I walked into this year in fighting spirit, and thought it rather fitting when Harper Collins sent me the latest Ruby Redfort installment; Feel the Fear, to review. The protagonist, Ruby Redfort, is a young, strong female secret service agent for Spectrum. Yes, I'm not this novel's target audience, but I thought my younger readers would appreciate its content. I thank the author, Lauren Child, for indulging my inner child with codes to break and a variety in dialogue, structure and plot twists, that kept me both entertained and intrigued the whole way through. The book oddly begins with more than a few prologues, perhaps for new readers like myself, illustrating a few occasions where Ruby stood out as an extraordinarily fearless kid. The plot kicks off, and at first its just a regular investigation of unusual thefts, but as the plot thickens, Ruby is thrust into more dangerous circumstances that she must overcome to complete her mission successfully.
Shirt : H&M | Capri : Vintage M&S
In true BLEURGH fashion, there were a few quotes and themes that stood out & I thought it only right to bring it to your attention. The first being the difference between fearlessness in youth and stagnation in adulthood. It is made clear that Ruby is like no other, but as evidenced by her predecessors (i.e. Harriet the Spy, Powerpuff Girls or even Totally Spies...remember them?), the flexibility of a gymnast to weave out of life-threatening hurdles, or the tenacity to overcome the villain, are characteristics of youth. The women in the novel seem jaded with the idea of adventure, and are far more preoccupied with the idea that 'great hair opens doors'. I was the kind of kid who did exactly as I was told, but dabbled in what I was warned against on the side. I thrived in overcoming the fear of the unknown, and lived by the mantra of 'everything was worth trying once'. You'll all know I traveled to Turkey for my birthday, and as pictures document, I hiked down the Uchisar Monk Valley and it was terrifying. In that moment, I looked to company for assurance and spotted OAPs trekking fearlessly and had to psyche myself up to complete the hike. And I was thrilled I did, because I learned in that moment, that age was no barrier to accomplishing goals. I had grown into my comfort zone and had forgotten what it was like to be Ruby; fearless and fearful. You have to look fear squarely in the face, and decide that the end result is far greater than the fleeting fear felt.
'Fearlessness is often regarded as one of the keys to freedom. Is it always a positive quality to be fearless?' Dr Josephine Honeybone. That's an interesting question, and one I've been learning a lot about in my faith journey."The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" Proverbs 9:10. My faith tells me that fear is actually an invaluable quality, one just has to fear the right thing or person. We get so bogged down by anxiety in social settings or butterflies in new situations, but that's futile because we walk out of those situations changed in one way or the other. Rule 19: Panic will freeze your brain. Whether it be for the better or (in our mind) worse, we leave different to how we came in, so there's a lesson learned regardless. Upon gifting Ruby a pencil, the Doctor advises her to 'avoid the sharp end', and I thought that was synonymous with the events of late; Charlie Hebdo. There's something to be said of caution and decorum, and learning to fearlessly combat adversities craftily, as perfectly illustrated through Ruby.
Rule 16: Even the mundane can tell a story. I believe that we are all angels to someone else. Of late, most especially, I've found those around me prophetically sharing their life's miracles with me, and their mundane experiences clicking with my story (present and future). Its made me retrospectively view my journey as nothing short of miraculous, and in that, I have learned that the future holds far more than my heart desires. That's coming from a faith perspective, but the same can be said for those who've worked hard and are overcoming their own missions and battles at the moment; it WILL be worth it in the end. You WILL come out victorious. I loathe the scathing critique of 9-5'ers from celebrities and entrepreneurs, because I see the value in the mundane; without which our streets wouldn't be cleaned, our apps wouldn't function without adequate terms and conditions, or our technology wouldn't exist without the tireless innovation of brainiacs in the lab. It is from the small, that you learn to appreciate the big. So lap up the mission you are yet to overcome because the triumph will be epic!
Rule 44: When in a tight spot, buy yourself some time: One minute could change your fate.