Title: Ruined
Author: Paula Morris
Pub Date: 2009
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal
Challenges: YA, NTMA

Isn't that cover absolutely gorgeous, if a bit misleading (the ghost in the story is a young black girl and the woman in the picture, well, she doesn't look young or black, does she?)

It being a ghost story wasn't really what pushed me into this purchase, rather it was because the ghost story's setting is New Orleans. I have no ties with NOLA outside of doing the touristy visits. Still, in all of the places that I have travelled, NOLA is the only city that I can still visualize, the only place where the streets come alive in my head. The smell, sound, and vibrance of the city is a being of its own. There really is something mysterious and magical about this city.

Rebecca, our wonderful heroine, learns this lesson in Ruined. She comes to the city unwillingly. Her father must do business in China and a not-really-her-aunt-but-close-enough-that-she-is-referred-to-as-such is to watch over her for sixth months. Rebecca is coming from New York and the change is drastic. Plus, the city is old in tradition and bloodlines, something that she doesn't understand. Not only does she have to be the new girl midyear, she is automatically outcasted because she has no history with the city.

Then, as if that isn't a big enough burden, Rebecca meets a ghost in the Lafayette Cemetery. Lisette is trapped in the cemetery and a few other areas and has been so for the past hundred and fifty years. She was murdered and until the curse gets lifted, she cannot move on.

The book was initially slow for me. There was something in the beginning that just nagged me, didn't fit, didn't settle. Now, I couldn't tell you what it was, because the book just captivated me. I loved how the author drew in the history and wove it within her own ghost story.
Ruined is a great book to read on a rainy day.


  1. I've heard VERY mixed things about this book.

  2. I'm totally going to read this!! And I kind of cracked up because this sounds just like one of the story lines in the book I started writing for NaNoWriMo last year :p Next time you come to NOLA you have to let me know!!!! We need to meet up!!

  3. I asked for this book for Christmas purely for the cover! I love it though and would highly recommend it.

  4. Amanda - Initially I was not impressed. I'm glad I stuck with it though. After the first thirty pages, I was hooked.

    Chris - Yay! You totally have to read this. And I will definitely give you a shout. D and I are looking to drive up next year. She's never been.

    Vivienne - Isn't the cover GORGEOUS! I'm glad you liked it too.


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