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Ruined (Ruined #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,719 Ratings  ·  1,178 Reviews
A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist.

Rebecca couldn't feel more out of place in New Orleans, where she comes to spend the year while her dad is traveling. She's staying in a creepy old house with her Aunt Claudia, who reads Tarot cards for a living. And at the snooty prep school, a pack of filthy-rich girls treat Rebecca like s
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Point
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Hush, Hush by Becca FitzpatrickFallen by Lauren KateCity of Bones by Cassandra ClareShiver by Maggie StiefvaterCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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It's early to give up, I know, but I've got a bad feeling about this one. Here's why:

1) It reads more like a middle-grade novel than a teen novel. I don't like middle grade because there's almost always...

2) ...too much Telling/Not Showing. In fact, I daresay the first 30 pages are an epidemic infodump. Big mistake. The first few chapters of any novel are critical...and infodumping is a really risky choice. I don't want to spend those first minutes having everyone tell the heroine why the cemeta
Carolyn (Book Chick City)
Ruined is marketed as a ghost story and it is a story about a ghost, but it's not what I expected. It's not scary, or spooky or spine-tingling. It's just about a girl who happens to be a ghost. The plot is quite good and we are introduced to Rebecca, who is the only person (or so she thinks) that can see the ghost, Lisette. They form a friendship, but behind it there is a secret which Rebecca slowly unravels and discovers the truth.

Rebecca is a nice girl, but we don't really get to know her, an
Nikki  Peterson
May 08, 2012 Nikki Peterson rated it liked it
Recommends it for: YA Readers
Recommended to Nikki by: My very ownself
Rebecca's Dad has to go to Japan for six months and is going to have to go and stay with her Aunt Claudia. As if leaving New York isn't bad enough, she also has to start prep school. All of the girls are pretty snotty and have a high opinion of themselves, being from the richest familys in New Orleans.

One night Rebecca hears voices and sees several of the girls she goes to school with along with some boys from boys' prep school. She decides to sneak out of the house and see what they are doing
Oct 06, 2010 Emilianna rated it really liked it
Well it was an interesting one. I loved it from start to finish and it was an interesting look at today's society levels.
At first I was a bit irritated that the South was painted in such a mean way, when Southerners are usually quite nice people. Then again I've never met the high society Southerners like Helena Bowman so I can't know if its that bad or not. But I got over it really quick and loved the way Morris depicts ghosts in this story.
All the characters where rich and believable and it a
May 09, 2011 Rianne~ rated it did not like it
this was a poorly written story that obviously needed to be revised, with hardly any good character. It was like they were all literally ghosts, no emotions whatsoever. I could sum up the book in just a few paragraph's as easy as this;

Great, im moving in with my voodoo aunt, who isnt really my aunt, and ive only met her a few times, wait why do i call her auntie? Im best friends with my twelve year old cousin,and im 16, beat that. So my aunt tells me that people get murdered in the grave yard, a
Oct 21, 2010 Angelc rated it really liked it
Ruined is a creepy, gothic ghost story, the perfect read for the Halloween season. The setting and the entire tone of the book are so eerie! The book is never too scary, but it gives the reader the perfect amount of chills and thrills.

I'm usually much more into characters than settings, but in this story, New Orleans seems like it's own character. I learned so much about the city's history as well as how the upper class live there today. Rebecca is very much involved with the "old families" in t
Like the main character, Rebecca, I knew very little about New Orleans before Katrina. What I did know came from sources like movies, novels, comic books and random historical facts that stuck in my head from American history classes. Pop culture painted a surrealistic view of the city--populated by a people who have lived and thrived on traditions for centuries and Mardi Gras, was the talk of the world. I was intrigued and terrified by the thought of going to the city.

And then Hurricane Katrin
Katieeoh Lacanlale
Hi! I just posted this review on my blog:

First and foremost, I loved the cover. Its very mysterious and at the same time it tells a dark, witty story. For me I love books that are filled with mystery, horror and suspense. But I never loved books that’s all about vampires and werewolves and fallen angels…whatever. I hate those kind of books. It shifts my mind into something that is so unraveling and simply…weird. I never loved it, just like Twilight, Falle
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
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 wh
Ellz Readz
Nov 30, 2009 Ellz Readz rated it really liked it
My thoughts...This book can best be described as flavorful. The reader gets tastes of New Orleans history, Mardi Gras excitement, Haitian magic and an old-fashioned ghost story. The main character Rebecca is thrown into post-Katrina New Orleans in a house with a view of the famous Lafayette Cemetery. Curiosity gets the better of her and she finds herself face to face with a real ghost. Her aunt believe in old magic and voo-doo. She gives Rececca several warnings to stay out of the cemetery and o ...more
Oct 04, 2011 Lori rated it really liked it
If you're a reader that's looking for a teeth grinding, heart pounding, sleep with the lights on ghost story, read no further. You will likely be disappointed by Paula Morris' freshman effort, Ruined. Not that Ruined is a poor book - - far from it. But it's more like a ghost story with less calories and a lighter taste.

Ruined is aimed for the Young Adult audience but it's perfectly acceptable as an adult read as well. This adult enjoyed it thoroughly from page one. And while it's marketed as a
Christy (TheReaderBee)
Ruined is my very first read by Paula Morris. I was thrilled that it finally came in at the library so I could read it.

The characters are pretty likeable. Of course, there are some you just love to hate anyways. The main character, Rebecca, was pretty likeable. She wants to fit in at her new home and new school, but she really doesn’t seem to care when she doesn’t. I really didn’t see much of a connection between Rebecca and Anton, unfortunately. There’s definitely not a lot of romance in this b
Peace Love and Reviews
Sep 14, 2009 Peace Love and Reviews rated it really liked it
This book made me want to see New Orleans intensely soon.
The description of Garden District made me google the place sooner than you can day "Mardi Gra here I come".

Rebecca Brown's character was likable. She's not the typical 16 year old character that's so desperately wanting to fit in her new surroundings or else she'd probably die of an untimely social death. Its a refreahing changing of yhe typical high schooler climbing the social ladder or the Queen Bee harassing a poor insecure new girl.
I love a good ghost story so maybe my expectations going into this book were too high since I've never read anything by this author before. Needless to say, Ruined was a bit of a let down.

The ingredients are all there. A great setting to facilitate a spooky atmosphere, good historical details, and an unique and well-set up plot with an outcome that wasn't obvious. Despite all of this, there was something missing from the overall story.

Perhaps it was that I didn't find the heroine, Rebecca, symp
Mar 18, 2010 Patty rated it it was amazing
Paula Morris

This great book was a true ghost story. I truly enjoyed reading it. It took place in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I loved the historical references in the story. They gave an aura of truth to what I was reading. In a nutshell…

Rebecca has been told by her father that he has a 6 month stay in China. They are New Yorkers and Rebecca is not happy about the fact that because of this she must spend the next 6 months with her Aunt Claudia in New Orleans at a private school
May 31, 2010 Kathy rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen
Rebbecca is sent to live with her Aunt in New Orleans when her dad has to travel to China for work. She knows no one here and is immediately put off by the snobbish manners of the girls she attends school with. Her only friend is Lisette, a girl she meets in the cemetery. However, it turns out that Lisette is a ghost. She is limited to haunting the cemetery, the Bowman house, and her childhood home until her murder is avenged. This will occur with the end of the curse that was placed on the Bowm ...more
Shiralea Woodhouse
Jan 17, 2011 Shiralea Woodhouse rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I admit it - I picked up this book because it was set in Louisiana...and even better, in a graveyard in New Orleans. I (being a La. native) have always loved the aboveground cemeteries - there is just something "neat-o" about them! And the author managed to weave in some of the history and culture of N.O. into the story. So I enjoyed the setting. However: although I've never run into the "upper crust" of the garden district, it's a little hard to believe they would be SO snotty...and homicidal ( ...more
Jul 11, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2015 Jenn rated it really liked it
This book had everything that I'm fascinated by in it. History intermingled with mystery with vivid descriptions had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Although, the main character wasn't necessarily likable, she was tolerable, I was still invested in the story. Looking forward to reading the next one!
Feb 03, 2010 Kristy rated it liked it
I'm probably being too generous with a 3 star rating, but I did like this book..... Interesting litte story, Welcome to New Orleans: City of Voodoo and Beauty. Of Hurricanes and Hauntings.
Main Character, Rebecca makes a friend in Lisette. One minor little detail, she is a ghost. A ghost who has quite the interesting past. A ghost who has quite a lot of said past that just so happens to have a great deal to do with Rebecca.
Rebecca finds out deep truths about her covered up past.
Katieb (MundieMoms)
This is a good story. It has a lot of historical references to New Orleans and New York City. It's not a scary ghost story, but more of a story about a curse on a family in New Orleans. It's an depth story that deals with a few other families and a ghost that haunts the cemetery/ the family and the curse that's plagued the families for over 150 years, especially one of the families.

This story took all sorts of twist and turns. Things you wouldn't except happen and the story has some very well wr
May 01, 2015 Tya rated it liked it
Shelves: trc2015
This was one of those books that reminded me that I'm actually not in the age group that teen books are targeted to.
Margaret Stohl
Aug 13, 2009 Margaret Stohl rated it it was amazing
I am a sucker for these things: the south, graveyards, good writing, a well spun multi-generational yarn, a curse, ghosts, and tarot card readers. How could I not like this book? Different books fit into my bookshelf in different ways, and I have very few like this one. So happy to have it!
Emily Togstad
Feb 19, 2014 Emily Togstad rated it really liked it
Emily Togstad
I have read the book “Ruined” by Paula Morris. The book starts out talking about a girl named Rebecca Brown. She has moved in with her aunt Claudia. Rebecca is originally from New York, but since her dad went on a business trip to China, she is stuck in New Orleans with her aunt. Rebecca has to go to a new school, and deal with meeting new people. She has problems meeting nice people. There are two very mean rich girls named Helena Bowman and Marianne. The firs
Apr 10, 2014 Alexis rated it it was ok
It was a clichéd story about a girl who falls in love with some guy. Oh, and she can see ghosts.
Oct 11, 2014 Teresa rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. I felt things were missing & I wasn't as connected to the characters like I'd of liked. Kinda like a dislocated shoulder, connected but not so connected. I wanted to feel more emotion from the characters, get a feel for who they are, but I was missing that. I also felt there was too much detail in places there shouldn't be, which somewhat distracted me. Also, I couldn't count how many times New Orleans was mentioned, pretty much on every page which ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Joshuanna-Marie rated it liked it
This is the story of Rebbeca Brown, a sixteen, going on seventeen, year old, who has to move to New Orleans from New York to live with her Aunt Claudia and cousin Aurelia, though she barely knows either, because apparently apart from her dad, who she is very close to, they are the closest thing she has to family. Her mother is dead, she died when Rebecca was very young.

So her dad goes to work in China and Rebecca goes to New Orleans. She isn't happy about the move to a place she knows nothing ab
First off the synopsis states "&A gripping YA supernatural novel set in New Orleans: TWILIGHT with a ghostly twist" This is a lie. There was nothing gripping about this book, in fact aside from Lissette I was pretty bored while reading this. I had figured out a good portion of the plot twist fairly soon in and couldn't care less about the characters, most were grey boring and not flushed out. The synopsis also talks about the mysterious Anton who is actually just a douche bag boy the MC goes ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Elliejadrych rated it really liked it

The Book Ruined by Paula Morris is not only a supernatural mystery, but is also an interesting history story of the city on New Orleans. The story starts off with a prologue of the History of New orleans from about 150 years ago. This prologue gives the reader chilling and gruesome information of the yellow fever that killed so many people in the city of New Orleans. During the yellow fever there were so many bodies that many had to be burned but a few rebellious people would sometimes sneak int
Given the fact that I only read this book because of the cover, I wasn’t really expecting much from it.
Well, my expectations were exceeded.

I can probably count on one hand how many ghost stories I’ve read in my life. And this is a nice little ghostly tale set in New Orleans, a perfect little volume to curl up with when it’s cloudy and cold outside. Which is exactly what I did with it, and so maybe my feelings toward this little novel have been affected by the giant blizzard, but I really liked
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USA Geography Cha...: Ruined by Paula Morris 1 4 Dec 29, 2014 01:16AM  
4DRAKE: Ruined 1 7 Mar 12, 2014 07:17AM  
Mad Readers Book ...: Book 1: Ruined by Paula Morris 1 15 Jan 29, 2013 05:01PM  
Halloween, horror lovers group... 1 53 Aug 03, 2009 01:35PM  
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Paula Morris, a novelist and short story writer of English and Maori descent, was born in New Zealand. For almost a decade she worked in the record business in London and New York. She now lives in New Orleans, where she teaches creative writing at Tulane University.

Paula's first novel, Queen of Beauty, won best first work of fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Hibiscus Coast, a l
More about Paula Morris...

Other Books in the Series

Ruined (2 books)
  • Unbroken (Ruined, #2)

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“The past doesn't go away. You just can't see it anymore.” 22 likes
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