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Review: Ruined by Paula Morris

Finals are almost over! Finally! I realize I've been MIA for a while, and this is sadly because finals have been eating my brains. I've taken to calling them zombie finals because of this fact. But alas, they will be over tomorrow and I've decided to celebrate with a review.
Overall Rating: 3.5
Characters: 3
Plot: 4
Cover Art: 3
Originality: 3.9
Concept: 4.8
Favorite Line(s):
"The past doesn't go away. You just can't see it anymore."- I just really love this. Lisette speaks the truth.
And just because it's hilarious: "Claire and Aurelia had been sworn to secrecy on the lives of the entire cast of Gossip Girl."
Rebecca Brown couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to live while her dad is away on business. She's staying in a creepy house with her aunt Claudia, who reads tarot cards for a living. And at a snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like she's invisible. Only gorgeous, unavailable Anton Grey seems to give Rebecca the time of day, but she wonders if he's got a hidden agenda. Then, one night, among the oak trees in Lafayette Cemetery, Rebecca makes a friend. Sweet, mysterious Lisette is eager to show Rebecca the nooks and crannies of New Orleans. There's just one catch. Lisette is a ghost. A ghost with a deep, dark secret, and a serious score to settle. As Rebecca learns more from her ghost friend- and as she begins to trust Anton Grey- she also uncovers startling truths about her own history.Will Rebecca be able to right the past, or has everything been ruined beyond repair?
(from jacket)

Ruined was okay, just okay. I'm sad to say that nothing really grabbed me with this book. The characters were okay, the plot was good, it was a concept I liked, but it just didn't go as far as it could've in my opinion.

First, let's talk about originality and concept, the new editions to my rating system. I absolutely loved the concept of Ruined. The New Orleans history and culture mixed with the teen angst we all know and love gets an A+ in my book. The only problem was the execution of this concept. It just didn't cut it for me. I don't want to sound too harsh, but the characters and plot didn't blend at all, making it seem as though two different novels were welded together. For example, the stories within the story really pull you in at certain parts then a character, usually Rebecca, will say something dull and the magic is gone faster than a brain cake at a zombie wedding.*

Now, while the plot was very original, the characters were not. New girl isn't accepted by the 'cool'  kids, then the unattainable stud chooses the aforementioned new/shunned girl to pine for, isn't exactly what I'd call new. We've all seen this before and right from the start I wanted to pull my hair out. Basically, I didn't like the people in the story.

While the rest of this review is rather blatantly showing my dislike for Ruined, there were some very enjoyable aspects. I can't get over how much I loved reading about the history of New Orleans and the backstory of both Lisette and the families mentioned throughout the book. Ms. Morris really put a lot into creating this separate world in our own. Details are abundant, and the connections between the families are easily made. I'd never really studied New Orleans, or Louisiana for that matter, very much, so it was very interesting to learn something new.

Overall, while Ruined wasn't one of my favorite books by far, I did enjoy it, and would recommend as a light summer read.

"This is for Real"- Motion City Soundtrack,
*I'm on a zombie kick, what can I say?

P.S. In other news, I found out earlier today that I won a contest over at Mundie Source and will be receiving an ARC of Clockwork Angel! Huzzah! So I'll have a mini review up sometime this month for that and will post my full review closer to the release date.

I really would like to give you lovely people something for my fifty followers contest, but no one has suggested anything yet! Please, please, PLEASE fill in the itty bitty form I have put together HERE so I can buy some books to give away!