This was one of the first books I read after I started primary school - I remember because I bought it from the book club leaflets we used to get round. I loved it, unlike pretty much every other Jacqueline Wilson book I subsequently read (with the exception of The Lottie Project). So when I started buying second-hand books I'd loved as a child, this was pretty far up the list.
It just didn't hold up on a re-read. I was torn between giving it two and three stars and only gave it three because I had loved it, once. This was just... blegh. Both of the twins are annoying (obviously Ruby moreso) and the whole thing is just SO entirely awful and affected and unrealistic and... pretty much everything else that put me off JW's other books when I was a kid. I'm not sure WHY I liked this one that much. Perhaps it seemed like a novelty because it was the first one I read? It only took me about half an hour to reread, so I suppose it was brief, at least. I liked the unusual style, I suppose, of having them write it as if it were a diary of sorts, and I liked the idea of buying a bookshop and painting it red, and finding all the stuff in it. I just wish there had been more description, more - oh, I don't know. I'm looking for something that clearly isn't there.
Wilson's books are preachy and boring with no real sparkle or magic. She attempts to get into the heads of children who are going through traumatic events (such as divorce, or death, or many of the other things that happen in lives, both young and old) but it rarely rang true to me as a kid, and it doesn't now. If you're buying for kids, please, PLEASE buy them anything else. Buy something that will fire their imagination. Don't buy this miserable toss.