{Review} The Ruining by Anna Collomore

2:19 PM

Number of Pgs. 313  
Publication date: February 7, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: New Adult, Thriller, Mystery
How I got the copy: Won it from Book Loving Mom!
Rating:  4 Stars

Annie Phillips is thrilled to leave her past behind and begin a shiny new life on Belvedere Island, as a nanny for the picture-perfect Cohen family. In no time at all, she falls in love with the Cohens, especially with Libby, the beautiful young matriarch of the family. Life is better than she ever imagined. She even finds romance with the boy next door. 

All too soon cracks appear in Annie's seemingly perfect world. She's blamed for mistakes she doesn't remember making. Her bedroom door comes unhinged, and she feels like she's always being watched. Libby, who once felt like a big sister, is suddenly cold and unforgiving. As she struggles to keep up with the demands of her new life, Annie's fear gives way to frightening hallucinations. Is she tumbling into madness, or is something sinister at play? 

The Ruining is a complex ride through first love, chilling manipulation, and the terrifying depths of insanity.

I've been using this way of reviewing that I saw over at Making the Grade.  It breaks the book down and makes it easier to rate.  The way it works is each category gets a score out of ten points.  Then you add them all up + 50 (50% automatically for each book) and that's your score out of 100.

7/10:  Wow is all I can really say.  Giselle over at Xpresso reads had told me this would be a mind f*ck before I started reading, but she wasn't kidding.  It was one of those books that makes you feel like you're slowly going insane right along with the main character.  After I finished the book I felt l like staring at a wall for a few hours and rocking back and forth...just kidding sorta.  It really messed with me though.

I will say that it was a little predictable.  I was able to figure out the big mystery, but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of the book.  I also didn't really like the ending because it was all happily ever after too quickly.  The mystery was solved and then five pages later everyone's happy and it's over.  I craved more.  Like what happens a year from then? 

Also, I loved the reference to the sinister The Yellow Wallpaper story.  I remember reading that in school one time and being thoroughly creeped out.  It was kind of like a modern retelling in a way.  

8/10: Annie, the main character, bothered me in so many ways.  She had been through so much in her life before coming to work for the Cohens, yet she wasn't strong at all.  She leeched onto Libby for emotional support and justified all the craziness.  She basically let herself be manipulated...guess she never experienced mean girls in high school.  

Libby was a similar Regina George who had bipolar moods constantly.  Sweet one minute and then making Annie feel like crap the next.  I wanted to punch that lady.  

And Walker, Libby's husband, was so easy breezy, but something felt off with him.  When they're in the ocean Annie says she felt mesmerized by him. I thought there was going to be some kind of paranormal aspect to this book like they had her under a spell or something.  

Zoe, the toddler Annie is a nanny to, thoroughly creeped me out with her humming a lullaby all the time.  

Owen, the love interest, was really hot and cold and that bothered me too.  But I did enjoy his scenes with Annie.

Also, the random friend Morgan had a scene that really confused me.  Anyone know if she was actually in Annie's writing class or not?  I was so confused. 
 8/10: I really liked the idea of the remote posh island with the mansion.  It felt so luxurious that it made everything seem that more insane.  You'd expect a scary story in a haunted old house, but not one with a big pool and master bedroom wing.  I kinda wish there had been more scenes at college though or just outside of the house.
8/10: The pacing is pretty steady throughout the whole book.  It wasn't crazy action packed, yet I still managed to read it in two days.    

8/10: I loved how the author switched narratives when Annie goes insane.  The whole book is in first person, but as she slowly loses her mind it turns to third person narrative as if she's experiencing the novel from the outside like the reader is.  It was clever and definitely added to the overall creepiness of the book.  
I love New Adult books so it was a happy surprise when I realized that's what this book was.  I'll definitely try another book by this author in the future.  I love when a book can captivate me this much.

(from an arc copy so it might not be the same as a finished version)

"Are you a virgin, Nanny?" I looked toward Zoe to see if she'd heard, not that she was likely to know what the term meant.
"Mrs. Cohen, I really don't like when you call me 'Nanny."  The words escaped me before I ha a second to think about it.
"What?" Libby set her mug down abruptly.  It hit the counter so hard that I was afraid it would break.  Zoe looked up from her cartoons and stared at us curiously.
"I--I just--"
"No," Libby cut me off in a stern voice, lifting a hand to silence me.  "What's with this 'Mrs. Cohen' thing all of a sudden?  And what do you mean, 'when I call you "Annie"?  What else would I call you?"



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