Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Review: Ruined by Paula Morris

Ruined by Paula Morris

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Point; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545042151
ISBN-13: 978-0545042154
Source: Bought at Borders
Cover: Absolutely LOVE! As soon as I picked it up and saw the girl in the long, flowing white dress evaporating at the end, I knew this book was coming home with me!

I've been on a contemporary kick lately and was thirsting for some good old fashioned paranormal action. I got all that and a little more with Ruined!

Book Summary:
Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her aunt. And at the snooty prep school, the filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then one night, in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to talk to Rebecca, and to show her the nooks and crannies of the city. There's just one catch: Lisette is a ghost.
A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle.
As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend -- and as she slowly learns to trust Anton Grey -- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history. Will Rebecca be able to right the wrongs of the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?

The Review:

The first thing that comes to my mind about this novel is mood, mood, mood. Set in New Orleans, in an old house near a cemetery, this book oozes with the heat and smell of the city mixed with the dark oppressing feeling of the past. As Rebecca learns the ropes of New Orleans, you feel like you are right there with her, taking in the smells, seeing the shadowy tombstones and feeling the nervous excitement of befriending a ghost. I loved being wrapped up in the New Orleans society wars, where heritage and money mean more than anything and where everything looks exactly as it had 100 years ago. The author did an awesome job with the setting!

The plot is fast paced (for the most part) and while I caught on to the plot close to the middle of the book, it did throw me a few twists and turns and made me want to press on till the end.

The details were vivid and beautiful. I was particularly impressed with the details that Rebecca noted as these were the most telling to an otherwise elusive personality. Rebecca's aunt, however, was by far my favorite character and the most memorable.

I did have a hard time penning down Rebecca which I didn't like. By the time the ending came around, I didn't really care all too much what happened to her, so long as I got a good ending. Also, some parts near the middle of the book felt a bit slow and as always, I had a bit of a problem believing her and Anton's (the rich, mysterious boy she gets a thing for) relationship. This is mostly due to the fact that for the second half of the book, he's completely absent for plot's sake.

However, the ending is explosive and with a curse, an unsolved murder and a flurry of ghost activity I have to say that overall I really enjoyed the read!


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