Ruby Blues by Jessica Rudd

A quick rundown… The sequel to the wonderful Campaign Ruby. Ruby is now a member of the prime minister’s staff with a whole new lot of problems to solve.

Strengths: Absolutely hilarious. Bettina is the best supporting character. Ever. With sparkles. And colour co-ordinated stickers.

Weaknesses: Not long enough for my sides to split completely.

Why I read it: I adored Jessica Rudd’s first book.

Pages: 219 (eBook)

Published: 2011

Publisher: Text Publishing

Setting: Australia

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

In my book journal, I have written two things on the first line in regards to Ruby Blues. They are:

BEST EVER!

Awesome!!

Writing this review a little while later with a sense of perspective, I still stand by my initial comments. Jessica Rudd is a highly talented writer who makes chick lit incredibly funny. She is the Manolo Blahnik, the Godiva chocolate, the Dior Addict Extreme of this genre (i.e. the crème de la crème). I also read a rumour on Twitter that Ruby could be returning for a third adventure…the champagne is chilling and the eReader is charging in anticipation of this event!

But I digress. Now that you know what a wonderful writer Jessica Rudd is (yes, she is former Australian prime minister Kevin’s daughter), let’s focus on Ruby. I would say that Ruby is possibly one of the funniest creatures to grace the page – at least until I met Bettina. More about Bettina later.

When we left Ruby at the end of Campaign Ruby, she’d bagged the man and her boss had been elected Australia’s Prime Minister. Now the dust has settled and someone’s leaking secrets from the PM’s office and things with Luke could be way better. Plus, there’s also the dreaded 3-0 coming up…what’s Ruby to do? Hark the arrival of the new intern, Bettina. Bettina is super organised and super co-ordinated. I need to expand on that last point so you understand – Bettina matches her clothes, bag, shoes, car and stationery. Rather loudly. She drives a purple Monaro (that’s a muscle car – super-duper hotted up) and she has matching seat covers (so not macho). Bettina adores stationery, the sparklier and more colourful the better – one of my favourite lines in the book is from Bettina’s mother, who states that she knows Bettina is seriously upset when she refuses a trip to Smiggle (Australian stationery store, colourful and quirky). I think Bettina could be my BFF! There’s also a sexy vet, Elliott and the hardest question of all, what to wear to the most important ball of the year?

Apart from Ruby’s usual clumsiness and talent for getting into awkward situations, there’s serious stuff at play. The amount of infighting within the party is unbelievable as is the workload. Jessica Rudd manages to make the incredible grind that politics is seem sexy – and funny too. Plus it’s fun to try to work out if any character is based on any real Aussie politician…

This book is incredibly funny and the pages just whizz by. Jessica Rudd is a talented comic writer who can also do serious emotions well. The characters are incredibly well done (I think Bettina is the most memorable character I’ve ‘met’) and I look forward to more from her.

I read this book as part of Reading Matters’ Australian Literature month. Please do take part if you have the chance, as 50 pence will be donated by Kimbofo to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

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