The Ruining
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The Ruining

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  883 ratings  ·  173 reviews
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 crack...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published February 7th 2013 by Razorbill
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These Broken Stars by Amie KaufmanThe Grave Winner by Lindsey R. LoucksSplintered by A.G. HowardTaken by Erin BowmanPivot Point by Kasie West
2013 Debut Authors (Young Adult & Middle Grade)
108th out of 319 books — 1,200 voters
Splintered by A.G. HowardTaken by Erin BowmanMILA 2.0 by Debra DrizaThe Madman's Daughter by Megan ShepherdThe Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
YA Debuts 2013
197th out of 522 books — 2,363 voters

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I've always found something fascinating about mental illness. As much as I find it fascinating, though, it's equally terrifying. It renders you helpless to your own mind, and oftentimes medication can not be relied upon. The Ruining is the perfect read for those who also share the same intrigue on our brain's workings--or malfunctions. Reminiscent of the short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (super short and seriously creepy ending), The Ruining is the story of a girl who...more
BookChic Club
I really liked this book. I have seen some mixed reviews of it (one of which led me to an awesome blog- David Reviews!), but I enjoyed it. I had problems stopping and just wanted to keep reading until I got to the end. I would read so many pages in one sitting.

Throughout the book, I was trying to figure out if Annie was being an unreliable narrator, or if Libby was really being manipulative and/or just plain crazy, thus making Annie doubt herself. It was a nice twisty tale, keeping me on my toe...more
Farah Jay
The best part of starting a book with no expectations, is when you end up loving it. I started The Ruining without even knowing weather it was a contemporary or a paranormal. All I knew for sure was that I just LOVED the cover. The book starts off with the main protagonist, Annie, wanting to get away from the life she's living. Annie lives with a horrible stepdad, and an alcoholic mother. When she gets accepted to her dream university, and gets a job opportunity at the Cohens family, she doesn't...more
Blech. I was hoping for a pulp-Gothic, Rebecca-for-teens-esque experience with this book, but it was just a mess. Between the dumb-as-bricks narrator and the ridiculous events after the first half, it was entertaining in a trainwrecky way but certainly not a good book. I knew what the outcome was going to be, but kept reading just because the whole thing was so ludicrous.

Annie is a recent high school graduate from Detroit who packs up and moves to San Francisco for a nannying job. She's excited...more
I read this based on a twitter recommendation that this book showed the potential range for New Adult (NA) books. And this is true - unlike the other NA novels I have read, this is not simply a contemporary romance, but contains a heavy dose of gothic-like horror. Ultimately it fails not because of the subject matter but because of the characterization of Annie. Her admiration for Libby is never truly felt even though we're told of it many times. Without this connection, the transformations that...more
Michelle Arrow
Okay seriously, this book was some

From the summary, who'd expect this to be a jaw-clenching, spine-chilling thriller? I was totally expecting an average contemporary novel with a few secrets in between, but I got something more and deep.

Here we have Annie, who is living in horrible conditions with her mom and stepfather, Dean, in Detroit. All she wants is to get out of there and never come back. When a spiking new job opportunity in sunny California pops up to be a babysitter for the...more
I requested this ARC via Net-Galley because the premise sounded really creepy and interesting. At first, I enjoyed the story of a family that might not be what it seems, but as the story progressed, it became less and less believable that Annie, the novel's protagonist, didn't have a clue what was going on around her. It became a particularly frustrating read when Annie vacillated between her feelings on who she should trust--flipping 180 degrees between two characters at least three times withi...more
It took me a few minutes to decide whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. I did like this book, I enjoyed the story and I couldn't put it down, but there's just something about it that seems a little.. off. I'm not sure what it is. I think it might be the fact that I couldn't sympathize with the protagonist. I enjoy books that make me feel the way the protagonist is feeling, and in this book I didn't. Maybe it's the writing style, or maybe it's the way things happened. The book dragged on a little a...more
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Warnie B.

So, on the one hand, this is a really interesting idea, and done in an interesting way. On the other hand, I can't say it's done well.

In a way, this reminded me somewhat of Nova Ren Suma's Imaginary Girls, in that we are expected to believe that the main character is convinced of another character's all around awesomeness even while ourselves feeling an overwhelming sense of revulsion for that same person. And, for me at least, it just doesn't work. All I do is loose all respect for a...more
Pre-read: I like this cover WAAAAY more than my ARC. I'm humbled I actually got this from the author and publisher and hope to read it soon.

Post-read: Review to come. This book took me literally months to read of picking it up and putting it down in spells, but nonetheless, I'm finished now. It was okay, but I did have issues with it. I expected a bit more than what it provided me, but I'll explain that in the full review. I'll give myself a day to decide whether I want to bump up the rating or...more
Wendy Darling
Almost a great book, but what started out with a great premise became too obvious, heavy-handed, and melodramatic after the first third or so.
This is a bit of a struggle to review, because I wished it was better than it was. I also quickly read The Yellow Wallpaper to know the inspiration for this book and have a comparison, and unfortunately The Ruining falls short of the former's tense and (what I feel) would be a more accurate depiction of a woman's descent into madness.

This isn't to say that this was a horrible book. I just wish the writing was better, and the characters' (mostly Libby's) motivations less shaky. I didn't hate Anni...more
I LOVED this book. It sucked me in from the beginning and didn't let go until the very end.

The book followed Annie, a young girl with a troubled past looking for a fresh start in life. She finds this by becoming an au pair for Libby and Walker Cohen in an upscale neighbourhood in San Francisco. By taking this on, it will allow her to live with them while attending college in exchange for watching their 2 children Zoe and Jackson part-time. But it's the old saying....if it seems to good to be tru...more
I tried to forgive this book its many faults. I can be a nit-picky reader at times. When Annie describes watching Detroit fade away as she flies out of DTW and I thought, "I've flown in and out of that airport dozens of times heading to or coming from the west and have never seen the city from the airplane," I try to forget that. And when Annie is surprised to read "The Yellow Wallpaper" in the feminist literature section of her lit survey as though it is not the starter short story for reading...more
It never ceases to amaze me the amount of power the act of persuasion and manipulation has over some people. Sure there might be easier targets than others but still it doesn’t stop fascinating me. This book was pure manipulation in its highest form, it was crazy with a capitol C and I loved every minute of it. Psychological in all the right ways.

We meet Annie who has just moved out of her home in Detroit to California to be a nanny to a family she met online. That alone is enough to be shady in...more
Daisy Chain Books
Desperate to escape her none-too-happy home life and the dark secrets that plague her past, Annie Philips is over the moon when she lands the enviable position as nanny to the practically-perfect-in-every-way Cohen family; but what Annie doesn’t realize is that no family is perfect – all have their secrets, and far from heralding her new dream start, Annie’s arrival on Belvedere Island to start a new life in the palatial home of Walker Cohen and his glamorous young wife Libby is the beginning of...more
I don't know what to say.

I was reeeeally interested in this book in the beginning. The eeriness really drew me in. However, it failed in execution.

I liked Annie's backstory. Yes let's make the main character someone with a very difficult past. Yes, let's make the MC a victim of mental illness. Why not? This gave Annie some dimension and honesty. I am tired of the perfect MC who doesn't know she's pretty and is clumsy and adorable. In other words, I'm am so tired of Bellas!!! Make it stop! Anna,...more
For the first half of The Ruining, I was sure I had at least a 4-star review – possibly a 5-star review! – on my hands. Tension, suspense, fear, doubt, secrets – everything one hopes for from a great psychological thriller was present. But as I headed into the end of the second half, the plot escalated much too quickly for my liking, and I found myself being pulled out of the creepy atmosphere as I found more and more things to question.

The Ruining’s buildup to Annie’s mental breakdown started o...more
Overall I liked this book. The story starts off with Annie who is trying to get the hell of of Dodge -well Detroit anyways- and her horrible life there. The chance at being the nanny to a rich family is the break she needs. As a poos sucker tossed into a rich man's world, she is immediately blinded by all that glitters. For a nice word or two, she forges an immediate connection with the lady of the household. Things begin to happen that toss her new found peace upside down.

The author does a wond...more
I signed up to read this ARC via Netgalley because the premise was so good/spooky - a young woman with a trauma in her past leaves her hometown in search of a better life. Annie is hired to act as a nanny to the young Cohen family and at first, all is bliss. Libby, her boss and mother to two children, is nurturing, kind and encouraging. But when Annie accidentally uncovers part of Libby's past, Libby turns into Mother Dearest and begins to subtley torture Annie in ways that leave her wondering w...more
Marie  Grey
I wanted to love this book. I almost thought I did but every time I think about it, the way the story progressed, the way it ended it makes me want to forget I ever read this. Am I too harsh? Sorry. Oh god, I hate writing negative reviews.

It started out really gooood. I swear to God it was really good at first. But then it suddenly became boring and melodramatic. And the worst was the ending, I felt like it was rushed out just to have a ''good'' ending. The first half was good albeit kind of slo...more
Kayla Eklund
The Ruining was a beautiful haunting novel. It creeped me out and fascinated me at the same time. I’m the type of person who tries to figure out what happens at the end of a book before it happens. The Ruining was definitely a challenge to figure out. I had no idea what was going to happen at the end. I couldn’t even figure out if Libby or Annie was the one with the mental illness until the very end. I must find out if The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories is an actual book. If so, I would love...more
Kristi Whalen
So up until the end, I thought I liked this book. I was into Libby's odd behaviors and the idea of second chances for Annie. The book moved at a steady pace throughout the entirety of the novel. but then....WA BAM - shit storm of emotion and sentence flailing and anxiety and...a love story that literally seemed to progress from nothing to saving 3 pages?

I didn't like the way the end made me feel. and I am pretty pissed about it, actually. the end.
I was so very, very excited about this book when I saw the premise. I got on the library waiting list (I was first!) two months ago, when it was still on order. It turned out to be pretty disappointing. There is a slow build as Annie is manipulated into madness—and I do mean sloooooooooow. I finally ended up skipping to the last three chapters to get the answers to my questions.

Apart from the slow pacing, the writing style was good. But the characters were all so lackluster to me; even the schem...more
The story behinds this novel is actually quite excellent. The plot works very well in theory, but when it comes down to the execution, the novel fails to live up to its promise. It was just too much of everything, which ended up making the story predictable, overly dramatic and even too hard to process and take on sometimes. I do appreciate the author's efforts with the particular way in which all the subjects of the novel got handled and the way the story progressed, but it got a bit out of han...more
This is a great gothic story that really did a number on my mind. Fans of Tighter by Adele Griffin will also enjoy this novel of psychological suspense that keeps ratcheting up the tension with every page. Anna Collomore has done a great job creating a heroine who is sympathetic but also unreliable...something that may have some readers tearing their hair out trying to figure out what is going on, but will have all of them turning the pages late into the night. I still don't know what to think a...more
Lisa Jenn Bigelow
I'm a sucker for "she's slowly going crazy... OR IS SHE???" gothics. This one is halfway decent, but the main character seemed very dense at times. By dense, I mean unwilling/unable to see the truth about certain things (which was partially, but not entirely, explained by her traumatic past... kinda). Anyway, Certain Things that seemed to completely elude her were fairly obvious to the reader, which ruined a bit of the suspense. The resolution came about abruptly, too, with little agency on the...more
Sophieisabella Dickson
I am exhausted. Totally exhausted.

I can't believe I only started this book two hours ago? I feel like I'm been reading for days!

I really liked this one, though I missed the mystery element since I figured out the big plot twist very quickly. The way the author wrote Annie's voice was fascinating! Even I was getting confused about certain things- whether or not she was just hearing people call her Nanny etc.

The descent into Annie's breakdown was perfectly done. It was just disjointed and crazy e...more
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Anna Collomore is a former editor from Penguin Group in New York City. Now she is embarking on a writing and au-pairing adventure in Paris. Aside from writing and traveling, her hobbies include searching for hidden gems in thrift stores, making horrendous crafts, yoga (this is a new one), cooking, and hunting down unusual, delectable items. Anna graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2006...more
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