Ruined by Paula Morris

I was kind of dubious of Ruined at first. The author started it off with a short history lesson on New Orleans and then having modern-day Rebecca Brown going to New Orleans from her hometown of New York City. A classic fish-out-of-water tale, just like Bella Swan leaving Phoenix for it’s polar opposite, Forks. She goes to live with her “Aunt” Claudia and cousin Aurelia. Aunt Claudia lives in the Garden District and was talking about how the city of New Orleans is changing because of Hurricane Katrina. I thought it would date the story that they were talking about Hurricane Katrina, but that was the only datable event I remember in the book. Aunt Claudia tells Rebecca never to go to the enormous cemetery across the street. So, guess what Rebecca does after her first day of school where she doesn’t fit in?

So sets off a series of events. The reason Rebecca wants to go into the cemetery is because she wants to follow the popular, old-money girl at school, Helena, and her friends. She tries to be inconspicuous, but ends up being chased and almost locked in. She trips and falls, and a strangely dressed girl named Lisette helps her up and gives her directions to the exit. This almost getting locked in incident doesn’t deter Rebecca from going back. She gets to know Lisette and right as the popular kids come up to the Bowman mausoleum, Lisette takes Rebecca’s hand and Rebecca becomes invisible. All this is because Lisette is a ghost. Usually she appears to the Bowman daughters at the age of 16, and the Bowman daughter don’t live to their seventeenth birthdays. And it looks like Helena is going to be the next recipient of that curse.

Morris had a lot to work with in Ruined. She set it in New Orleans and in the old-money circles, so Mardi Gras and the parades were an enormous part of the plot. She obviously knew a lot about them.

Of the characters, she really had me guessing as to who was the real villian.

Anton seemed a bit generic as the love interest, but it came to fulfillment towards the end. But, he was a bit bland overall.

Helena almost had a redeeming moment, overall, she was just a mean girl.

Development of Rebecca’s character picked up momentum as the story went on.

Aunt Claudia was interesting, and so was her daughter, Aurelia. I liked them both.

Similarities to Twilight: 2 of 10

The Fish-Out-of-Water element.

A few Cullen names were found.

Stars: 8 out of 10

I did like it, and it didn’t end with the setup for a sequel. So, as a single book, I think it’s very much worth reading.


~ by whattoreadaftertwilight on July 11, 2010.

One Response to “Ruined by Paula Morris”

  1. I love this book it was so interesting

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