"Ruined" Review

by Paula Morris

Publisher: Point
Release Date: Aug 1, 2009

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

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?

My Review:

Ruined is a creepy, gothic ghost story, the perfect read for the Halloween season. The setting and the entire tone of the book are so eerie! The book is never too scary, but it gives the reader the perfect amount of chills and thrills.

I'm usually much more into characters than settings, but in this story, New Orleans seems like it's own character. I learned so much about the city's history as well as how the upper class live there today. Rebecca is very much involved with the "old families" in town and how their shady pasts come back to the haunt them, so their world is her world.

I loved the eerie atmosphere of the old cemetery where Lissette, the ghost, lives. The way it contrasts with the gilded mansions of the old families adds to the creepy factor. And of course, right on the same street as the cemetery and the mansion is Aunt Claudia's shabby shotgun house. The author weaves all three worlds together effortlessly.

The Mardi Gras season and parades were so much fun to read about. The costumes, decorations, and all the expense of the Mardi Gras celebration was pretty spectacular. The author really knows her stuff when it comes to New Orleans.

Rebecca was a great lead, strong but also known to make a few mistakes. I enjoyed her friendships with Lissette and her perky cousin, Aurelia.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line:This is the perfect book to read on a dark and stormy October night!


  1. nice review. I will keep an eye out for this book

  2. This book sounds just right for me. I love creepy stories and a ghost story is always a big plus. :) The setting sounds great too!

  3. Excellent review, Carrie! I've been wondering about this one, but I've seen mixed things - now I definitely want to try it! :)

  4. Great review! Sounds like something I’d really enjoy.

  5. sounds great, and that cover is so pretty!

  6. This one sounds really good. (This boo is for someone)

  7. That cover is enough to make me want to pick this one up, it's just so whimsical and creepy at the same time. Great review, I love a strong female lead so I'm adding this one to my list!

  8. Nice review. I really think I'd like something more creepy to read when the weather is like this and there is now snow to make the evenings lighter

  9. Nice review! I think you're on to something with the "New Orleans is a character" comment. I haven't been myself, but from those I know that have....they agree! Also, the book I'm reading now (CRUSADE by Nancy Holder and Debbie Vigiue) features the city in another light, but it still plays a vital "character" role. Sounds like this one needs to be added to my future wish list...thanks for sharing! Happy reading...

  10. OOh thanks for the review! I bought this book a while a go and still haven't gotten around to it! I shall have to bump it up on my tbr list now!

  11. This sounds great! I must add it to my TBR!

  12. I've read this and completely agree about New Orleans being her own character in this one :)

  13. eerie atmosphere? wow i dont think i've read something like that before. sounds like a good try ;p

  14. I passed this one up a while back, but with New Orleans as a strong setting and the creepy October vice, I may have to give it another look. :-)

  15. Oh my! I have not heard of this one. But it does look like it would be just my thing to read.

    Such a lovely review. I enjoyed stopping by :)

    Have a pleasant weekend :)

    Mad Scientist

  16. Okay, so the next I go to the library/bookstore, I will not leave until I get this book. Awesome review! :)


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!