My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Current Rating on Goodreads: 4.34
I'm not your typical girl. I've been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness...until Wes Michals offered to be my light.
I didn't know that time wasn't my ally -- that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer--each moment as it came--but it would never be enough.
Sometimes when you think it's the end, it's only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn't--I wouldn't ever be the same.
And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.
Characters: Kiersten and Wes make such a great pair. Kiersten is more reserved because of her unfortunate past. She's a freshman in college and doesn't know what to do with her life. Her first encounter with Wes is cute, funny, and awkward all at once, a feeling that everyone can commiserate with. Wes is the star quarterback, wealthy, good looking, and flirty. He's got a reputation of being dangerous, but he turns out to be the perfect guy. He takes Kiersten under his wing as a "friend" and proves his love and loyalty. My favorite supporting character without a doubt is Gabe, Kiersten's roommate's best friend and cousin. For some reason, he feels the need to protect Kiersten and her fragile heart. At the same time, he realizes that Wes might not be so bad and is an amazing friend to him despite them never interacting before.
Plot: Yes, no car crashes or rapes in the heroine's past!!! Rachel Van Dyken gets creative in that department. The plot isn't full of twists and turns, but it flows smoothly. Except for the spacing in the beginning. I was yelling at the book, arguing that you can't fall in love with someone that quickly, but I otherwise liked the timing of everything.
Target Audience: This book is categorized as New Adult due to the characters being in college, but this could definitely be a YA book. It is surprisingly clean in its content which is refreshing. Some people, yes I am guilty of this at times, think that NA is YA with a lot more sexual content, but Ruin lacks it and is still a wonderful NA novel. So, I've revised my definition of NA to mean a genre in which the characters are no longer in high school but young enough to not be completely independent.
Overall feelings: I'm not denying that I am a sucker for stories of damsels in distress, but Ruin is a great novel about pain and resilience through love, and the characters are fun and likable. I'm not a fan of the cover because it portrays the book smuttily. People should not judge a book by the cover, but honestly the cover design in super important, and this cover detracts from the book. I look at it and I don't see a sweet love story full of hope. I see sex. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the sequel.
*I appreciate the mention of Shane Harper's song, Rocketship. That was probably the best part of the book.