It’s the morning after reading Ruin and my face hurts from a 3 hour cry fest. From the Prologue to the very last page, Ruin is filled with emotion. Rachel made this book come alive with humor, tragedy, love, and pain. Ruin is a triple threat. It made me cry, swoon, and smile with laughter. I can’t remember the last time it took me just 5 hours to read an entire book. I was so consumed with the story that I didn’t even make dinner for my family. It was a sucky mommy moment (thank goodness for my husband!) but I just couldn’t put it down. When I picked up Ruin, I was expecting a bad boy meets good girl storyline. And while that is a part of the storyline, in my opinion, it’s not what makes Ruin so special. What made Ruin so special to me is Wes Michels. He makes this book shine in a sea of typical bad boy meets good girl books.
Kiersten is just 18 years old but she never came across to me as a young girl. Her soul felt older and I think that’s because she has dealt with more at 18 than most people do by the time they are 30. Depression and anxiety have limited her short life but that doesn’t stop her from branching out, going to college, meeting new people. And it sure doesn’t limit that girl’s sense of humor! She’s brave, funny, and genuine without being obnoxiously immature. She has just the right amount of self-doubt for an 18 year old, which was refreshing. She has a good heart and you see it shine. Her emotional walls were believable and not overly complicated, considering the trauma she’s still trying to move on from. In fact, I was surprised at how quickly Wes was able to knock them down.
I’m not sure where to start in regards to Wes. He broke my heart. He may have been a bad boy in the past, but now he’s all heart, feelings and emotion. Mr. Star Quarterback is so much more than just a hot jock. You can tell very early on that everything isn’t okay with him. By the time you figure out why, you’ve already fallen so in love with his sweetness and smart ass nature that you just don’t want to believe that this might not have a happily ever after ending. To see someone so strong and alive silently struggle, just shreds you. Life really can be unfair, but Wes’ attitude and outlook on his future gives us a glimpse into a soul that is brave and loving.
Wes gets Kiersten to open up emotionally in such a natural, beautiful way. He just gets her, her fears, and her insecurities. He doesn’t want to conquer her, he wants her to live and grow and be happy. It’s a selfless kind of love, the kind that not everyone gets to experience. It’s the kind of love you root for, the kind you want to see win at all costs, and can shatter your heart into a million pieces when it’s threatened.
Ruin is, quite literally, an emotional roller coaster. You’re crying, you’re laughing, you’re having an anxiety attack from the loop de loops and then you’re laughing again. I think what makes this book special to me is the way it felt like real life. Even in tragedy, there can be humor. Just because life is unfair, doesn’t mean you can’t still live it to the fullest. It doesn’t stop you from fighting for what you want. It doesn’t stop time. My single complaint is the book cover. I don’t think it does the story justice. If I were to judge the book on the cover, I would say typical bad boy book (and I almost didn’t read it because of bad boy burnout). It doesn’t scream heartbreak. Had I just been browsing books and looking for a cover to grab my attention, this one wouldn’t do it. I guess the old saying is true, never judge a book by its cover.
My rating: 5 shouting from the rooftops ~ “You must read Ruin!!!” Stars
About the Author:
Jen loves to read. She can’t stop herself. It’s become an obsession. She is in love with her husband, kids, iced coffee and books. Jen lives in beautiful Colorado but is originally from the West Coast.