel plot is not entirely original, and some readers may predict the ending after reading the first 30 pages. However, Young accurately captures each resident’s grief, thus populating her novel with three-dimensional characters whom readers will appreciate.
While fans of supernatural-romance may want to give this The Shining–meets–The Great Gatsby book a try, readers looking for a less-transparent plot and a more-complicated mystery would do better to look elsewhere. (Horror. 14-18)