I didn’t know much about Goodbye Ruby Tuesday before I started reading it, other than there would be some flashbacks to being a teenager in the 00s – which appealed to me greatly. Few people are really nostalgic for this era yet but they really should be! I personally feel very lucky to have been a teenager during this period. Thanks to the absence of smartphones, it meant when you were out with your friends, you were wholeheartedly and completely with them. It was a much richer, more emotionally fulfilling experience. You would talk to each other at length and you worked hard to comfort each other and make each other laugh (without the aid of a funny YouTube video). Why am I nostalgically rambling on about this decade? It’s because the strong teen friendships in this book remind me of my own fierce bonds with a close-knit group of girls at that age. Just as in the story, some of these friendships have faded and some of us have really changed. So, I suppose what I’m trying to say is that, the relationships in Goodbye Ruby Tuesday are very relatable. And if you’re in your late 20s/early 30s, you’ll recognise the feeling of wondering why you’re not where you thought you’d be and how that all happened.
For me, a good book always starts with characters and relationships I can identify with, but there’s more to Goodbye Ruby Tuesday than that. There’s adventure, hope, desire, humour and romance – all the ingredients for an enjoyable, summer read that I found very hard to put down. Though you never get to meet the mysterious Ruby Tuesday, whose short life is at the heart of the story, you get to know her though a series of flashbacks to the characters’ school days. These run throughout the story and are as exciting to read as the main story, like the guilty pleasure of reading someone’s teenage diary. Through the flashbacks and the main story, you watch the characters grow and triumph over a number of challenging situations and inner turmoil, all without this feeling obvious or contrived.
For anyone who’s ever embellished their past or even tried to run from it, for whatever reason, there’s a lot to take comfort from in this story too. Each character slowly has to face up to their past and learn to embrace it. I expect parts of this may feel oddly familiar to those of us now living out our professional lives in London, where our new friends often have no idea about our childhoods, our parents or where grew up. Like I said, there’s a lot in this book to relate to.
I haven’t even started on the romance that starts to build between two of the characters, I don’t want to give the game away too much but let’s just say it has everything you’d want. There’s sexual tension, flirting, longing, drinking too much and embarrassing yourself (we’ve all been there!). So whilst the romance is enjoyable in an escapist sense, it’s also very real too. Certainly anyone who has ever felt awkward on a first date or said the wrong thing to a potential love-interest will enjoy reading how the story unfolds.
All in all, I have to say I loved Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, it was thoroughly enjoyable, fun reading with lots of laughter and adventure. It feels almost like a coming of age tale for us late 20/early 30-somethings – which I think is something that’s sorely needed because, after all, it’s never too late to try and turn your dreams into reality.
Join us at a special celebration of Goodbye Ruby Tuesday on Tuesday 5th July.