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Hotel for the Lost

About The Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Program comes a haunting, romantic, and suspenseful story about one girl’s search for healing in a grand and mysterious hotel full of secrets.

Stay tonight. Stay forever.

When Audrey Casella arrives for an unplanned stay at the grand Hotel Ruby, she’s grateful for the detour. Just months after their mother’s death, Audrey and her brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their grandmother, dumped on the doorstep of a DNA-matched stranger because their father is drowning in his grief.

Audrey and her family only plan to stay the night, but life in the Ruby can be intoxicating, extending their stay as it provides endless distractions—including handsome guest Elias Lange, who sends Audrey’s pulse racing. However, the hotel proves to be as strange as it is beautiful. Nightly fancy affairs in the ballroom are invitation only, and Audrey seems to be the one guest who doesn’t have an invite. Instead, she joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past.

The more Audrey learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows. She’s torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between in a place that is so much more than it seems…

And the 13th chapter will only add to the mystery behind the 13th floor of Hotel Ruby...and ultimately, what it means for Audrey.

Welcome to the Ruby.

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Hotel Ruby

By Suzanne Young


About the Book

Just three months after their mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Audrey Casella and her older brother, Daniel, are on their way to live with their maternal grandmother near the Nevada mountains. Their grief-stricken father has become unable to care for them, and he decides his children will be better off without him.

On the drive through the mountains, the family stops at a hotel for the night. Hotel Ruby is beautiful, with its burgundy patterned floor, dark wood paneling, and opulent chandeliers. The elegant guests roam the gardens, bask in the ever-present sun at the pool, and, if one is fortunate enough to receive the black invitation, dance the night away at the exclusive evening party in the ballroom.

Without an invitation of her own, Audrey joins the hotel staff on the rooftop, catching whispers about the hotel’s dark past. The more she learns about the new people she’s met, the more her curiosity grows.

Audrey is torn in different directions—the pull of her past with its overwhelming loss, the promise of a future that holds little joy, and an in-between life in a place that is so much more than it seems.

Welcome to Hotel Ruby.

Discussion Questions

1. How does each member of the Casella family respond to grief? Do any of them seem to be dealing with their mother’s/wife’s death in a healthy manner? What are some healthy ways to deal with tragic loss?

2. Audrey struggles with the fact that she kept dating Ryan even after she knew she no longer loved him. Why did she continue the relationship? What would be the right action to take with someone with whom you have fallen out of love?

3. Why do you think Audrey feels more of a connection to Elias than she did with Ryan?

4. Daniel can’t get a signal on his phone even though he has seen others using their phones and no one ever seems to know the time. What other strange moments happen in the Ruby that strike you as unusual?

5. The Ruby Mountains are in Elko, Nevada, so it is likely that the name of the hotel and the title of the book came from the mountain range. Why else might Suzanne Young have named the hotel and novel “Ruby”?

6. How does the interior of the Hotel Ruby add to the creepy atmosphere of the novel? Are there some specific details that can be found in a typical horror story?

7. Describe Catherine. What seems to be her motivation early on in the book? Does her behavior change throughout?

8. Lourdes and the other staff aren’t invited to the party in the ballroom. Lourdes asks Audrey to join them for a party on the roof. Even though they’re strangers, why does Audrey say yes? Which party would you have rather gone to? Why?

9. Why is everyone scared of Kenneth, the concierge? Is there a difference between how he treats the guests and the staff? How does he control both groups?

10. What is the significance of the thirteenth floor?

11. What song do you think Audrey hears throughout the book? What is its significance to the overall story?

12. How does Audrey’s relationship with her father change throughout the book?

13. Do you think Daniel is a good brother? What were some examples of how he tried to look out for Audrey both before and after they came to the Ruby?

14. What ultimately happens to Kenneth and what does it mean for Audrey?

15. Audrey has to make a devastating choice at the end of the book—would you have made the same decision?

16. Describe the day after the party at the end of Hotel Ruby. How do you think the story continues?

Activities and Research

1. How do you imagine the Hotel Ruby to look? Draw the lobby, ballroom, or another place in the hotel that you think added to the atmosphere of the story.

2. Pretend you are making a movie of Hotel Ruby. Make a playlist for the different scenes. What song would be the one that Audrey keeps hearing? What music would be playing in the ballroom or the dining room? What music would you choose for the violent scenes or scary ones?



Guide written in 2015 by Shari Conradson, an English, drama, and history teacher at Brook Haven School in California.

This guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

About The Author

Photo credit Dawn Goei

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is also the author of Girls with Sharp SticksAll in PiecesHotel for the Lost, and several other novels for teens. Visit her online at or follow her on Instagram at @AuthorSuzanneYoung.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (October 4, 2016)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481484398
  • Ages: 14 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

"Prepare to be spooked and romanced as you attempt to unravel the mysteries of Hotel Ruby!"

– Wendy Higgins, NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil series

Young follows up her New York Times best-selling series with a stand-alone title that straddles the line between suspense and horror. Three months after her mother’s death, Audrey is en route to her grandmother’s house, along with her brother, Daniel, because their dad just can’t handle them anymore. But their fractured family makes an unexpected stop at the historic, beautiful, and supposedly haunted Hotel Ruby. One night turns into two, as her family falls under the spell of the place, and Audrey falls for

the dreamy Elias. But when Audrey learns the real reason people stay so long at Hotel Ruby, she’s forced to make a difficult decision: Does she want to stay forever, too? With an engrossing plot that keeps readers guessing and an enigmatic romantic lead, Young’s latest is sure to please her fan base. Audrey’s struggle to reconcile her life in the wake of losing her mother is palpable and adds weight to the story. Haunting and hard to put down.

– Booklist

"Young accurately captures each resident’s grief, thus populating her novel with three-dimensional characters whom readers will appreciate."

– Kirkus

Gr 9 Up–Grief-stricken Audrey Casella and her familyarrive at the glamorous Hotel Ruby after an exhausting, strained car ride. Therecent death of Audrey’s mother has devastated her father. Audrey and herbrother try to watch out for each other, but the journey has been an arduousone. They are not happy about being sent to live with their grandmother. When asign announces that a hotel is close by, their father decides that they willstay one night and continue on in the morning. However, there is more to theRuby than they expected, and as one night turns into several days, Audrey andwhat’s left of her family seem to begin to heal. The place is restful,engaging, glamorous, and strange. It has a ghostly past. Every night certainguests are invited to an elegant party commemorating a fire that killed dozensof people. Audrey is not invited, but her father and her brother both receiveinvitations. She spends her time exploring and making friends. The sweethousekeeper, Lourdes, and the intriguing Elias Lange take her in and show heraround. Unfortunately, the more she learns, the more threatening the hotelbecomes, which culminates in a bone-chilling revelation. Despite some choppyphrasing, this novel is a fast and fun read. VERDICT A great purchase forlibraries where paranormal mysteries circulate well.–Claire Covington, BroadwayHigh School, VA

– School Library Journal

Awards and Honors

  • ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults - Top Ten

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