Read The Embittered Ruby by Nicole O'Dell Online


Join embittered sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo on her journey to hope and healing as she leaves her hurtful world behind and moves into Diamond Estates, a home for troubled teens. This brand-new novel for teen girls will not only entertain, but also promises to capture your heart and challenge your faith....

Title : The Embittered Ruby
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781616266400
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Embittered Ruby Reviews

  • PaulaPhillips
    2019-03-14 08:08

    Something that is often shied away from is the genre of Christian fiction. It seems to be only the "Christians' that go for it as the others believe it will either be not something that they will enjoy or they believe it will be all up in the trying to convert and bible bash you. The thing is that what most people don't realize is that today's Christian Fiction for the YA audience holds an edgy feel to it and reflects issues that go on in the lives of Christian and non-Christian teens. A series that I had first discovered back in January 2013 was Nicole O'Dell's Diamond Estate Novels. I was hooked after reading Book #3 and decided to go back and check out Books #1 and #2. The Embittered Ruby is Book #2 in the series. In this one, we meet sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo who has a wealthy boyfriend, belongs to a country club and has two loving parents and off to greatness with her tennis and private schooling. That is until her parent's marriage starts to crumble and her dad leaves her mother for his secretary Tiffany. Soon the life Carmen knows will be ripped away from her as they move across town to a poorer area filled with gangs and public schooling. Her parents married originally when Carmen was born, so Carmen concocts a plan to fall pregnant to Nick - her boyfriend and then he will marry her and rescue her from this poor life. Things start to go well and eventually too well as Carmen's plans come into play but what will happen when tragedy strikes and everything Carmen has created has unraveled, and she is back to square one, but this time with no support. When her mom hears about a Christian support type rehab for teenage girls, her mom signs Carmen along, and she is shipped off to the Diamond Estates. During her time here, she will meet a variety of characters - some good influences and others bad? What will Carmen choose to follow when it comes down to her survival? Will she pick the path she was taken before the Estates or will she choose to put her faith and self in God's way? Find out in The Embittered Ruby by Nicole O'Dell, Book #2 in the Diamond Estate series. A series that not only instills a Christian value but also targets Edgy family issues and topics in a Christian manner.

  • Rachelle Cobb
    2019-02-21 04:29

    What I LovedAs soon as I finished The Wishing Pearl I knew I wanted to read The Embittered Ruby. Nicole O'Dell has a real talent for opening up the heart of a troubled teen girl with serious issues...and helping the reader sympathize with her.Sometimes I got so mad at Carmen! I just wanted to shake her by the shoulders and tell her to trust God, confide in her parents, and stop acting like she was...but I learned a lot through reading this book, too. Like shaking someone by the shoulders is not the best way to drive a truth home.The things that Carmen goes through aren't often easy to swallow. A few times I put down the book because my heart was breaking for her (and those girls out there who are going through similar experiences). But this is a fabulous book of redemption. God's unfailing love, which Carmen eventually comes to know, is a central theme all the way through and that makes this book worth reading. Why I Recommend This BookCarmen's journey is a very raw and real one that will tug at your heartstrings and even bring a few tears. The ending is almost wistful. I wish the book were a bit longer. I would have loved to travel more with Carmen after she accepts God's love for her...but somehow I know she is going to be okay and that is enough.I look forward to reading the third book in the Diamond Estates Series, The Shadowed Onyx.

  • bird
    2019-02-26 08:20

    I loved The Wishing Pearl, the first book in Nicole O'dell's Diamond Estates Series so of course I jumped on the chance to read the second book in the series.I'm not going to spoil this book for y'all, but I will say that Carmen made alot of bad choices. And I mean alot of bad choices. This book deals with alot of sensitive topics such as teen pregnancies, drugs, suicide, and quite a few other topics. It was hard to read certain scenes and I teared up at times.During certain parts I got so frustrated with Carmen and the mistakes that she made, yet at the same time I felt so sorry for her. She justified her actions and found ways to get out of her pain and spent so much time running from the person who loved her most that it broke my heart because I really felt for her.What makes this book worth reading? The fact that it is a beautiful story of God's unfailing love and forgiveness. That makes it worth reading. Once again Mrs. O'Dell did a wonderful job writing a book where a teenager made some bad choices, but in the end God's love covers it all. This book is very emotional and deals with tough topics, but if you are up for the ride then this book will be well worth it.

  • Jill Williamson
    2019-03-03 06:04

    Review by Jill WilliamsonCarmen Castillo’s live is falling apart. Her parents have gotten a divorce, which meant she had to move to s new school in New Jersey, far away from her boyfriend in New York, the country club where she plays tennis, and her beautiful home. New Jersey is gross. Their new apartment is in a seedy part of town, and on the first day of school, she gets hit on my the head of a dangerous gang. Carmen just wants out. But her desperation leads her to deceive everyone she knows.Nicole O’Dell writes honest, gut-wrenching books about real life. They are just so powerful they give me chills. I could totally follow Carmen’s logic, being raised the way she was. My heart grieved for Carmen and her boyfriend Nate. But Nicole always takes readers on a journey through the eyes of her characters, and Carmen’s journey was beautiful. I loved it. These are amazing books for teen girls. I highly recommend them.

  • Adriana
    2019-02-24 10:33

    Carmen Castillo has just moved to Hackensack, New Jersey where danger lurks everywhere - on the streets and in her school. But the school will be soon taken care of Diego a gangbanger who's killed. He offers her his services to protect her from Marco another gangbanger who "wants' her"She has a boyfriend back from New York. A wealthy boyfriend like she used to be but then her dad divorced her mom and is dating a 20 something cheerleader while she now lives in a tiny apartment with her mother and her three sisters. And now she has to even share a room with a bunk bed! with her bratty little sister.So what does she do? She gets pregnant on purpose and doesn't tell her boyfriend. His mother isn't too keen on her son throwing her life away for a Mexican... I hated that. What make you think Hispanics are beneath you? Many work harder than you and are smarter than you so *hair flip* get over yourself.So this a series of the Diamond Estates which is a place to reform girls through God. Religion didn't really come up in the beginning and was waiting for it. It felt like a soap opera in the beginning which I didn't mind. So you know at the end she gets sent there. So I felt this book and how the protagonist was seemed kind of unbelievable. The church thing? And her thoughts? I mean it was too much. I don't see me ever thinking in that way. Just it didn't seem like a teenager was thinking it. Hmm... I just thought the way she said it was unbelievable. And things happened a little too fast. I know weird to say because this book is around 350 pages but the way she just transformed was again unbelievable. It didn't feel right to me. You can't just one day say you're against being Christian and the next I'm Christian! It was weird.So those were the negative parts now the positive part is that I really liked this book. It wasn't the greatest book ever but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I mean I did finish in like three days so yeah.... Carmen just was killing me. I mean she didn't really care about the baby. She didn't even grieve for it. She's selfish throughout so you know when you read it you are going to be wanting to have a fight or yelling at the main character. I had to stop for a second because she was trying to ruin a relationship and I couldn't believe my eyes. She was exasperating but not overly. I did towards the end feel a little bit good inside my heart with a few things were saying. At the beginning it was way too attack with you with religion for me. Well how the Diamond Estates owners acted and it was nice to have Carmen there to go through that because it was a little too much but then the feeling came and I was happy. I need to read more religious/spiritual books so this was good for me. The Wishing Pearl is the first book and t seems like everyone likes it so I'll have to check it out.http://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot...

  • Imagination Meg
    2019-03-16 03:05

    I loved this book just as much as the previous one - The Wishing Pearl. O'Dell has written a very similar story to the first one in the Diamond Estates series, but it was dealing with a different-enough girl that it didn't matter. It had plenty of strong Christian messages, but it wasn't in your face and easy to read through. The Embittered Ruby followed Carmen Castillo, another older teen girl who was going through troubled times in her life. Really troubled times. Long story short, she got herself in way deeper than Olivia from our last story. What she did probably makes this story for older teens, but it doesn't matter too much. Her life turns around in a very similar way, and I love how O'Dell writes Carmen into a box, opens a skylight, and hides the ladder so that she has to really work to find her way out. The only thing that bothered me about this book had to do with a choice of Carmen's at the end of the book - she didn't have the right reasons to me. Otherwise, it was great. You can read the spoiler below because it has to do with what got her into Diamond Estates and it is at the end, so... anyway, it was the reason I gave the book 4 stars. Again, a must-read for all teens - christian or not.(view spoiler)[Carmen gets into trouble because she tricks her boyfriend, Nate into getting her pregnant so she can live with him - her intentions were good(ish), but twisted by desperation - woah, right?! Anyway, she loses the child and Nate finds out and gets mad at her. After she has turned around, her boyfriend comes to her and talks to her, reassuring her that he still does love her (like, actual love, not high-school "love") and has forgiven her. He wants to get back together, or at least hang out a bit and slowly work back. (He's a great guy that really understands.) Instead of considering his offer, Carmen just turns him down flat! She reasons that it will bring up too many bad memories, but Nate wasn't part of much of this and you can tell from her character throughout the book that she will have these memories no matter what as she goes through life and has boyfriends and such. She truly loved him, but threw it away while trying to run away from her memories. It's not going to work! You can just tell that Nate would be really good for her and a great mentor at least, but she didn't go for it. I could see another book where she starts going the wrong way again and Nate pulls her back. Okay, sorry, that was a lot, but it really bothered me. (hide spoiler)]

  • Gillian Bronte Adams
    2019-03-03 11:17

    I really enjoyed reading The Wishing Pearl by Nicole O’Dell, the first book in the Diamond Estates series. So, I was very excited when offered the chance to review the second book, The Embittered Ruby. From the first page, the reader is thrown into Carmen Castillo’s life. Reeling from her parent’s divorce and her sudden move from an upscale New York home to a crime ridden New Jersey neighborhood, Carmen is positive that life can’t get any worse. Until some of the more dangerous characters at school start paying attention to her. Add to that the trials of a long distance relationship with her boyfriend Nate, and Carmen is ready to get out of there. Whatever the cost. First off, let me say that Nicole O’Dell is quite the writer. She blends such natural internal monologue with the action that you feel as if you’re really in Carmen’s head, seeing and thinking and experiencing everything she does. I found this book a little harder to read than the Wishing Pearl for two reasons. One, it was more depressing. The book deals with difficult issues like teen pregnancy, drugs, suicide, etc. Carmen makes some bad choices. Really bad. And she has to suffer the negative consequences of those choices. And, as it is so often is in real life, her decisions negatively impacted those around her as well. Without giving too much away, I can say that the book doesn’t have a fairy tale “everyone lives happily ever after” ending. And that’s ok. That’s real life.Two, the main character was less likable. I found that I didn’t care for Carmen as much as I had cared for Olivia. Probably because her behavior through most of the book is anything but endearing.That said, I really enjoyed reading The Embittered Ruby. Even though Carmen often acted like a totally self centered brat, Nicole kept me wanting her to change, wanting everything to work out for her. The Embittered Ruby also offers valuable lessons and insights about how we are often judgmental and prejudiced without even realizing it, and portrays the negative affect such an attitude can have both on ourselves and on others.Overall, The Embittered Ruby is a great second book in The Diamond Estates Series. Just because of some of the subject matter (although it’s always handled tactfully), I would recommended The Embittered Ruby for ages 14+.

  • Valerie Comer
    2019-03-20 03:34

    Carmen Castillo is major unimpressed with her parents’ divorce. How come Dad gets to live in the fabulous family home in the right neighborhood, and she has to live with Mom and two sisters in an apartment on the wrong side of the tracks? Not only can Carmen no longer play tennis at the Country Club, but she can’t see her boyfriend every day anymore either. And then there’s the gang warfare in her new neighborhood. If she could click her ruby heels together and go home, she’d do it in a heartbeat.If her parents would only get back together, Carmen’s world would be right again, so she gives it her best–but unsuccessful–shot. Carmen’s life spirals quickly when she decides to take the concept of forever family into her own hands. If her parents can’t provide it, how about her and Nick? They can do a better job.Of course it’s not so simple when you’re sixteen years old, and when Carmen lands at rock bottom, she checks into Diamond Estates, a home in Colorado for troubled girls. But is she really up for the work and attitude change it will require to change her life for the better?This book deals with traumatic teen issues, but doesn’t provide simplistic answers. Carmen’s journey in both directions (down and up) is peppered with both major and minor decisions that keep the story from seeming formulaic. This is the second book in the Diamond Estates series. Very different than The Wishing Pearl, it’s my favorite story in this series so far. If you are a teen or know a teen who is willing to read hard-hitting, realistic fiction about the choices teens face, please read and/or provide these books.Yes, I’m biased. Nicole O’Dell is one of my critique partners and writing buddies. I’ve seen this story (and series) develop from a mere gleam in Nicole’s eye. She has not only a rare talent, but a driving passion for helping teen girls make wise choices.I’ve read several versions of this book as it grew, but haven’t yet held the paper copy in my hands. My review is based upon the final submitted version as I last saw it, a few months ago.

  • Cara Putman
    2019-02-19 07:12

    This review is from my daughter who inhaled this book: Sixteen year old Carmen finds herself for an escape from her new home in New Jersey. After her parents divorce, her mom moves her and her sisters to an apartment on the wrong side of town. Everything she knows -- from her family to her friends -- is stripped away and she's desperate to somehow recreate what she once had. When all of her attempts fail, it feels like her life is over. She makes a string of bad choices in her attempt to break free. She's willing to do just about anything if it means creating a new family. These choices lead her to Diamond Estates in Colorado. At Diamond Estates she has to confront the consequences of her choices and decide whether to change or continue on her path. All along God's grace is waiting and wooing her...she just has to choose whether to accept it.While Carmen made a bunch of bad choices, I liked her story because it showed me that no matter what we do God still loves us and won't leave us. No matter what we've done, God won't turn His back on us. He's still waiting for us to turn to Him. Her story pulled me in -- I literally read this book in one night. It hit our house, and I inhaled it. I also enjoyed the return to Diamond Estates...a place I loved in the first book Wishing Pearl.

  • Gina
    2019-03-16 03:09

    Once upon a time I was a teenager, it hasn't been so long ago that I forgot some of those feelings. Like Carmen I was a child of divorce, my life changed at that moment as did the life of Carmen. Loosing the things that you know as your life, your home, family, school and for Carmen. Tennis can make it difficult to see clearly. Those losses are what drove Carmen to the first mistake she made. It is not surprising that this first mistake lead her on a pretty typical path of one thing to the next compounded until it spiraled out of control.I was intrigued by the Manliness of a young Nate. Who stood up in some tough situations and was willing to not only make things work but forgive when necessary! When Carmen finally makes the decision to make things better I saw a peace in her I wasn't even expecting. The author helped the character go beyond a 180 turn of attitude. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I found the "realness" of each of the teenage characters so very refreshing and enjoyed learning about their lives! Once I finished this book I found out it was a series, I cannot wait to read the first book "The Wishing Pearl" and I'll be waiting quite impatiently for the next one as well!

  • Rachel
    2019-03-01 07:20

    Carmen just wants her old life back. The only way to do is to have her boyfriend marry her. But the only way she can think of that happening anytime soon is to get pregnant. But when things begin to crash around her, she has no choice but to go to Diamond Estates to change her ways and heal her soul. It is not easy though when she doesn't believe in God or have an interest in the program. Will she find healing or will her old ways keep her from changing?A realistic story with a fantastic ending. But, when Carmen got to Diamond Estates, she did somethings that didn't seem like her character before and that new storylines were coming in with not enough book left to really get through them. Her transfermation was a bit quick as well. All in all, it was a good second book in a series that is well worth the read. In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free through Team Novel Teen.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-06 08:13

    When Carmen's parents get a divorce, she is forced to move with her mother and two sisters from her classy home in upstate New York to a small, dilapidated apartment in Hackensack New Jersey. Willing to do anything to get her classy life back, Carmen makes bad decision after bad decision. Finally, she has no choice but to leave her family for The Diamond Estates--a refuge for teenage girls who need to get away from life and find God. This was a very difficult book for me to read and review. Carmen's decisions were so supremely selfish that I spent most of the book either groaning or feeling angry at her. I think O'Dell was very brave to create a character like Carmen for readers of Christian fiction. That said, O'Dell did an impressive job of making Carmen likable despite an overwhelming number of unlikable traits. That takes talent. I would recommend this book to parents of troubled teens or to troubled teenagers who are seeking God.

  • Carfar42
    2019-03-21 05:05

    This book was very different from the first book in the Diamond Estates series, The Wishing Pearl (which was one of my favorite books of 2011). When I thought about it and remembered that these books chronicle the journeys of troubled teens through poor decisions until they seek help at a residential center, Diamond Estates, it only made sense that they would be completely different. So, it was a wise choice. Carmen definitely makes some really dumb decisions, ones I hope most girls wouldn't make, but you can clearly see her thought process as she justifies her actions every step of the way. Then, the author eases us along as Carmen begins the long process of turning from her mistakes and finding out the truth about God's grace. It's a beautiful awakening, even though it's not always easy for Carmen. Nor should it be.

  • IrenesBookReviews
    2019-03-07 03:09

    I do not read a lot of young adult books but I was glad I had the opportunity to read this one. The story centers on a sixteen year old girl named Carmen. She is going through family drama and this book takes you along on her journey.I found the story to be realistic. I thought the descriptions of the main characters’ emotions were well written. You follow the character as she justifies doing things that she knows are wrong. You really get to know her and understand why she does what she does. I did feel like it took you on this long journey that ended abruptly though. The ending is not as good as the rest of the book. That said, I still enjoyed the story and gave this book 4/5 stars.I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book I enjoyed reading. I gave an honest review based on my opinion of what I read.

  • Claire
    2019-03-16 04:26

    This is the first book by Nicole O'Dell I have read. The is the "second" book in her Diamond Estates novel. This book was strong and powerful, giving you a glimpse into Carmen's world, one that she wants to leave behind.To be honest, I felt like Carmen made too many bad decisions - I know that is what teenagers do, and that it is just a part of life but I felt like it was a bit too much. That said, I loved the way she handled it all, right until the very end. If you want a contemporary book, that is an easy but emotional read, then this is the book for you!

  • Oksana*Bookaholic*
    2019-02-27 08:30

    I loved this book! I loved how you really got to watch Carmen grow as a character, though I have to admit I got kinda mad when she started trying to break Olivia and Justin up. I guess since I read about Olivia first in The Wishing Pearl, I kinda felt protective of her. But all in all, this book was as fantastic as the first one. :)

  • Cassaundra Aunna
    2019-03-15 11:26

    This is a very good book for any struggling teen, or adult, who needs the inspiration and the help to better themselves. I really enjoyed most of the story. I truly hope that teens today are not so lost as they were in this book. I won this book on Goodreads First Reads.

  • Dawn Teresa
    2019-03-13 06:04

    I respect Nicole O'Dell and feel her work is necessary and important. Hard to say this:I was excited to read this at NetGalley, but ultimately disappointed to find I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as The Wishing Pearl.That said I will still look into book 3.

  • Rebekah Hancox
    2019-02-27 06:20

    GREAT BOOK! you should read!

  • Katelyn
    2019-03-21 07:13

    Very good book. A must read for all teenage girls.

  • Annabelle Marie Veronica
    2019-02-22 06:18

    Review to come, maybe. Probably.